I must pace myself a little better. The ole heart can't take all this racin around from one little phone call.
That one call inspires in me a pace that is seldom seen and only occurs when I'm facing the husband's arrival home after being gone for days on his job.
It's not that I'm filled with any sort of fear. It's more a feeling of embarrassment. I stay home. He goes to work. Most of the time he is either in the cold or the heat, wearing the odor of diesel and splattered with mud; sleep deprived, and hungry. The least I could do is vacuum.
As soon as that white Dodge backs out of the driveway and heads out of town, I emulate a teenager who has the house to himself while his parents are out of town for the weekend.
No parties are thrown here. That would take entirely too much effort. I reach a peak speed of minus something and endeavor to stay there until that phone call announcing his return. I look around at the things I have let slide. A jacket thrown over a chair in the living room, a couple pairs of shoes beneath the coffee table, dishes in the sink, a stack of folded laundry on the kitchen counter, it's not what would be considered a big mess. It's not my usual self. I still consider myself a tidy person. I race around from room to room gathering up a shirt here, hanging up a pair of jeans, and pulling the sheets tight on the bed. It's the look of one person in relaxed mode, the state of this house. That one ring of the phone sets my sneakers moving. There is always enough time to right all the little untidy areas, soak a dish cloth in Pine sol and let the room fill with the smell of fresh scrubbed floors. If time allows, I won't have to do the dish towel thing but will actually use a mop on the floor.
It becomes a real test of skill when you add yard work to the housecleaning. I'm popping wheelies on the lawn tractor as it leaves the shed to get the grass mowed. Winter is less stressful for me. My main focus is housework. The lawn is dormant in the winter and for this I'm grateful.
A pot of navy beans seasoned with bacon simmered on the stove and a black iron skillet held golden yellow cornbread.
A quick shower, lipstick, eye liner, sweater and a pair of jeans and a smile, I stepped out onto the carport at the sound of the white Dodge's engine.
"Hi honey. Welcome home."