There are days I wish I lived in Hawaii, or some other warm place. Today is one of them. We've had some wicked winter weather this month. This week has been particularly brutal. We're snowed in. My husband hasn't been to work since Wednesday and we have yet to see a snowplow. He decided to make another swipe down our driveway with the v-plow to widen it a little and ended up stuck at the bottom. He tried to create a little space, just enough so he could turn around. That didn't work as planned.
I was out, shoveling a path to the garage when I saw him trudging up the hill. I've seen this walk too many times over the years. I bit my lip and suppressed a groan.
"Hon., I'm stuck, threw a couple of chains off the tires, and can't get out. Good thing you're holding a shovel because we've got a lot of digging to do."
Great. And I'm already pooped.
But I tell ya, quiet, backbreaking, exhausting work really does get the brain going. I started remembering all the other times I've helped him out. Oh sure, he's helped me out plenty, but his problems are usually a lot more serious than mine. He gets into more mischief.
I remember years ago, I'd just come home from work and stepped into the kitchen. I was sniffing the hazy air, trying to identify the strange smell when our son came running and announced in an excited anxious voice, "Dad burned his face off!"
I followed him and he pointed down the basement steps. It was really smoky, but not enough to blind me to the black scorch marks on the floor in front of the furnace. Now, our house had been built in the 1920's and it had an old furnace. The pilot light was always blowing out on windy days. My husband must have come home, discovered the heat was out, and gone down to light it again.
"Where is he?" I asked, afraid of what I was going to find.
"In the shower."
I raced into the bathroom, calling him. He pulled the shower curtain back and looked at me -- and I burst out laughing.
I admit it. I laugh at inappropriate times, but it was like looking at a raccoon. He had soot circles around both eyes and I have no idea how much he'd already scrubbed off.
"Nice," he said sarcastically, but I continued to giggle and opened up the medicine cabinet so he could see himself in the mirror. I was forgiven. He cleaned himself up while I cleaned up his mess and made dinner.
I've dug and pulled, pushed and sworn over more buried vehicles than I can count. I've struggled with him to get snowmobiles out of impossible drifts, and one time, a lake when it broke through the ice. We've fought and snapped at each other during canoe mishaps, two extremely serious, and our relationship has survived.
I guess if we were going to break up, we'd have done it by now. When push comes to shove, if I'm going to be snowed in and isolated for a few days, there's no one else I'd rather be stuck with. We're in this mess together, come hell or high snowbanks.
Just the way I like it.
- Tara Mills