Charlie come home from work the other day, and I could tell straight off, he had some sort of bee in his bonnet.
“What’s a matter?” I ask.
“I’m gonna mow the lawn ‘fore supper,” he says, stormin’ out the door and lettin’ it slam behind him.
“OK. Sounds good.”
Now, in the early years of our marriage, I’d try to get Charlie to tell me what was bothering him. I’d hug him, you know, wanting to make things better. Frankly, all that did was make him feel smothered. Then, I’d end up as miffed as he was. Nowadays, I give him a wide berth, let him work through whatever it is at his own pace. I know when he’s ready to talk about it, he will.
So, I put dinner on hold, and fix myself a little salad to tide me over. And okay, some cheese and crackers might have been involved, but I plead the fifth on that one. While Charlie tears ‘round the yard on his mower, gettin’ his ya ya’s out, I catch up with my Oprah magazine.
An hour later, I see him drive the mower into the shed, and I hop to. Supper was pretty much pulled together, table set. I crack a Bud and put it by Charlie’s plate.
Charlie bursts in, kisses me on the cheek, washes his hands, and asks me the usual, “What’s for supper?”
“Oh, some of that leftover BBQ chicken, potato salad, corn on the cob.”
“Sounds good,” he says, easin’ into his chair. “I’m hungry as a horse.” And boy, was he ever. Had two ears of corn, extra potato salad. I had a smaller portion than usual ‘cause of all that “salad” I ate before.
Charlie starts in. “So, I go down to the town hall to register the truck, right? It’s what? 2:30, 3:00? Middle of the day, and town hall’s not open. Third friggin’ time I’ve tried to get ‘er done!”
“Budget cuts. I think they’re down to a skeleton crew.”
“I guess. I’m lookin’ at the hours on the door. I’m goin’, You gotta be kidding! 10:00 to 2:00 on Thursdays?”
“Tell me about it. I went to the post office the other day to buy stamps and Carolyn was closed for lunch. I’m thinkin’ maybe she should try to take her break some other time of day ‘cause alot of folks can only get there on their lunch break. Then I think, Well, I’ll renew my library book. I go over there, and all I can think is, Sadie must have been havin’ lunch with Carolyn, ‘cause the library wasn’t open, either. Finally, I just give up. Their hours are whacky.”
“Yeah, and don’t get me started on the transfer station. Used to be open Tuesdays, right? Tuesdays and Saturdays. Now it’s Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, something like that. It’s screwy. Must have meetings to see how hard they can make it for the rest of us.”
“I know,” I says. “Thank goodness the Dairy Queen has regular hours. You want to go get a Peanut Butter Parfait?”
“Well, purely for medicinal purposes.”
“Absolutely, doctor’s orders. But let’s hop on it before they close!”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Coming Up This Summer
July 14: The View From He’ah with guest Roger Goldenberg, PPMtv, 7:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
July 16: The Best of Ida, Deertrees Theatre, 7:30pm, Harrison, ME
August 13 & 14: The View From He’ah Variety Show, ACT ONE Summer Festival, Thursday at 2:00pm and Friday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
August 15: Finding Your Inner Moose Book Reading, Newport Cultural Center, 11:00am, Newport, ME