A Voice on the Answering Machine
Before I left for the cabin I changed the recorded greeting on the answering machine. I used to say "You've reached the Lendes, we are either not home, or can't come to the phone, please leave a message for any of us after the beep." Now, if you call, you will hear me say, "Please leave a message for Chip or Heather Lende after the beep." It made sense, since technically none of our children live here, at least none are in residence at this very moment, although several are comin for dinner, and since they all use cell phones, and never answer the land line when it rings even if they are "home," the only people calling it are looking for us. I thought, as the kids would say, that it was a "no brainer." When I returned from a week in the woods, the light was blinking on the answering machine. Every other message was from one my children. "So, CHIP and HEATHER, it sounds like you are doing fine up there without me..." said daughter #1. "Yo, CHIP and HEATHER, guess your not taking any messages for me," said the only son from who-knows-where Washington, or maybe Oregon. "Ready for me to officially move out?" Said daughter # 5. Daughters #2 and #4 also mentioned our new status. I thought it would please them that their parents were 'letting go' a bit, recognizing that they are all adults. Recently, I called a friend, a widow, to leave a message. Her answering machine still named both she and her husband. I remember after my mom died that my dad, Papa Bob, kept "the Vuillets" on his machine for about a year before changing to, "You've reached Bob Vuillet." When I tell all this to my husband, who is packing for his annual deer hunt, he says, "Heath, it's just an answering machine." Which is why starting now, anyone who calls here may once again leave a message for any of the Lendes, after the beep.