The cabin is still welcoming and magical, but definitely different without the giggles of small children or the volatile emotions of teens.  It is so silent that I can hear the hoot owls in the far woods when the doors and windows are closed.  

My oldest son with his own son now. 

Still, when I am on  projects in Richmond and only home for the weekend, I am reluctant to leave.

This new season of liberty sneaked up on me. 
I didn’t really go through any marked “change of life”.  I didn’t gain weight, never got moody or pensive and had only two hot flashes.  I didn’t figure out what was happening until the second one and then was a bit intrigued to understand what it must be like to roast in an hot oven. I resolved the next time I would catch it early and try to really embrace it.  The next time never came.  The only difference I can really discern is that my libido no longer governs unbridled, but is finally gilded with a touch of circumspect.  Perhaps I have finally learned the value of not entangling myself in a relationship.
I am planning to take a rail trip through Cambodia and Vietnam and all I have to do is line it up and it will happen. It is all very liberating to fly solo, though sometimes self-consciousness slips up on me in restaurants, and I admit to a bit of difficulty in the transition of not being needed by the children as I was.  So many years I gave everything I had all day long and now days and sometimes weeks go by with no one needing me at all, except for a legal or tax question, and soon they will learn that I am not the go-to person for the latter.

The actual facing of mortality is not exactly easy either.  I guess most people embrace the realization at some point and mine at least had the mercy to come later in the game. When the given wasn’t looming, it was easy to be okay about dying.  But now the best-case scenario is a countdown.  How many more times will I really see my son and his family who live abroad?  Thirty if I am lucky?

Youtube Fleetwood Mac's Landslide... ...and dance around the room to the plaintive violin strains like the beautiful and ethereal Stevie Nicks.  Feel my pain.  It may take a bottle of wine to embrace it.  My coping mechanisms haven't changed, though I have upped the ante a touch from Mad Dog 20/20. Have a glass or two of fine wine or a good scotch if that's your pleasure or just breathe deeply, very deeply and dance with me in spirit.

Can I handle the seasons of my life? I don't know.