On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Calmer Half and I had declared an armistice on our few domestic battles, and were on the road together. Does taking a vet to lunch count when it's my own dearest man?
Every few weeks, I get a desire to be up and gone - not running away from my home, my life, my work, my marriage, or my friends, but just a desire to be up and out on the road, in the air, flying free. Calmer Half knows the symptoms well, from the first time he woke up from a nap to find I'd wandered out the door and ended up in Vicksburg. (Alaskan Geek and Call To Wings could have warned him about that, from times we've headed out on a random drive that ended up climbing a mountain on the way to get coffee, or driving to Girdwood for ice cream, or Seward for dinner...)
Usually he just smiles and wishes me to be careful as I head out the door with headset and plane keys in hand - but today, I didn't want to fly away so much as to tackle a new direction together with him. So we were on the road, talking of novels and pointing out the fall color, and went to a different city just to see their zoo, which was small and didn't take long. After he had a healthy turkey sandwich and I had a grilled cheese sandwich, we satisfied the vague curiosity I'd had since first learning to read billboards out the car window, and finally saw Ruby Falls. Well, I went down and saw the underground waterfall (which is impressive, and the lightshow is beautiful, but I wanted to short out the mood-music speakers). Calmer Half decided he didn't want to walk a mile underground on uneven and slippery rocks and concrete patches, and instead climbed the tower to truly see the view of Lookout Mountain. We reunited for coffee and chocolate muffins on the porch, and then drove home.
It was a wonderful date, and a lovely little road trip, with few spectacular sights and lots of peace, love and contentment - and completely boring as that is to you, dear reader, by the scars and the shrapnel still embedded in my love, these are the precious moments. After all the guns are silent, the recoverable dead are buried, the burned ruins and overlooked mines a continent away... one of my goals in life is to make a marriage that is everything he hoped and dreamed of living for in the quiet moments between the firefights.