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She's Always There

If I could theme the summer I've had with my wife, I'd probably call it The Summer of Oil & Vinegar. And if I had to say which each of us are, she's the oil: resilient, making pieces work together, flavorful (if used properly) and flammable...very, very flammable.

I've been vinegar, plain and simple.

But no different than shaking up vinegar and oil to make a tasty seasoning, we work well together when things (beyond our control) are shaken up.

This past Friday while driving home, the sky turned black and a storm that looked like something straight out of the Bible came down on us. The thunder and lightning was the stuff of movies until it touched down onto a transformer about four blocks ahead of us and set off a bright fluorescent electrical explosion (2 to be exact) and power lines began falling down in front of us like leaves. Then it became very real. We both oohed and ahhed for a few moments. But after quickly deciding we didn't want to die, I did a U-turn in the street to try a different way home.

Then came the hail.

Ever the man, the only thing I was thinking about at this point was my truck and the windows of my truck getting destroyed. The only thing I could see out of my windshield at this point were my windshield wipers, but it was time to get outta Dodge (or whatever you might say in an instance like this).

I accelerated up to seven miles an hour and then had to slow down to about three due to a gust of wind that sent what looked like a wall of water across the hood. A few minutes and a few dead stoplights later, we were idling safe and sound on the ground floor of a parking garage with a few other drivers (all male) who were clearly thinking the same thing.

"You think this is going to collapse on us?" I asked.

"I think we're good," answered my copilot-wife.

Because we left the windows open, we eventually arrived home to find found most of our apartment flooded. Without conversation or direction, we put the place back together and began our evening. By the way, the baby slept through the whole thing.

And that's how it goes with us. Calm, cool and collected with things really start getting crazy. Whether that's the tornado we sat through two weeks ago in Chicago, the touches of Hurricane Katrina we faced while visiting Florida three summers ago, the power blowing in the apartment, the fireball she accidentally created while cooking one evening...bottom line: when things get crazy my wife is there. And together we're cool.

I like that and I'm thankful for it.

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