You’ll be relieved to know that the Carpenter did return home from the Elora waste facility last Saturday, which, as I explained last week, was not something I was certain would happen because that is his sacred place. I can now confirm home truly is where the heart is, and by “heart” I mean the garage where the next load of discarded treasures is being sorted to go to the dump next Saturday (surely you knew he’d plan a return visit).

I don’t know what was more adorable, the Carpenter before he left for the dump or the Carpenter who returned home shortly after. Hard to say. What I realize now is that I seriously underestimated the importance of routine for my man. As I predicted, he was up ridiculously early to strategically load his pickup truck. It’s all about the unloading, you know. Systematic unloads are proper dump etiquette. He checked and double-checked to ensure the load was secure. He waited patiently for the morning to pass and the gates of the Elora waste facility to open. The anticipation was like watching a child waiting for the school bus on the first day of kindergarten, only far more weird. I stood at the window and watched as he drove away, knowing he was the happiest he’d been in months. I was fairly confident he’d return too – he left his wallet behind.

He was adorable when he got home. The Carpenter had a sheepish grin, trying to hide the genuine joy he felt being reunited with his dump friends and their secret nods and silent inside jokes mocking the newbies that don’t back-in to the receptacle spots. There was a lightness to his step and a confidence in his shoulders reminiscent of that time we went on a date and the waitress unabashedly flirted with him, and he was so pleased with himself for still “having it.” I reminded him then how tips work and that the guy at the next table got the same treatment, because, again, tips (I offered to flirt if he’d pay for dinner, but he already was, so the mood was ruined).

With routines restored and space reclaimed, the Carpenter set straight to work organizing the garage, or as we know it: his garage. He was grateful to finally have space and some semblance of order. Tools, nails, screws and drill bits were sorted with care. The totes of mysterious things we don’t need but can’t part with were stacked high on the shelves. Blue recycling bins were set out for weekly curbside collection. The yellow Wellington County bag was set stretched in the large garbage container to hold the household garbage we’d accumulate that week. With his classic rock music, his coffee mug full and his solitude guaranteed, the Carpenter was so content he barely came inside the house all weekend.

You know I had to disrupt his peace, right? I couldn’t help it. I needed a hug from one of the best humans I know on a day when the news of the world was breaking my heart. He grounds me.

I may joke about my husband’s habits, but I will never joke about his humanity. I’m grateful that together as parents we have raised young adults who understand that all of humanity deserves our love, compassion, empathy and respect. Hate has no place in our home or in our hearts. It has no place in our world either.

WriteOut of Her Mind