The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

June 10, 2012

Not used to living alone at Estate

By BRAD KELLAR

— Living by myself may be nice on occasion, but ...

— As I write this Saturday afternoon, Vida — my wife and Girl Scout leader — should have just about arrived in Savannah, Georgia. She and more of the Hunt County Girl Scout leaders are taking our daughter Jaylynn, 13, and several of the other Scouts on a road trip/pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, to celebrate the organization’s centennial anniversary.

Our son Jason, 5, will be bunking most (if not all) of the nights during this next week with his grandma Reba and aunt Pam.

Which means I pretty much have the Estate to myself, if I don’t count the dogs Millie, Bosco and Tinker Bell, or Farnsworth the cat.

I won’t have to fight anyone for the bathroom, the computer or the big screen TV! I can eat what I want and I don’t have to clean up after myself!

I miss them already.

Oh sure, having total access at the Estate was pretty cool for a while. But pretty soon, I noticed just how ... quiet ... everything was. And cooking for just me is no fun. Sleeping by myself takes a lot of getting used to and it is not like I can sleep in, as the dogs still need to go out pretty much as soon as the sun rises (Jaylynn had been taking care of that chore).

There is no one to talk to, tease, play jokes on or debate ghost encounters, UFO sightings or wild conspiracy theories with.

The entourage is scheduled to return next Sunday. It will be the best Father’s Day present ever if they come back on time and safe.

— Of course, it is not like the Estate is going to be empty all the time. Reba and Pam are still operating Vida’s daycare business during the day, which means the residence will still be occupied by an assortment of boisterous children out of school for the summer.

— And Jason has made plans to help keep me occupied. He intends for us to visit the Hunt County Fair, go swimming, go the movies, go to the park and of course eat at the Golden Arches at least once. At night, he wants to make popcorn and watch movies with me, before he heads back to Reba and Pam’s.

— Jason has a way of getting under my skin just about every day. Thursday afternoon I visited Yen Jing and bought my usual: Two big fat egg rolls with hot mustard for $2. Since I didn’t have any cash on hand, the smallest debit card transaction they could take is $4, so I bought four egg rolls.

I drove by the Estate and offered one to Vida. Jaylynn didn’t want one, so I still had three. I had to go inside where Jason, and the daycare kids lay in waiting.

Jason: What’s in the bag Daddy?

Me: Egg rolls.

Jason: For me?

Me: No, these are mine. You’ve already had lunch.

Jason: (pouting face, whining) I just thought those could be for both you and me.

Me: (no spine) OK, OK, you can have one.

Jason: (doing happy dance) Yay! (pause) What’s a reg roll? What do they taste like? Do I like them? Are they spicy?

Me: Boy, just take the dang thing.

Jason: (running into daycare area) I’ve got a reg roll! I’ve got a reg roll!

Lesson learned: Always have at least $2 cash in my pocket.

Just a thought ...



Kellar is a Herald-Banner staff writer