Winter comfort

Tonight we had stew for dinner…big chunks of vegetables and beef in a rich broth…comfort food on a rainy January night. The elegant and more elaborate meals of the holidays are done. January is a month for hearty food, easy menus after a cooking marathon…stew you can put on to simmer while you get life back on track.

I’m recovering from a week of baby time, family time. It was good, a reminder of the best parts of life: the special moments, the time that is spontaneous and fun, the time that speeds by when your children are only home for a week. Baby time with an eight-month old brings a new rhythm to two adults and two dogs. I’m pleased to say I remember what to do with a baby! But I also admit my house is no longer child-proofed. I’ll have to do some work before Riley begins to walk. And let’s just say she and the dogs are on good terms. I think she got a lick or two on her face, and I’m pretty sure she ingested some dog hair…impossible to avoid with our ever-shedding Jack Russell. But all part of life with dogs. And dogs and babies are a great combination for entertainment.

They’re home now, Stephanie and Matt and Riley back in Arizona and Alex back at Ft. Campbell. And I am content. I’m excited to have them come to visit, or to see them when it’s our turn to travel. But I’ve learned that our lives continue, and are even fun, with just two of us. I’ve come a long way in the past few years. The empty nest didn’t feel right at once, but it feels right at last. And it’s good to have the comfort of husband, stew, and a cozy space to nurture me and to let me know that my children are where they belong, as are we.

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