Home Alone


Emilio prepared for saying good-bye to everyone by crying.  “I don’t want to go.  It’s been too short.” Then he got dressed, ate breakfast, and pitched in to help us all get out of our vacation rental by 10:00, after a late night for all of us.

There were more tears this morning, but not Emilio’s.  He’d left with Adrienne and Matt on Friday to go back to Long Island.  David and I were lucky — we got to extend our family vacation into the weekend, with Melia and Michael, Mackenzie and Sam all at the house until this morning.

This was our first family vacation with this iteration of family.  Our week together at a big, comfortable house on Squam Lake was terrific — fun, sweet, funny, scenic, serious, tasty, refreshing, relaxed and energy packed.  There were constant conversations among the family and flow of guests, so many people visiting from so many spokes of the family at one point that a visitor said good-bye to Adrienne as she was going out the door, thinking she was a guest leaving.

There were quiet evenings with only the core nine of us, Emilio asleep and the rest of us reading or talking over a game.  There were late nights with a crowd for dinner and numerous stunner sunsets.  The World Cup final was streamed on three different computers set on tables facing a semi-circle of chairs.  At one point the streaming feed of one computer was 3 seconds behind, creating sequential squealing and groaning across the room, as those watching the on time screens reacted and the rest of the room caught up. Emilio climbed his first mountain (West Rattlesnake) and he and I together picked every accessible ripe blueberry on our corner of the lake, out in the morning to get what had ripened overnight and eat it before the birds.

Now I’m home alone for the first time in 10 days.  “Transitions are hard,” I said last night, thinking about how just now would feel, everyone gone, the house only holding David and me today and for many days to come.  But as I listened to the kids talk about their own transitions, back to our usual geographically scattered state, I thought maybe I have it easiest. I’m already home.

And actually, I’m not home alone.  Long story, but Sam ended up flying back to Tennessee today and will be back up next weekend to get his car.  That meant his puppy Quinoa will be here with me for the week, a particularly adorable part of the family left to make the house seem a bit less empty.




About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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One Response to Home Alone

  1. Sam says:

    That picture with Quinoa is heart melting, new profile picture for sure.

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