Marty’s photo of the day #4379: My honey comes home today! Deb and I have been married for thirty-eight years (I was five and she was eight on our wedding day), and since we’re both self-employed we are around each other all the time. Yeah, there are times when some little quirk bothers one or the other and a little time apart doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. But the last five weeks have been excessive. It started when I had a two-week-long college speaking tour on the East Coast and she had a two-week-long weaving teaching tour on the West Coast. Then we met back home for a week before she headed to Chicago for two more weeks of teaching.

During our previous times apart, I thought it was worse being the person on the road―because that was usually me―but now that I’ve experienced being the one home alone, I’m not so sure. At least on the road I had plenty of distractions and the exhilaration of being on stage and having an audience hanging on my every word.

At home, it’s only our dog, Nellie, hanging on my every word. Actually, Nellie is just listening for one of the hundred or so words she knows―preferably “walk,” “treat,” “bone,” “ride,” “go,” or “Anti-Sciurophobia”―so going days with only talking to her isn’t nearly as mentally stimulating.

So after being away from my wifely for twenty-eight out of the past thirty-five days, I even miss her little quirks. I imagine that’s somewhat what it’s like being the last surviving spouse in a good marriage: you long to experience the most annoying quirk he/she had while you were both alive.

Deb’s flight arrives in Missoula a little after nine tonight. Since I’m not the least bit worried about who Deb spent time with, I’ll greet her with a big kiss that would be banned if it were in a book in Florida. Nellie, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as trusting and will thoroughly sniff Deb over to determine just how many dogs she has been seeing while gone. Hey, the last time Deb was away, she even spent time with a chicken!