My husband’s favorite flowers have always been daffodils and tulips. In that order. To be honest, I was never thrilled about either until I discovered the existence of double-petaled flowers, but even so, I prefer sweet peas, hollyhocks, and roses. That said, I’ve had nothing against daffodils and tulips. I think they’re pretty. I plant them, and I don’t remove the ones already in the ground. But they aren’t my favorite, the way they are his. Likewise, he thinks of my favorite flowers.

So much of our marriage is like that.

I think most people’s marriages are like that.

He left at dawn today. I packed ham and Easter eggs in his backpack. We celebrated early this year. He hauled his clothes out to my pick-up. He’s taking it; it’s the only rig we have with a valid registration. I’m borrowing my mother’s moose of a suburban until we can get the state to send a duplicate title so I can register my V-dub Bug. I’m glad I have something to drive. I literally need it to get beyond the driveway (closest town is 4 miles uphill, on a windy grade; there’re two gas stations, a restaurant, a chapel, and a school there; the next town isn’t much bigger, but is less slum-y; the closest small metro area is 50 miles away).

I’ll miss him.

But I’ll also enjoy having him gone.

Dinner can be noodles and shrimp every night, if I’d like. That would get old after a few months. Which is when his job ends and he comes home.

The puppy doesn’t know he’s gone, as in, not returning in a day. I think the kitten might be a little smarter; she knows a “trip” when she sees one. Our bird prefers to hog me, so he’ll be happy.

It should be much easier to keep up to pace with the dishes, laundry, and sweeping the floor. Ugh, laundry. I need to launder puppy’s bed (she puked rotten fish and dog food all over it last night; I used a shovel to clean it. Vomit should not wriggle.) and I’m not looking forward to that. But you do what you gotta do.

You do what you gotta do.

We tell ourselves that a lot. First, it was to get through an assignment, then a class, a semester, a year, then to graduation, wedding planning, moving, unemployment, moving again, fixing up a house that the fire chief suggested to use as fireman practice.

You do what you gotta do, and right now, that is earning some money. And if that means having the hubbs travel 23 hours and across the continental US, then that’s what is going to happen. That’s what is happening.

It’s time to embrace my introverted nature again. Get cracking on writing. Put out more books. No more shoulder-poking at crucial moments of character interaction. No more reading over my shoulder. No more asking if this or that is going to happen. No more “Lovies! Whatcha doin?” even though it is plain what it is that I am doing. No more “You don’t pay attention to me. You’re having an affair with your book, I know it.”    …that one might as well be true.

I will not miss that. Or so I tell myself.

I have a whole day to myself. Yesterday, I would have known what to do with it. But today?

Today I gotta do what I gotta do.

And that involves deep cleaning so I’m not staring at the mess while I’m trying to think about my next ten words. It also involves sending him a picture of the first opened daffodil in the yard.

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