Plastic eggs make sweet Easter tree-jewels! People make things humbly special in our town. Less like strip malls, more like old-fashioned home. And it is home to me, so of course I was here alone for Easter time, wandering around outside enjoying springtime.
A couple of days later Delia (my wife) came home to me and we had the BEST time. Since we’ve basically been living and working in different places for a couple of years — her in our Seattle studio, me in our out-here home — we’re finally getting the hang of taking REAL DAYS OFF TOGETHER (instead of everything overlapping with work as self-employed work-at-home webwhores). Taking real days off together makes me very happy.
It was a sunny day so we did one of my favorite together-things; took our car to the car wash & vacuumed it out! But first Delia told me to go out back and look around.
Some of my sweet favorites!
She got me bunny bubbles and other treats!
We did a bunch of errands and stopped at the self-serve farmstand bursting with daffodils and other flowers, and a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time (Oryx and Crake) was in the free book box.
For dinner we drove to our favorite place to get burgers in the next town over. We love sitting in our car to eat, especially when the sky is so blue and the temperature promisingly warm without being hotter than blazes.
Usually part of our burger date includes stopping on the way home at the lot full of used cars, trucks, boats, trailers and RV’s. We like to just walk around and look at what’s there. But the lot was pretty empty and we were tired and ready to get home so Delia decisively declined when I asked if she wanted to do the usual.
So we drove straight home stopping only for some groceries.
And when we were less than a mile from home … our car stopped running.
Pulled over on the side of the road, she tried to get it to start again. She checked a couple of things under the hood, couldn’t find anything obvious wrong, and wanted to stay and work on it … but I wanted to walk home so I could pee and not worry about it for awhile, and come back with clearer heads. I had to talk her into that part (it’s always interesting when Delia is a: really decisive/not super flexible feeling, and/or b: anxious … because it’s rare she’s either of those things and I kind of enjoy the way our roles change when that happens).
The whole time Delia & I have been together we’ve only driven old &/or beater cars that were given to us for free or sold to us for cheap; as a result we have enough practice with cars breaking down (and Delia is often able to fix them herself or at least knows enough about what’s wrong to make good decisions about paying for repairs). At this point it’s one of the few things that doesn’t give me the kind of anxiety attack you’d expect and just sort of makes me feel grateful because so far it’s never put us in a super dangerous situation, and this car especially has managed to break down maybe half a dozen times but always delivers us VERY CLOSE TO HOME or right where we can get help without causing a traffic nightmare before it gives up, even when we’ve been on long treks a hundred+ miles away.
We came back later as it grew dark and she tried and tried a bunch of things. But honestly my mind was pretty much made up to retire this car. There were a bunch of problems with it, including the transmission, and I didn’t want to worry about it breaking down anymore. It has served us really well. It was a relief and a sign to me when it broke down this time. But Delia felt a bit stressed out about it.
The role reversal of her overthinking and spinning her wheels while I am calm and at peace with a decision makes me feel a lot of tenderness for her, and gratitude for the ways we balance each other out. The moments when I am not crazy and struggling with her soothing me are FEW, so it’s a relief when *I* am sure, and *I* am calm.
All of these years together and the more time that passes, the more I feel like everything’s going to be okay. And that everything is so much BETTER than okay right now.