The game of wait and see

The house is quiet and cold.
I’ve been a very good temperature monitor these last couple of months, trying to do my part to conserve energy and heating costs by turning my thermostat down to 16 degrees C every night before I go to bed and during the day if I’m not home.
That little stint will be shelved this week when the man of the house comes home. The warm climate of Italy still runs through his veins and he can’t stand to be chilly even to save a few drops of heating oil.
Having said that, he still will go outside on a minus-40 winter morning to have a cigarette on the front porch—dressed only in his housecoat and winter boots. Go figure.
At any rate, Pete is making his way home after three months. I can hardly wait. I’m running around the house making sure everything is just right, knowing full well that in a few short days the place will lose its organized sheen and look lived in again.
The dogs have no idea what’s coming. They’ve been sleeping on the floor on Pete’s side of the bed on comfy little fuzzy blankets every night for three months.
I tried to ease them into the transition by putting their blankets out in the kitchen one night last week. I thought they took it pretty well until I got up in the night to visit the washroom and found “Cash” splayed out on my new leather couch in the living room.
The time before that, I had put their blankets on the floor in the spare room to get them used to being “on their own.” A few days later, after what I thought was an easy transition, I found enough dog hair on the spare bed to make a sweater for the Incredible Hulk.
Yet I am sprawled across our bed trying to soak up the last few hours of having it all to myself—free to roll from side to side without interference from those big shoulders and chunky muscles taking up more than his share of space.
Though I won’t complain when he does. I could use a little hip check right about now.
I have a small list of “to-do’s” on the kitchen counter of things I want to get done before Pete gets here—as if I haven’t had enough time to complete those tasks in the last 90 days.
I guess I could put the lingering tasks on Pete’s “honey-do” list for over the Christmas holidays, but I don’t think he’d be too impressed with having to pay back the $20 (U.S.) to himself that I scoffed out of his piggy bank back in October.
I’d better do that one.
And I’d best call the “hair ambulance” ahead of time to see if they can meet us at the airport terminal.
It would seem Pete ran out of “product” some 40 days ago and let his long curly locks go dread. Then, in a fit of frustration, he picked up a pair of scissors and cut off six inches of matted hair.
Yesterday he turned the camera on himself, took a picture, and e-mailed it to me with the caption: “Look for this guy at the airport in the next few days.”
When it came through my Inbox, I ran screaming from the room, convinced that aliens had just landed and taken over my husband’s body.
The last time the “hair thing” happened to Pete, he didn’t cut it. The woolly mammoth look came home with him and he’d yet to be introduced to all my friends. They still talk about that unforgettable first meeting.
That brings to mind the undeniable fact that even after 10 years of marriage to this colourful man, we still have unforgettable first meetings, thanks to the kind of work he does that takes him far away and brings him back to me.
It gives a whole new meaning to a fresh start and a first kiss—even if his hair is disaster material.
(And if you call and we don’t answer the phone for the next seven days, just leave a message).

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