What can I do?

My brain had short circuited. I clutched my head and tried to figure out which problem to tackle next.  Just then, Peter peeked around the door. “Can I do anything to help?” he asked.

My pitiful smile didn’t reach my eyes. “Could you give me some peace of mind?” I asked. “That would help.”

He chuckled. “You want a piece of my mind?” he said.

The tears that had threatened dried up. Just that brief exchange lightened my mood.

Van/AK DSC01354

Photos: Sailing to Alaska (2006)

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

Well, well, well.

“Hello,” I said to my husband when I came in the door.
“Hole in the ground,” he replied.
“What?” He often responds with something he thinks is funny.
“I thought you said, ‘Well.’”
“No, I said, ‘Hello.’”
“Oh well.” He grinned.
I laughed, but maybe you had to be there.

Peter explained this hole in the ground—the Grand Canyon—to a visitor who thought he was a guide who knew what he was talking about! (2011)

Peter explained this hole in the ground—the Grand Canyon—to a visitor who thought he was a guide who knew what he was talking about! (2011)

Header photo: At Yellowstone National Park.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

Yesterday was not a good day.

Peter could not remember how to do the simplest of jobs, he was grumpy because I was “telling him what to do,” and I was grumpier because I had to repeat myself endlessly. Meanwhile nothing got done.

Besides, it was an ugly windy day, completely unlike what the weather forecaster predicted.

Late in the afternoon, Peter came to me and asked, “Is there anything else I can do wrong?”

He had a plaintive smile, and of course I melted. “I’m sorry I’ve been so grouchy,” I said.

“No, you haven’t, don’t even say that,” he said. He wrapped me in one of his increasingly rare hugs.

“But you didn’t do anything ‘wrong,'” I said, “you just didn’t do anything.” He loves it when I jab him.

He laughed and danced around the kitchen like an elf. “Ya got me!” he said, and everything was alright again.

Header photo: Wildfire damage in Wyoming, 2011.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.