Well, it finally happened. The Carpenter has run out of recycled materials and thus out of building projects. It’s a shame, really.

Ever since the pandemic layoffs took my beloved Carpenter off the job site, I look forward to coming home from work each day because there is a surprise of some sort waiting for me.

Last week, it was beautiful handcrafted garden boxes. This week a tiled patio in the yard, (thanks to our neighbour who offered us patio stones).

This is much better than the surprises I anticipated. I confess, each night when I come home I walk throughout the house and check the furniture to make sure my husband hasn’t sawed off the wooden table legs for garden furniture, or repurposed my desk for shelving, or bust up my favourite chair for kindling.

I shouldn’t even publish these thoughts because I am likely giving him ideas. Oh, who am I kidding, he’s thought of them.

Of course, it’s Murphy’s Law that all this unexpected free time would come at a time and in such a way that we cannot financially afford to do all the renovations that he has never had the time to complete. If only I’d bought that vanity unit when it was on sale. He’d have no excuses but to install it. Such is life. But I cannot help but wonder what my husband will do next. I am sure he’ll be creative (see paranoia above). I hope so because aimless is not a good look on my Carpenter, and this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint.

Fortunately, humour has always helped us through the hard times and I believe it will again. I tested this theory on Sunday night. We’d spent hours binge watching our latest television series and it was time to turn in for the night. He made some comment about my need for beauty rest, with a snicker that was audible, and I, without hesitation, retorted with, “Well, you know, I have to get up in the morning, because I’m essential.” Burn. Point for Kelly.

Don’t worry, he laughed.

“Oh you are essential alright,” he said between gasps of laughter. Point for the Carpenter.

But the next morning, when I got up for work, my Thermos was washed and set out for the gluten-free oatmeal I take to work each day. My favourite polar bear coffee mug was waiting next to a fresh pot of coffee. My water bottle stood next to my lunch bag. It wasn’t even 8am, but he was already outside working on whatever surprise would greet me at the end of the day. That’s what love looks like in my home. One day soon, I will miss these little gestures when life returns to normal. And it will.

It’s weird to be deemed “essential” in these times. My work doesn’t save lives. It’s not essential in a way a nurse or doctor is, nor does it offer solutions to the problems we face today. But this is a time when media, most importantly local media, can help our community. Inform. Share. Support. I work with the best team. The fact that my husband respects what I do and why it matters to me, and understands that right now my phone will be at my side while we binge watch our shows, means he understands it is essential.

Me and the Easter Bunny – essential workers. I can hear the jokes already. Happy Easter to you.

WriteOut of Her Mind