Well… our nest is empty.  It feels really strange.

We’ll get used to it though.  Melissa got a facebook message from one of her friends that said “Just between us, the empty nest rocks!”  That sounds promising.

Of course, Erin is just barely gone.  Her room is still a wreck – just as she left it and she’ll be back many times before she could be considered truly “moved out”.  But we’re looking at many days of nobody but us in the house so that counts as an empty nest I think. Erin is extremely independent and was chomping at the bit to move off to college; I don’t expect her to come back home unless the dorm is closed. 

Thus far, all we’ve done is watch some TV shows on the DVR and I’ve worked at a couple of projects; which is exactly what we would have done anyway.  But still it feels different.

For several years I’ve kept a blank book in my backpack.  In it I’ve written down everything I want to do and build and visit.  I guess now we can start working off those things more quickly.  Many things are already checked off since we’ve always had at least some free time.  But now perhaps we can check them off more quickly.

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On Saturday, Evan wanted to go to Pops so we went.  We’ve gotten into a bit of a habit of going there right before he leaves to go back to the university.  The weather was not terribly hot so it was a fun trip.  We had toyed with the idea of driving the old Route 66 but after eating both Melissa and Evan fell asleep and so there seemed little point to taking a scenic route when only I was looking and I was looking only at the road.  I stayed on I-44.

Then on Sunday we took him to Wal-Mart to stock up on necessities (and our groceries).  While there he bought a couple of movies which we later watched. 

During the afternoon he went to play Frisbee Golf with his high school buddies one last time while I sat down with some cans and tools and started making an alcohol camp stove.  Earlier he and I had used the woodgas stove that I built earlier to cook a camp meal in the back yard.  That worked extremely well.  As we thought about it we realized that he has camped at times in places where wood would not be available or be against the rules for one reason or another (above the treeline, on tundra, in snow, etc).  So we decided to build another one for those times that burns alcohol.  I only got partway through that build before I realized I needed something else so we just watched movies instead.  I can finish it later in the week.

He leaves on Monday to return. 

Our nest will be officially empty at that point.  That is a strange feeling.