Usually, upon parting with Jason, it takes me a while to straighten back out. If he does the leaving, I nestle in a warm blanket with the beagle and allow the sleep of impending loneliness to wash back over me. If I do the leaving, I spend four or so hours behind the wheel in silence, sorting out the hopes and frustrations of this life with my Creator.
We spent a whole five days together for the first time since before we became vicars over Christmas. It was amazing. The week back to work was lost somewhere between mountains of work, a summit on poverty and a dizzying head cold. Today, though... today I laughed. I slept in until 8 o'clock with 38 pounds of snoring hound by my side. I took an extended shower, braided my hair, packed my "One Good Woman" tote and filled the travel mug with the last mug of pumpkin coffee for the year.
Together, Tucker and I faced and conquered the 4,000 feet of treacherous curves that separates us from good produce and cheap gas. Well, technically speaking, I faced the mountain and he hid his face in the seat cushion to stave off car sickness... but you get the picture. We arrived at the open air farmers market and loaded up on handmade, crusty breads, farm fresh eggs and an adventure into an unknown squash. Armed with these tasty treasures, we turned a few blocks and discovered the fabric shop of wonders. I only bought a few notions, but plan to brainstorm exciting things for the many friends who are expecting wriggly little ones of their own soon and return.
I made a quick stop at the Brand Name Bookstore further into town and purchased a few new magazines and a book to tide me over until my mind can be made up on good reads to order from Amazon.
And when it was time to load the car back up, I found the local NPR station. I'd nearly forgotten how much "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" makes me laugh aloud. The Subaru, as it breezed through the miles of tree-lined road and bumbled back up and over the mountain, clung to that NPR station until it could no longer be heard through the fuzz. The laughter still clung aching in my cheeks. Lovingly prepared breads, new notions, a magazine on the happenings of the world and a carsick beagle topped off with a heaping scoop of Carl Kassell has brought me back to life.
Today I laughed... and remembered that in the midst of the isolation and quiet, God exists. In the middle of a bobbling beagle and a mountain of great proportions, there is a God who brings laughter and life to the surface.
And for that I am ever grateful.