Savor the Moments
After a fairly rough week trying to align myself, I spent this morning doing very little. I watched the news, putzed around the house for a while and finally found myself in the shower around 11:30. By noon, I was terribly hot and laid down on the bed to cool off. I whined until The Husband came in and turned the fan on, he hopped in bed and cupped my face while rubbing my cheek. Somehow, in the middle of our conversation about nothing I drifted off to sleep in my favorite spot… his armpit. I woke with a startle at 12:45 and asked what time it was, knowing The Husband had to leave for work at 1:30. He replied, “Don’t worry about it” in that gentle tone of his. I drifted back into slumber until finally waking at 1:12. I asked, “Why did you let me sleep?” He answered, “Because I love watching you sleep. You’re beautiful. You’ve been stressed this week and I’m sure you’ve been up since the crack of dawn. Time for some you time.” He sat there on the bed with me for an hour while I slept, just so he could spend time with me.
This afternoon I did some shopping by myself. I needed some cold weather gear to get me started. The air has turned slightly chilled, like a martini, stirred. I love spending time in my own company. It makes me feel like I’ve finally reached adulthood. I’m comfortable with just me.
I was preparing to go to a Barbecue when The In-Laws called this evening (and I have exciting news coming tomorrow!) I spoke with them for a bit about a million things. I love that I can talk to them. I love that I’ve found an extension to my own family. While I was on the phone with The In-Laws, The Husband called to tell me he wasn’t going to be home until late. I asked if he’d like me to bring him dinner, he replied “Well, only if you don’t have anything else to do.” The barbecue could live without me. I ran in the kitchen and made broccoli cheese soup, threw it in to-go containers, then into a pink-lined longerberger basket and raced out of the door.
It was 8:20 by the time I got to the local airport. The Husband was waiting for a small jet to leave before he could come home. I stood outside the terminal building until he found me, I don’t like going to the airport by myself. I’m sure it’s a throwback from active duty days, seeing the barbed wire that lines the flight line and the ECPs (Entry Control Points) requiring Top Secret status to walk through on most days.
The Husband came out of the shadows and led me into the building. We sat at a counter inside the terminal office that overlooked the flight line of the itty-bitty local airport. There were several planes parked outside, shutdown for the night. A large jet (Challenger) was parked closest to us with the APU running (a small engine that allows the lights/ac/radios/satellites to stay on). I asked if the plane was getting ready to take off and The Husband said, “No. It’s been sitting there with the APU on since I got here this afternoon.” “What? That’s like 7 hours ago! Why?” I asked. We talked about the inefficiencies of the extremely wealthy, about how they can’t plan… so multi-million dollar planes have to stay on alert all day. The pilots aren’t given a takeoff time, so they have to remain alert and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Ridiculous.
I told The Husband it was too bad they weren’t taking off soon, I’d love to watch. He said, “Oh, the game should be over soon, they’ll probably leave if you want to stick around. We can drive out to the end of the runway and watch it takeoff overhead.” Wow. The last time The Husband and I had planes flying directly (and I mean, about 100 feet) over our heads, he asked me to marry him.
We talked about our days and I inhaled the lingering smell of JP-8 (Jet fuel), something I miss about not being around an Air Force base. A short while later, the passengers pulled up in a Jeep, parked next to the plane and started loading their day’s worth of shopping. Soon, they were boarding… I looked expectantly at The Husband, wondering if he had forgotten his promise to watch and feel the plane leave. He grinned at me, grabbed my hand and we jogged to the hangar. He pointed at an old tractor and said, “You’re going to have to drive.” I looked at him and said, “Uh. Problem. I’m a city girl. I’ve actually never been close enough to a tractor to touch it… and you want me to drive this monstrosity with all of these lever things?” “Yes, hop on. You’ll be fine.” he assured me.
The tractor roared to life as he turned the key. He pointed to my left foot, “Clutch.” Then my right foot, “Brake.” My right hand, “Throttle.” Between my legs, “Gears. Let’s go.” He threw the gears on the right into reverse, then the gears on the left to 2. He instructed me to slowly let go of the clutch, then he hopped onto the back of the tractor, standing on two bars, wrapped his arms around me and I jerked out of the hangar. He yelled, “CLUTCH!” I slammed the clutch in, screeching to a halt. He threw the gears on the right into something else so that when I let go of the clutch we crawled forward. “Throttle!” I heard in my ear. I pulled the throttle toward me and we took off at a dangerous speed down the flight line to the taxiway.
“I’m scared!” I screamed into the cool night air. The Husband squeezed tightly to my waist and whispered in my ear, “I’m here. You’re okay. You’re doing great.” We didn’t make it to the runway before the big jet took off, but we got a front-row seat from the rusty tractor as we sailed down the taxiway.
I savor these moments, as the Air Force simply doesn’t believe in tractors on a flight line and I definitely don’t have Top Secret clearance…