Last week, when Matt left to go offshore, I came home to (drum roll please)........... a raised toilet seat. And the weirdest thing happened (another drum roll please)..............it made me SMILE.
According to popular belief, I should have been annoyed, right? Weird as it may seem, that raised toilet seat made me miss my husband more than ever. And as much as this kind of thing drives me crazy when he's home, I find myself unable to pick up his things and put them up. I cannot move his baseball cap and cigar cutter from their current home on the side table, to where they belong. I just can't do it. But, when he's home, I am constantly putting things "up." Just ask him! I can't tell you how many times he asks me "Hey, where's my (insert any number of objects here)? Did you put it up?" But as I'm typing this, there is a half empty can of Timberwolf staring at me, begging to be thrown away, but I. Can't. Do. It. This is my mourning period. The week after my oilfield husband leaves for a 4 week hitch, I am a little off.
Being married to an oilfield man takes a unique type kind of "getting used to." In fact, I'm not sure if I'll ever really get used to it. We live life in hitches, 2 weeks and 4 weeks at a time. So adjusting to life one way or another takes some time. I have my week of mourning, not picking things up and getting teary eyed at the left over pickled bologna in the refrigerator (something I would never eat, but Matt absolutely loves). When Matt comes home, he has the 48 hour rule.
Here's how it works: For 48 hours after Matt comes home from offshore, I won't ask him to A.) make any decisions (what to eat for dinner, what movie to watch, what kind of beer to buy, should we go to so-and-so, etc.) and B.) do anything productive by my (or anyone else's) request. This works out pretty well for both of us. It gives him time to decompress, relax, and enjoy sitting around in his boxers drinking coffee for a few days. It gives me time to breath deep and get used to his stuff being everywhere again. (I'm only kidding...well, kind of).
I think I enjoy those 48 hours as much as he does. Don't tell him this, but I really like to see him relaxed and lazy! It makes me feel good to know that he's content just being at our house, cuddling on the couch and making me watch umpteen million episodes of River Monsters (and he wonder's why I'm scared of river water...) He works so hard when he's offshore, so when he's home, I want him to enjoy his kingdom. But when those 48 hours are up, I also love love love to get into some kind of project with him.
My husband is a jack of all trades. Want to brew some beer? Ferment some wine? Build a bed? Plant a garden? Set a trot line? Make a pot of ratatouille? Clean a few rifles? Build a fire pit? Repair a boat? Restore a car? Discuss the philosophy behind Harry Potter? Rebuild a carburetor? Matt can help you with ALL of those things! I love having such a handy guy!
I get so excited when he's ready to do a project! I LOVE projects! And man, we have some good ones! Like the wine rack we built (I say we, but I really just provided design incite and handed him tools). Do you know how many bottles of wine we have at any given time? A lot.
|I keep forgetting to take a picture of the finished product, but as you can see from the in-progress picture , building it was a blast!|
And then there was the table top and legs to go over Gumbo's kennel to make it more aesthetically pleasing (until I picked out a terrible paint color - the paint chip said "roasted squash" the actual name should have been "road sign orange" - and haven't gotten around to re-painting it yet.)
|I'm pretending not to flip out over my imperfect drilling skills.|
|The pen cap held between the teeth is a sign of a true craftsman!|
|Now, doesn't that look better! Notice the legs that Matt didn't want to build, but I HAD to have and made him build anyway, are not installed. Sometimes the man is just plain right about things. What's your opinion on the orange paint?|
And there's the cat condo that Matt built for Chopper. (Gumbo really didn't let Chopper keep that to himself. It has become a share toy.)
|Chopper's checking it out...not too sure what to think yet.|
|Now he loves his kitty condo! Way up high, out of reach of his canine brother!|
And just to show you how proud I am, here are a few snap shots of my favorite Matt moments!
|Kayaking the Bayou Sara. He caught a ton of fish and the chair that blew off our dock a few weeks before!|
|Teaching me to make apple wine! (Mmm, good!)|
|Winning first place in the Wheat category at the "Keg and Barrel 1st Annual Outlaw Homebrew Competition."|
|Opening a bottle of Strawberry Meade, brewed by Matt himself!|
|And feeding the parakeets at Audubon Aquarium. (This shows his dedication to making me happy, as I was DYING to go to the aquarium and he was a bit under the weather from a few too many Irish Car Bombs at the Boondock Saints the night before.)|
|Our wedding day! He only had about 6 hours of sleep in the 48 hours before this moment. (Hey, try planning a wedding on an oilfield schedule, there is no telling what might happen...) Best day ever!|
So to conclude, my point is this: We miss each other like crazy, but that only makes the times together even more wonderful. My favorite thing in the whole world is hearing that diesel truck pull into the driveway after 4 weeks of him being gone. Its not easy, but after two years of doing this, I think we might have gotten pretty good at it. We have an ongoing joke: Something is going to break, something is going to leak, something is going to make funky noises, or some wild creature is going to make our boat dock its new home, but not until his boat leaves port and there's nothing he can do about it. (Makes for a very resourceful Sarah!)
Does your significant other spend a lot of time away from home? If so, I would love to hear about how you handle certain situations? Do you have a 48-hour type rule? I want to know!
Cheers to a fast 4 weeks!!