At last, a real-world use for four years of French classes in those days when Spanish was for dummies, French was for the literary, and my brother — who hears his own music –studied Russian.

“After company” sounds leftover, like soggy bean casserole and wilted salad. “Apres” is upbeat. Yes, they left me with dirty linens, broken glasses, exhausted dogs, and floors that need vacuumed and mopped. But this is a good mess, a mess I enjoy cleaning up. I hate cleaning – except après company. Every little mess and household chore brings a memory, and these memories move the cleaning implements along so easily I barely notice that I am doing (ugh) chores (ugh).

Kailyn planting flowers in “her” flowerpot, the one she adopted and will be interested in all season…Alissa explaining the history of Quiddich…Al developing a football training routine for Cameron insisting, “If you don’t play football you have to change your last name. Millar’s play football. Period.” …Adam discussing global economics with me…Aubrey introducing her boyfriend…and Cameron making himself at home in his room in my house.

I could go on and on and on with grandma thoughts, but you get the drift. When I leave home, I bring home souvenirs. When kids and grandkids come home, they leave memories. Après company is not a sad time. I leaf through memories of this past week and before I know it, the chores are done. The house looks less lived in, but around every corner is a giggle – and under every bed is an orphan sock, a Lego piece, or a mysterious Truth or Dare leftover.

Tell me where to mail or deliver the sock – and come back soon!


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