I scanned the landscape ahead for dynamic scenes. It wasn’t difficult. Large, fluffy clouds draped the sky. Lush field grasses satisfied cattle. Hillside oaks exposed twisted limbs, some budded out. The ride along Highway 88 was the first outing since my surgery that didn’t involve a doctor’s appointment.
It was Joe’s idea to eat lunch out. As much as I loved the suggestion, I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Would the 52-mile round-trip wipe me out? I was doing much better, but the memory of bad days after doing too much on good days flashed through my mind.
At that moment, it was easy to think only of myself. Until I looked into Joe’s brown eyes, hungry for a meal he didn’t have to plan, figure out how to prepare, then eat it.
So, the choice whether to go was fraught because my husband deserved a break.
He spent weeks caring for me… plus, the hens, steers, cat, dog, and the yard. He helped me get up and down, administered meds, kept the house clean, our clothes laundered, and dished up store-bought rotisserie chicken, deli soup, scrambled eggs, cold cereal, and hot green tea in a mug served on a dessert plate.
His favorite quotes were, “Can I offer you a hot beverage?” (Borrowed from The Big Bang Theory) and, “My work is never done.” (That one’s from me. Joe even mimicked my dramatic sigh.)
I grabbed my camera and settled in the car with a pillow tucked between my belly and the seat belt. It was a lovely spring day for photography. Despite dirty, spotted windows from recent rains and doggy nose smudges, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play photographer.
I set my camera to sports mode. This feature works marginally well for moving objects or on this occasion a moving car. Once I spotted a desirable vista, I aimed my camera lens, careful to keep the nose smudges and side mirror out of view. I had to act fast, anticipate speed and distance between the utility poles. Then press the shutter release button without hesitating. I was having so much fun, at some point, I giggled.
“What’s so funny?” Joe asked.
I smiled. “I don’t know.” How could I explain the renewed partnership between nature and my camera or the joy that offset my doubts?
Two hours later, we had finished our delicious meal. Joe consumed his first, plus a few bites of mine, and a bulky chocolate cake. He leaned back in the restaurant chair with a contented grin. It was then that I realized he understood my giggle.
We didn’t talk about it.
Men don’t giggle.
But his suggestion gave us a much-needed break and a boost of well-being.