Well, hell week has arrived. So named because it is the week of the year that I hate the most. It is the week when Roy is on the road and I am in charge of the house…and the yard…and the vehicles…and yes, even the dog.
I never realize just how much Roy takes care of without so much as my noticing it…at least, until hell week gets here. Then I know that he maintains a lot of things without my help. The house know this too, and so does the weather and so does the dog. Because hell week is named for the fact that everything that week goes straight to…well, you get the picture.
I try to prepare. I make sure the vehicles are filled up and the furnace tank is adequate. I make sure the electric bill is paid and that all the groceries I need are bought. But it never helps, hell week hits every single year on the week Roy is out of town.
The weather usually begins it. The great blizzard of the 90s hit during hell week, forcing me to try to use the wood stove. My Boy Scout training never took and my ability to make a fire in the stove involves two hours of smoke, ashes and serious tears before I get it going. I have checked the weather for this hell week and they are predicting snow or extreme cold for every day. Roy insists this is not his fault, but I believe it is.
If it snows, that presents several problems…mainly that I depend on Roy to get me out of trouble if I land in a snowbank while driving. Since Roy must take the car that handles well in snow, I am left with the rear-wheel drive car which doesn’t do well in snow or the pickup, whose four-wheel drive uses are a mystery to me. There’s also the issue of shoveling snow. A little snow can be swept, but a lot requires shoveling which is above my paygrade, or even worse, using the snow blower. I know the basic principle, but the snow blower is gender prejudiced and basically evil. The deeper the snow, the more likely it is to fail.
The dog is particularly depressed about hell week, because that means her whole schedule is messed up. I never can remember if she has a cup and a half of the dry food, or some sort of chewy stick and when those things happen. Walks are much shorter than Roy’s because I am a weenie in the cold, and she has to wait longer for me to get home and let her out. She blames Roy for hell week as well and it may be the only thing we agree on.
The crick I develop in my neck is also a result of Roy being gone. I hate to go to bed in the big, empty bed when Roy is gone, so frequently, I fall asleep in the chair in the living room. This results in a terrible kink in my neck which lasts all week. Roy insists that this is definitely not his fault, but I say if he really cared, he’d put something in the bed so it wouldn’t look so empty. I’d most like to find Harrison Ford in there, but I’d settle for a big, comfortable body pillow!
So, you can see why this week is hell week at my house. I burn my food because Roy is not there to gently clear his throat and inquire how the meal is coming. I panic every time the furnace shuts down, fearing it won’t return. And worst of all, there is no one to take care of the light bulbs that burn out or the clocks that need batteries.
Roy protects himself during hell week too. I think he purposely doesn’t call very often that week (he says he puts in long hours so he can get home sooner, but I think he’s just avoiding the daily disaster bulletin.) When he does call, he usually starts the conversation with, “Hi, it’s Roy; what did I do today?”
So if you see me this week, I’m likely to do a lot of whining about hell week…unless, of course, I find Harrison Ford in the bedroom. What do you think my chances are?