My husband and I don't travel much, and when we do go somewhere, we usually go together. But today he and his sister are in Virginia visiting their mom on her 90th birthday. And my college-age daughter is also gone this week. In the past on the rare occasions when I was the only one home, I had our faithful old dog to keep me company, but he died a year ago. So this time I really am home alone. All alone. And it is such an odd feeling. Part of me likes the freedom and the solitude. I don't have to cook--yesterday I ate cereal for lunch and a cheese sandwich for supper. There's no noise, unless I make it; no one to object if I spend the whole day watching the Olympic trials. And if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can turn on the light and read awhile. But on the other hand, there's no one to eat with. There's no one to talk to, no one to help me close the windows when a storm blows in. And if I wake up in the middle of the night, there's no steady breathing beside me for reassurance. I've (reluctantly) adapted to having my kids gone a lot of the time, but I'm not used to having Steve gone. He's the one who's been with me the longest, the one who knows me best, the one I've come to depend on in ways I don't even realize except on days like this when he's away. I'll be fine while he's gone--I'll swim and read and do schoolwork and housework and yard work, and about the time I tire of cheese sandwiches he'll be back. And I'll be glad.