Batching It

I’m a very happily married bachelor.

Not quite. I’m very happily married and I’ve been a bachelor only the past three weeks while my wife has been helping her parents in Ohio prepare to sell their home and move into assisted living. It’s the longest we’ve been separated in three and a half decades of marriage. Carol will fly back tomorrow. I’m really glad.

Though I miss Carol greatly, I can’t complain about the 23 days she’s been gone. I’ve eaten very well, although I haven’t cooked a lot. Carol left a fridge and freezer full of food. Unfortunately I missed some of it, like the bag of sweet peppers and the cheese which molded in the fridge. And I didn’t see the bananas rotting on the counter. Maybe because they were obscured by the dishes. Carol left me several hamburgers and brats in the freezer ready for me to zap in the microwave, along with a big bag of homemade granola bars (really delicious stuff and healthy, too). But I couldn’t find my way around her packed freezer, so they’ll all be waiting there when she returns.

I fried some eggs, but cleaning the black off the frying pan was the hardest dish-washing job I’ve ever done in my life. Without exaggerating, I scrubbed it a couple hours over three days to get that pan clean. In the meantime, I used another pan. It got blackened, too.

By the way, the local cafe serves really good dinners.

I don’t do laundry when Carol is home, but I managed to wash the clothes without turning any of my underwear pink. Before she left, Carol asked me if I knew how to work the washing machine. I told her I did, but I read the directions on the dial very carefully. My first load resulted in a lot of suds overflowing the drain pipe. That wasn’t too bad in my mind because the washer is leaking about a quart of water in every load. I put a rug in front of the washer to soak it up. It’ll dry in about three days.

I haven’t changed the sheets on the bed. Why bother? On second thought, they’ll be clean for her tomorrow. I don’t know where all the mud on the kitchen floor comes from. I didn’t think my shoes were  that dirty. I’ll have to scrub it in the morning. Yesterday I found some dust balls in the bedroom. Maybe I should sweep that floor, too.

I found a dead mouse in the basement shortly after Carol left. I don’t think I’ll tell her about it because she hates mice. She’ll want to set traps. I don’t think there are any more mice, although the one was not decomposed. It was in the ceiling I tore out for electrical work. I’m glad Carol didn’t have to see it.

Carol is the gardener in the family. I’m not a gardener. The only thing I grow is weeds. I’ve grown many in the past three weeks. I’ve done some weeding in the garden, but I’m sure Carol will spend a lot of time there when she returns.

One thing I’ve learned is that I really don’t like living alone. I told that to the congregation the second Sunday Carol was gone. A lot of people don’t have a choice. Because of singleness, divorce or the death of a spouse, many people live alone. I understand just a little bit better their plight. Yet for me, it was only three weeks. People who live alone need good friends.

This past Sunday I told my mom on the phone that I have a terrific wife. She said she knew that from the beginning. I guess I did, too. But batching it for three weeks makes it very clear.

I can’t wait until tomorrow. Thank you, God, for Carol!