Remember the party game when the host brings out a tray filled with objects then takes the tray away, removes a few items and you have to guess what’s missing? That’s what it’s like living in my house this week. Last week, while I was in Ireland with my daughter’s high school choir, my husband packed up his belongings and moved out. His moving out did not come as a surprise, it’s something he’s been planning to do since January, perhaps earlier, but I’m finding the half empty bookshelves and cupboards a bit disorienting. I look on a shelf or in a cupboard, and know something is different, something is missing, but I don’t know what. One way to look at this is, if I can’t name the missing items, they mustn’t have been that important in the first place. On the other hand, these bookshelves and cupboards are the backdrop of my life and even if I can’t name each particular item, each thing has been burned into my memory. Needless to say, the gaping holes will take some getting used to. So, I’ve started moving things around to fill in the spaces; to change the backdrop. At the same time, I’ve been throwing things away…going through piles of papers and ”things” that have accumulated over the years…using a variation of the “if you haven’t worn it in a year, throw it out” rule. I wasn’t expecting him to leave so abruptly after our return from Ireland, but maybe it’s for the best. Maybe it’s better to make this household adjustment while dealing with the unpleasant tasks of returning from a wonderful foriegn excursion…unpacking suitcases, jetlag and laundry. Sort of like a rough landing. And maybe after my rough landing I’ll emerge with a smile on my face, thankful and happy to be where I am.