With hubby working every minute of every day, time alone together, uninterrupted and focused, is precious.
After weeks of watching him work exhaustively, with little return on his investment, listening to him grouch and grumble, I start to reach MY breaking point too. I try to give him room for his mood, because after almost 16 years of marriage, I know this is just how it goes. I know this will blow over and things will smooth out.... Still, there comes a time when I have to check in.... "Honey, are WE okay?" Of course we are is his usual response-- it's just him. Now, while I understand that feeling, and even experience it for myself from time to time.... what he fails to remember, is something that I wonder doesn't happen to lots of married couples... When YOU are not OKAY, then WE are not okay.... because WE are ONE. What affects you, affects me. When you hurt, I hurt.... it does us all good to remember that from time to time and change our attitude and temperament to reflect that....
When I learned he was planning to work yet another Saturday, cleaning up at the job site, I decided I would join him. I may not be able to do a lot of physical labor as intensive as what he had planned but I could offer moral support, a ready smile and maybe even sneak in a little uninterrupted focused on us time?
Well, it was a good thought!!
We separated lumber, lugged junk, picked up tools, and tidied up the job site. Soon the site was looking pretty spiffy, the junk trailer was ready to be hauled to the dump and we'd made good time. Until it was time to hook up the trailer. We had the wrong ball hitch. The right ball hitch for towing was in the garage. At home.
So.... home we went, about 10 minutes one way.... not a big deal but still a little bit of a hassle when we had a schedule we dearly wanted to keep. But despite the wrinkle, soon we were on our way to the dump...
and about half way there some sputtering alerted us to another wrinkle in our plan.... we were running out of gas.
The gas gauge in Big Yellow hasn't worked in a long time... He keeps track of his fuel with copious sticky notes of figures on the dashboard, and it works most of the time.... but every once in awhile.... well, let's just say there is a reason he keeps gas containers in the back of the truck!
Alas, the containers were EMPTY. Thankfully, we ran out on 1. a back country road (opposed to a dangerously busy highway) and 2. we pulled off the road right next to a house that had a gregarious gentleman sitting on the front porch who was happy to run Bruce to the nearest gas station!
Soon we were putt-putt -putting back down the road and unloading our junk at the dump. Dump Dates have long been a fun adventure for the two of us as we often have the most reflective, passionate, and heart revealing conversations... I'm not sure why, but I think there is a metaphor of cleaning out junk from our lives that going to the dump symbolizes. This day was no different but it was very warm, we were trying to scrape all this garbage out of the trailer and I wasn't as much help as I'd have liked to be... and frankly, the dump STINKS. I was glad when we pulled out of there.
We had a couple other stops that afternoon and I just kept smelling the dump... it was trapped on my clothes, my skin, in my nose. I could think of nothing better than a hot shower. I suppose the fact that we sort of skipped lunch might have helped to contributed to my quickly fading energy and patience.
It was a good time for me to remember that when I'm not OKAY, then WE are not okay....
We got home, I washed my hands and threw some ginormous bakers in the oven and hit the shower. We ate a hearty dinner of baked potatoes and butter beans with baked apples for dessert and called it a night. Or, I did anyway. Hubby was back on the computer, finishing up another item on his to-do list.
I'm glad we had those few hours, grubby as it was.