Panel 2: Hmm. Ennui? A serious illness? Prelude to giving up the bookstore? Another facet of menopause we haven't yet explored? Also, where exactly is John parking his butt -- in Elly's pelvis?
Panel 3: Yep, giving up the bookstore.
Panel 4: Sigh. Where would this strip be if the Pattersons didn't take the entire weight of the world on their shoulders, voluntarily? Anyway, at least we now see how there's room for John. But I am so sick of Elly's "If I don't do such-and-such, NO ONE ELSE in the whole world can or will!" routine.