This week someone cut the locks to our gate and pilfered items from our land. Although the thievery could have been far worse, it still feels violating. A few days before that, my husband and I drove out to the property with our stomachs in knots, anxious to see if the deluge of rain had flooded our future home. Because we (i.e. Randy) haven't put in a lane yet, our Jeep sloshed back through the field until it was impossible to differentiate between the water being sprayed up from the grass and the water simply falling down as rain. When we arrived at our home, my husband and I leapt from stone and board and clomps of mud into the house. I could hear dripping coming from the basement.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Randy said when I mentioned it to him. “It’s happened before.”
Well, isn’t that comforting.
Randy had recently dug a trench for the pipes to the well, and this acted like a culvert that directed water right toward our house. The water line rose until it was flush with the siding, but because lightening was splitting the sky, Randy couldn’t use a metal skid loader to move the trench. So, he took a rake and tried to drag the mud into a ditch that would divert the water’s path. While he did this, I walked through the house to see how the paint color samples looked in the storm’s muted lighting (priorities, ya know), and I had just noticed the sky’s greenish tinge altering the color swath of the den when my husband hollered, “Look outside, Honey! A tornado!”
The instant Randy said this, the whole house seemed to creak like the Titanic after striking the iceberg. I took off running toward the window and peered out. The field below was positively churning with wind. The sky was streaked with gray and green clouds, and lightening kept zigzagging across them as if hoping to steal attention away.
Thankfully, the “tornado” had dispersed before I was able to view it and emit a scream that would’ve shattered every window pane in the house along with my husband’s eardrums. About fifteen minutes later, once the storm’s raging had ceased, my husband climbed into the skid loader and dug a path that immediately drained the pooled water around the house.
Although the flooding crisis had been diverted (literally) and the thieves had only stolen a few tools, our forty acre piece of Utopia had suddenly lost its allure. In short, I had grown weary of the house. It felt like a cedar-sided black hole created to suck up our time, money, and energy. For date night this Friday, where I usually bedeck myself in a skirt, heels, and chandelier earrings, I instead brushed my teeth, swiped on some deodorant, traded my sneakers for clogs and called it good.
During the drive, I leaned back against the carseat with my eyes slitted open, trying to fight off sleep. Randy clutched the steering wheel with both hands and stared at the barren road with his job throbbing. Both of us had no patience for waiters and complicated menus that evening, so we went to the grocery store to grab a few items and purchase a plant my mother had hinted she would love for Mother’s Day.
While we were in the garden area, my husband noticed the sushi bar beside it and asked if I wanted anything. I was famished, so we purchased a twelve piece avocado and cream cheese concoction and took it out to the car. Using the console as a table, I passed Randy a set of chopsticks and peeled the wrappings off of mine. I squirted soy sauce on the sushi, a dab of wasabi, and a peel of ginger. As the flavors burst in my mouth, I looked over at Randy and garbled, “’Member the ’irst time ew had sushi?”
Randy nodded around a mouthful, swallowed and said, “Yep. Our honeymoon.”
Ahhh, our honeymoon.
I was suddenly whisked out of the dirty Jeep and back to the garden island of Kauai. I remembered waking up and walking down to the private beach where we snorkeled and pointed out the fluorescent colors of the fish (of course, I had a hard time with just pointing and almost drowned myself after trying to talk). Having feasted our eyes on the delicate beauty of these fish, we would then walk up to a restaurant and feast on their brother and sister’s culinary scrumptiousness as we ate them in a sushi roll.
Jerking me away from paradise, Randy asked, “You wanna go to Lowe’s?”
Did I want to go to Lowe’s? Ummm, no.
What I wanted was to go bake under the sun for about two months, until my freckles all clotted together and I looked like the tawniest shade of brown. I wanted to cornrow my hair, get a henna tattoo, learn how to surf and do that Hawaiian hand gesture for “Hang Loose.” What I wanted was to forget that bumblebees had decided to use our house as their personal burrowing ground. I wanted to forget that orange-bellied swallows had confused the eaves of our house for a barn and had built nests that will be destroyed once everything is enclosed. I wanted to forget that the basement’s drywall needed replacing, and that thieves were just waiting for us to close the gates so they could come along and cut through them. What I wanted….
Randy turned the car key and shifted into Drive.
“Are you heading to Lowe’s?” I asked.
“Fine, I wanted to check out their toilets anyway. We should get one that has powerful suction so I don’t have to clean it all the time.”
“Sound good, Honey,” he said, reaching for my hand.
As our fingers interlaced, I recalled how we had strolled hand and hand down that Kauai beach less than three years ago. Though going toilet shopping sure wasn’t as romantic as that, when you’re with the person you love, somehow all that humdrum stuff life throws at you ain’t so bad.