By Gretchen Leigh
My husband and I broke out the RV for the season last week. It happened a lot earlier than usual, though I do remember one spring break when we loaded up our 20th century RV and took off for the “sunbelt” of eastern Washington with our daughters. The practically non-existent town of Maryhill, near Goldendale, has an odd vortex that makes it sunny most of the year in spite of the surrounding rainy areas.
These days our timeliness is because of the huge swap meet my husband attends every year in Portland, Ore. I’ve never gone with him because, well, it’s just a lot of car parts. He really wouldn’t want me with him anyway. I’d be like a 2 year old, yanking on his sleeve asking if he was done yet, begging to sit down and take a break, or wanting to find a restaurant to stop and eat and get out of the rain. There is no room for pause in “swapmeetdom” because there are deals to be had. I’m fine with that, because I really enjoyed sitting in the RV, being away from the house without domestic obligations staring me in the face.
Plus, with the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, or in my case the newfound freedom I discovered now that my youngest graduated from high school, I’ve turned all my love and attention to my husband. That means I will no longer tolerate his clandestine date with bachelorhood once a year, where he walks all day on the brutal concrete, sleeps in the back of a car in dark alleys or parking lots, then after two days of said cruelties to his body, drives home. We own an RV. An RV we updated to the 21st century. There is no reason, at his age, he should be abusing himself. I’d like to keep him around for awhile.
So I put my foot down, found an RV park 10 minutes from the swap meet, and down we drove, loaded with all the comforts of home. With internet access and a new determination to get more serious about my writing career, I was in hog heaven for those two days. My husband was a determined man even in the driving rain and was gone 12 hours each day. To each his own, that’s why our marriage works.
I do believe he should have prostrated before me when he dragged himself back to the RV after the brutality of his day. What’s not to love about a wife who insists on a warm, comfortable bed and a hot meal for her man? He didn’t, but I know he was grateful by the way he snored every night.
When I packed the RV in anticipation of what to cook while we were gone, I was also aware that my daughters would still be home. Though perfectly capable of cooking, I knew they wouldn’t. So because I am their mother I made sure to leave the leftovers in the house from the meals I made earlier in the week.
As I gathered food for our trip, my husband was standing in the kitchen between the fridge and me. I was putting away the chicken wings and potato salad from dinner and I handed him a container of food. “Does this go in the RV?” he asked hopefully.
“No, I’m leaving that for the girls.”
“Why can’t we take it with us?”
“Because I know the kids won’t cook real meals while we’re gone, so I want to make sure they have a couple complete dinners. Besides, you’re traveling with the chef.”
Really, is a little bowing down before me too much to ask?
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. You can read more of her writing and her blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh,” or twitter @livewithgleigh. Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.