We went directly from living in suburbia to the woods. One day we were taking the garbage to the curb, the next day we were hauling water from the well half a mile to our new home: a round tent twenty four feet in diameter.
Because our son was just a tiny baby, I spent most of my time breastfeeding him which means that Todd was the one who had to learn on the job how to compost and cut wood, how to chase away the skunk (pro-tip: blaring rap music on the boombox is NOT a good idea, she will just start to stomp her feet at you) and how to do dishes without running water. And after many years of being the star at work, Todd missed the client feedback and praise from his boss. He felt like he’d never grow competant at any of it.
And then, one day, he did all the dinner prep for channa masala and went to cook it on our little camp stove when he realized we were out of propane gas. Outside, torrential rain poured down. The fire pit was a pool of water, the wood was soaking wet, but we were all hungry and they do not deliver pizza to The Woods.
Todd – who views rain the way your cat does – went outside and put a piece of tin over the fire grate. He scooped out the water. He brought out dry paper, broke up wax candles, and – water pouring from his long hair and mountain-man beard – he slowly, painstakingly, made the fire catch. He came back inside and got all of his pots and pans and went back out.
I watched him from inside, under the cozy blankets. Shirtless, he cooked curry and rice. Grinning from ear to ear. He didn’t know I was watching when he triumphantly raised both fists and looked up at the sky and said, “YES! I DID IT!” (Two years later we saw Cast Away and just fell over laughing when the fire scene happened. “I know how THAT feels,” he said.)
Want to know more about Todd? My solo show, Boxes Buried Deep, is running November 14 – 16.
Who wins when a crazy old lady battles a Princess? A true story.
November 14: 8 PM
November 15: 4 PM and 8 PM
November 16: 4 PM