I walked in the door and smelled the fruit warming up in our food dryer. Jason had gone out to the orchard and picked apples and pears, sliced them up, and got them drying.
Forty cups of blueberries sit in our freezer, the product of Jason's hard work.
The new deck is almost completed. Jason and my dad have to finish up the railing, and then it'll be all done.
I can't quite identify the exact feeling I have as I survey everything Jason has done. Gratitude, for sure. Pride, yes indeed. Love, filled to the brim and overflowing.
But there lurking beneath all the thankfulness to have him home, is our mutual feeling of unease, a squinty-eyed look that reaches somewhere deep inside. A hint of panic that I push back continually with the mantra, "It's okay. We're fine. Who needs a job anyway?"
Because here it is: Jason didn't get hired for the school year, and he hasn't had any substitute calls yet. It's early, we tell ourselves, school just started last week. No real need for subs. No fretting about the phone not ringing.
And yet he checks the job listings every night...right after I check our bank statements.
It's weird, having him home all the time. Especially weird since I have work three days a week, so I've been relying a lot on Jason to do some of the things I might normally do: Make the girls lunches, take the girls to school, pick the girls up from school. The other day he called me while I was at school, and I talked him through the process of finding our medical files (normally my job) and getting immunization records. Then I was reminded that our health insurance runs out in two weeks.
Don't get me wrong. I love having Jason home. I love that we still get to take turns getting up in the morning with the girls. I love that he isn't spending his evenings or weekends doing schoolwork. I love walking through the door and smelling dried fruit. I love that he went shopping today and told me about shoe sale he saw (seriously. he's a dream come true).The perpetual vacation isn't all bad, of course.
It's just that for the non-independently wealthy, a three-digit income doesn't go very far. We've got lots of savings, enough that there's no real danger...except of our house dreams being postponed even more.
In the end, maybe that's what gets me the most. I can't tell. I'm happy with where we're living now, and have no problem living here for a few years. But I get twitchy thinking about spending any of that money we have in savings. Emotional soup--feeling thankful and paranoid and happy and worried all at the same time.
This much I know: in the dead of winter, I'll be super grateful for those frozen blueberries filling my freezing.