A deer in the headlights moment

Yes, folks, there is a holiday fairy for parents and it sprinkled its magic dust in my neck of the woods Friday night. And the best part was that Pete and I got to stay home while Daughter #3 headed for the hills.
Opportunities of alone time with my good husband come around about as often as I would eat raw steak passed through a warm room—rarely. So when the opportunity presents itself, we take it for all it’s worth and this time was no exception.
Two things were a “for sure”—Friday was pizza night, and the party for two would be in the shed.
Pete likely would deny his anticipation of this soirée to all who read this column, but take it from me. The shed never looked so “homey” and cozy as it did after he was done setting the mood in there. The windows even had new wooden shutters.
Best of all, we had gas.
Propane finally had been piped into the oven and the fancy gas light above the table by the experts. We could cook our pizza in the shed! It was more exciting than a four-day weekend.
But this is where we ran into our first pickle.
Everything we usually take for granted on pizza night, such as flour, salt, yeast, and olive oil, would require relocation from the kitchen. By the time we had packed up all the food stuffs, knives, pizza pans, cheese grater, and the like, it looked like we were moving out for good.
Nonetheless, we made the trek to the shed, forgetting, of course, the main ingredients in the mix—red wine and goblets.
Hence trek #2.
Just about halfway to the shed—which, when it’s cold and blowing snow outside, seems like a mile from the house—I was kicking myself for not advocating an idea thrown my way by phone from my best girl, “Queen B.”
Although I deemed her light bulb moment a burn-out at the time she shared it, my frozen upper lip—coupled with the driving snow—had changed my mind.
“Queen B” had suggested I get a giant shrink-wrapped slinky set up from the house to the shed so that I can go back and forth in relative ease.
“For heaven’s sake,” I’d said to her, “don’t give him any ideas!”
Of course, now having shared that invention with Pete, the plan has graduated to include a vacuum-tube for quicker transport—and an underground railway.
Back at shed central, once snuggled, the door locked, and shutters closed, Pete and I got re-acquainted—saving the food for later.
The biggest mistake we made was letting the satellite radio do a search for mood music and end up with the “Howard Stern” show. Never in my lifetime will I understand why someone would pay that guy $500 million to gutter talk like that on live radio.
And for those of you who listen to that potty mouth, I’m speechless.
Meanwhile back at the propane oven, after learning how to turn it on without burning my eyelashes off, I had to lift my chin off the floor after I looked inside.
As I’ve stated before—“All ovens are not created equal.”
I’ve never seen a rack that big. Well maybe I have, but not one that can hold two pizza pans across one level. The shed really did make out better than I did.
Well, maybe not.
Needless to say, we had a blast playing Mr. and Mrs. We were in our own little world locked away in the privacy of our own shed. We had food, warmth, wine, and music, and afterwards stood at the old wooden table making pizza for two.
It was a “Little House on the Prairie” moment (yes, folks, that was me pretending to be Mrs. Ingalls).
Pete, meanwhile, had thrown on his jacket and gone outside for a cigarette. I happened to glance up and out the far window, and through the thick of trees saw the flicker of headlights coming down the country road.
A common occurrence. I thought nothing of it and returned to my dough. A New York minute later, Pete poked his head in the door and said, “Put your dress on, we have company.”
You should have seen me standing there in my birthday suit—my hands caked with flour; eyes big and round like two CDs.
It was a deer in the headlights moment. But I moved quicker than Bambi. I’ve never got dressed so fast in all my life.

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