Wow what a December! Snow, snow and more snow. There’s another system that’s supposed to be coming through this evening. I’m hoping I can get to Goose’s for the weekend before the weather starts. It’s a pretty straight route, but it’s a 90 mile trip on good roads. To give myself a little extra time and save some mileage, I packed my things last night, so I can leave as soon as I’m done at work. I can’t believe how much driving both he and I do. He’s out on the roads for his job today too. He told me yesterday that he has three customers in the Minneapolis area that he’ll see today. The snow has already begun there. I called Michele for a weather report since she lives in a suburb of Minneapolis.
I imagine Michele on her own newscast with a big map in the background. As she’s ignoring the teleprompter in front of her , she begins, “it’s already snowing, we’ve gotten about an inch so far. But it’s supposed to be a big one! I’m so excited.. you know how I love snow storms.” (She hunkers down with her family and they play board games, put together puzzles and watch movies. I can just see the hot cocoa flowing through her veins.) When I explain that Goose is in her area, she reminded me of all of the car accidents that happened during the last snow event there. Then she blurts out, “Do you think Goose is with the Minneapolis girl? Isn’t that when he would come to see her, when he was working up here?” “Has he heard from her since he broke things off? I can’t believe she’d just graciously go away after all of the money she’s gotten from him.” I felt stunned. I’d been asking myself those same questions in my head. Michele had to head out and walk her dog before the snow got too deep.
I called Tammy next. Thank goodness I have a good cell phone plan and a nickel. Michele had breathed air onto the revolving questions in my head. I needed to consider the answers and their impact. I’m really blessed to have these two girlfriends. They tolerate all of my crazy antics and adventures. They come with tissues and mops when things don’t go quite as I’d planned. And they’re here with pom poms flashing to celebrate when I accomplish a goal. Today, Tammy is the counselor and I’m the client. I fill her in about the snow and the questions rolling around in my head. She asked if I had packed my boots, followed by:
1. “What has he said about her in the past two weeks since he broke it off with her?” Goose had said nothing more about her. Not a word.
2. They’ve been in this arrangement for over a year. Don’t you think she’d have called him by now?” Yes.. I think she would have.
3. “Should he have told you about that?” I think he should have IF their level of contact has changed. Such as, if he’s in Minneapolis with her right now.
It seems you still get quite a bit for a nickel. My mind was feeling as gloomy and gray as the heavy dark clouds rolling in from the north-west. I turned on the radio. I wanted to hear anything but the questions and the possible answers sloshing back and forth in my head. The farther I drove the sadder I got. Tiny little snowflakes began to trickle out of the sky. Blown about by the wind as my car pushed ever closer to that warm comforting kitchen. Just then I got a text from Goose. “Leaving the cities, are you on your way too?” “It’s snowing here.” Yes I am and yes it certainly is.
I arrived before Goose did. The dogs greeted me with tails wagging. I was happy to see them too. I asked them the three questions Tammy had left in my mind. They really didn’t think I had anything to be worried about. I thanked them for their opinions. I found the key in the little box on top of the freezer and opened the door. Ahhhh, there it was, the warm hug of that kitchen. Tears began to sting my eyes. I kicked off my boots and put my bags in the bedroom. Goose had cleared a space for me in the closet. I hung my clothes and tried to let this be the answer I wanted to see. He’s making space for me in his life.
I set up my laptop in the livingroom, and then in the kitchen once again, I unpacked some bars I had made for Goose’s sweet tooth. I opened the fridge and there was a package of meat he’d left defrosting. I scanned the pantry and began dinner. The activity gave my mind the reprieve it wanted. At least I thought it did. But as I searched for pans and utensils I began to feel as if Goose’s wife is here with me. Touching her things, using the spices and dishes that she’d used to make his meals for the past 30 years. She’s the warmth I feel every time I come through the door. In my mind I conjured the idea that she’s here watching out for Goose. I think he didn’t realize how much she meant to him, until she was gone. She’d died suddenly one afternoon without warning. Now, more than a year later, I’m in her kitchen, making him dinner.
Goose arrived as the potatoes began boiling on the stove. He greeted me with a smile and a nice big hug. I didn’t want to let go. It was easier now to push all of my doubts and questions under the rug. Why don’t I ask questions? Because I’m not ready yet to know the answers. He’s here and he’s happy that I’m here. So am I. Now.