There are no easy days

Last January, Gar went to Texas for the winter while I stayed home and worked, because I don’t know how long we’re going to live and I like to eat regularly. Wintertime where we live sees 90-120 nights below zero and an average of 39 days of below-zero weather.

This past winter, we almost doubled those below-zero days, and I stayed and endured, which is not on any intelligence quotient scale. If I’m not the dumbest dame on the planet, I’ve got to be close. I should get a plaque that reads, “She’s not bright and she knows it.” 

I went to Texas in April because Gar had a spinal fusion. He had a discectomy 20 years ago, but he’s continued to be plagued with vertebrae ailments. I’m guessing most of his back pain is caused from carrying the heavy burden of being married to me. 

The night before surgery, friends texted well wishes. I replied, “I know when it comes to my culinary inadequacies Gar fears for his life. In order to prolong time until his demise, he’ll do anything to get out of eating my cooking.”

The operation was taking longer than I was told it would. Keeping friends and family updated, I texted, “It’s way past when they said Gar would be out of surgery. The operating room called to say he was fine, but it was more extensive than originally thought. If it’s lengthy because he’s getting liposuction and a chin lift, while I muddle through with flabby thighs, I’m gonna be so mad.”

When Gar was finally taken to recovery, I texted, “He received six screws and a cage and the doctor says it went well.”

A funny friend replied, “I’m glad it’s over but I hope you’re not going to keep him in the cage all the time.”

I replied, “It depends on if he got a tummy tuck.” 

After two days in the hospital, the doctor released Gar, but not before snipping his drains and stitches. Then he immediately threw the scissors and tweezers into the sharps container.

Imagine his surprise when I said, “I just read where hospitals waste billions in medical supplies, so open that up and hand them over.”

When I told our doctor what I’d done, he said, “Oh, my gosh, you country bumpkin.”

Days later, when I told Gar I’d used the items multiple times, he murmured, “You can take the woman outa the junkyard, but you can’t take the junkyard outa the woman.”   

After a week convalescing at our kids, I took Gar to the camper to see if he’d be able to climb stairs to the camper with the convenient bed that forces a person to turn sideways to get around it. Gar could maneuver; so, leaving him on the couch, I made the 10-minute trip back to the kids’ house. 

When Gar and I moved from the hospital, we each had a small backpack and a couple of pillows. Over the week, I toted so much stuff from the RV to the kids, it took me an hour to pack and six trips toting stuff to the truck. I’d basically brought the camper over bit by bit like Johnny Cash hauling pieces of a Cadillac out of the factory in his lunchbox, one piece at a time. 

Right away, we realized the camper didn’t smell very good. From sitting there too long, there was a plugged sewer, so Gar walked me through the remedy; digging hoses from a bay, unscrewing outside water taps, reattaching hoses, opening valves, forcing water back, closing valves, doing it again and hoping for clear water.

The highlight was when I was standing outside watching the sewer flush down the line and Gar, calm as if he were rocking on the veranda smoking a corncob pipe, quietly mentioned, “You might wanna run in and make sure the water isn’t blowing back into the toilet and onto the bathroom floor.”

WHAT? It’s hard to imagine, so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you, I can be surprisingly fleet-footed when the need arises. Sewer splashing across a floor would fit the bill.

Thankfully all was well. I peevishly told Gar, “Boy, that was fun.”

Joking, with a back-woodsy voice, he drawled, “Well gee, hon, ya got to move us to the RV, then ya got to unplug the sewer — what an experience for ya.”

I snipped, “In case you’ve never noticed, I’m super full of marketable skills.”

He quietly nodded. He’s no dummy.