Leave the Cannibals
They don’t make them like they used to.
Envelopes used to be easier to rip open, or steam open. Between paper cuts and interlayered plastic, I do better snipping off the shorter side.
Opening up expected news has become a ritual between us. Too long we witnessed memories without each other; every opportunity of future ones we wait until the other is ready to join in the moment. My husband is finally home, so here it goes.
“Dear Mrs. Wingerd, …” and here Hubby cannot wait any longer and must read it side by side with me. Side by side. As we’ve sowed, so shall we reap. Tears, jittery fists, and jostling don’t make reading the letter easy. We jump up and down like fools together. “BABE!!! YOU DID IT!!!”
Immediate plans set the check into a savings account or possibly a mutual fund, not doing anything with it until we’ve slept at least a day. Or fortnight. But this is what we do. We create this safety buffer by releasing ties to it temporarily, and then begin to dream. Will this fund the next research trip for the sequel? Will it provide money for passports for the kids? All of their homeschool education comes out of pocket so communally celebrating the rewards by furthering their world experience makes the most sense.
We clink glasses of a Sheehan bottle we’ve saved for awhile, totally enraptured in this, our moment. Gratitude, silliness, uncontained joy. Definitely a tithe, we remember now. The writing was meant to help our community, so this is an obvious sign we are in the right place doing the right thing. A tithe will complete that literacy program our church significantly supports. What do we do with the rest of it?
We consider a $200 getaway weekend (we can go at it cheaply in New Mexico) and further steam in the enriching affirmation I find so wonderful. And then it becomes obvious: our down payment. I’m a full-time homemaker who doesn’t monetarily add to “the vault”, as Hubs calls it. So far I’ve only participated by protecting it and allowing copious amounts of overtime. This bump in savings would allow us to leave a dangerous, cannibalistic neighborhood even sooner. Again, no permanent decisions until we’ve slept on it. But this grounding thought returns us from the high of anything-possibilities to our current dream growing bigger by the dollar.
I daydream of the future refuge we seek while window shopping on Sunday drives. It won’t be far now. And what a writer, artist, bookworm, and child’s paradise it is.