When Keith comes home from work, I meet him out by the driveway, instead of waiting for him in the house. I love to kiss him when he is still in his uniform, and his uniform starts to come off just as soon as he gets in the door.
Yesterday, instead of greeting me in his usual affectionate way, he nodded his head toward the open garage door.
"How long has that been open?" he asked calmly. I knew it was the calm before the storm.
By the way, making sure the garage door is closed is a cardinal rule in the Indiana household. It is of utmost importance that all of Keith's vehicles, toys and tools be safely sheltered behind its paneled protection.
Unfortunately, I enter and leave the house through the garage door, and we all know that I am not the best at remembering these small, practical details.
"Oh, don't be angry," I pleaded. "We were angry all yesterday. I don't want to be angry anymore."
And so we weren't. We had reached argument saturation point and were willing to let even an open garage door slide for the sake of marital peace.
There is just so much on our plate right now; it seems like arguments are inevitable.
Keith has this instinctive urge to go up to Colorado and straighten things out with his own two hands. It's just who he is. He gets frustrated hearing everything second-hand, from several different people. He wants to have boots on the ground.
I myself do not want to pay traveling costs when we are carrying two house payments. Everything considered, I think simply paying his buddy to do the repairs will still be cheaper than gas and food costs for travel. I remind him that he also wanted to go out when the new roof was being put on, and he didn't, and everything turned out fine.
This calms him for about two point five seconds and then he is back to thinking, planning, working an angle. He's always coming up with ways to out-think and out-maneuver the enemy, whoever or whatever that might be- heaven help them.
His uniform might come off, and he might amble around the house in shorts and socks, looking like nothing more than a harmless husband, intent on cruising Craig's list for deals.
But don't be fooled. He is a deadly machine, a trained and experienced NCO, and his two basic responsibilities are uppermost in his mind at all times: accomplishment of his mission and the well fare of his soldiers.
This includes me, the house and the garage door.