Empty nest decadence

The empty nest can get sort of decadent at times. Ginnie still works full-time, and I work part-time, but without kids at home, it?s pretty much of a creature-comfort life for both of us.

We spend a lot of time with our feet up, reading or watching Netflix movies. Meals can be anything from delivered pizza, to peanut butter and crackers, to eating out. We eat out a lot.

I still get up pretty early, around 2 a.m., and have a glorious, God-filled, no telephone, alone time, reading and writing. I get Ginnie up around 4 a.m. for breakfast and her early commute to Ottumwa. I then nap for a couple of hours, get up again, exercise for 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine, then shower and rocket-launch into a day of more reading and writing. A trip to the mail box midday with Buddy Boy is our fresh air break. What a life!

Ginnie is a laboratory technician at the Ottumwa hospital, and works a lot of weekends and holidays. This past week, her day off was on Tuesday. I checked the movie schedule in Iowa City. Lo-and-behold, two of the movies we were wanting to see were at the same theater complex - ?Manchester by the Sea? (this would be our second time for seeing it) and ?The Founder,? the All-American story of McDonald?s, with Michael Keaton. I studied the movie times closely. Yep, we could get in both movies. There?s a restaurant there also, so if it worked out, we could squeeze in supper between movies. Unlike what I might have tried to pull in my youth, I was even intending to pay for both movies. What the heck? We?re foot-loose-and-fancy-free. We can do anything we want.

Jumping Jehosaphat, when we arrived at the theater, we discovered that Tuesday was good news-day - five dollar movie tickets! The price of four movies - $20. What a deal! Of course, popcorn and drinks was more than that, but it was our lunch, so we dug in. I turned around and looked. There was a line clear out the door with gray hairs just like us. The $5 Tuesday movies really pulls in the geriatric crowd.

I could watch ?Manchester by the Sea? a third time. It?s that good. Point-of-interest: There must be a couple of versions of ?Manchester by the Sea.? The ending of our second viewing was slightly different than the first. But they both have the same meaning, so it works.

I was majorly disappointed in ?The Founder.? However, just about any movie following ?Manchester by the Sea? may have been a disappointment, like drinking orange juice after eating ice-cream.

As powerful a story as the founding of McDonald?s is, there were some major holes in this movie version, as far as I?m concerned. For example, nothing is said about the contribution fast food has had on the obesity epidemic in the United States; and the ?scalding-coffee lawsuit? wasn?t even mentioned; nor was the lack-of-chicken-in-Chicken-McNuggets. The movie was mainly about how the McDonald brothers came up with the idea for fast food, and how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) stole the company out from under them. I kept waiting for the revolutionary idea of adding fast-food breakfast. It didn?t happen. Oh, well. Each to his own Egg McMuffin.

All-in-all, it was a superb day out for Ginnie and me. We both got the stink blown off us real good. When we arrived home, wore out, Buddy met us at the door with the utmost assurance that he had been a really good boy.

Tuesday, Saturday, they all run the same when your nest is empty.


Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm, in Mt. Pleasant, at 319-217-0526, email him at or find him on Facebook. Swarm?s stories are also read on 106.3 FM, in Farmington.