Here’s to Us

It’s been a long, sweaty, uncomfortable few days at Casa de Brown.

Last week the AC went out. After a long series of screw-ups that will be funny in a few months, when we look back on this, the repair guy told us it would be until the middle of this week before the parts are here and it can be fixed.

For reference, it’s been 100 or higher for weeks.

Hubs and I were walking through the store, on the hunt for a portable ac unit, grumbling about inept repair guys, and the house being too hot, and why did this have to happen July 4th weekend; when I mentioned that we have lived through worse times before.

Our first place, the first that was ours with no roommates; back when he was in the Army, was a trailer. A painted bright green, trimmed in yellow, so garish you could see it from orbit, trailer. It had bay windows that faced the east, and during the summer, even with the ac going full blast, it was outrageously hot.

The next place was a trailer in the same park, this time painted aqua and trimmed in purple. (This was a theme in the park.) Across the street from our driveway was a hundred or so acres of swamp. We had gators. We had carnivorous bugs that hunted fish and flew. THEY FLEW. We had snakes. We had mosquitoes so large they would carry you off.

The summer Hubs was in Afghanistan, it rained every day for 6 weeks. The grass grew water-logged and died, and I am here to tell you that rotting grass stinks. Bad.

Once we had feral cats get up under the trailer, fighting, and one of them tried to crawl up the dryer vent.

One day, during the Summer of Rain, I went outside to get the mail. There was a nearly 5 foot long gator sunning himself in my driveway. He hissed at me, and I nearly broke my ankle getting back up the steps to the front door.

A hurricane came through, just the outer bands of rain and wind made it in-land to us. The trailer rocked in the wind, we sweltered through a day without power.

We drove nearly 3,000 miles in the summer, across the Deep South, to move to California. I was 20 weeks pregnant, we had a 3 year old, my Mom and our dog in my truck, Hubs had both cats in his car. Someone needed to pee all the time. There were stretches of time where the only stations on the radio were Christian music, NPR, and Tejano music.

After we made it here, we scrambled to find a place and get settled before I had Pudge.

We have fought, and fought, and fought some more.

He has deployed twice, leaving me behind.

I lost two siblings to cancer, and then an aunt. Hubs had to stand by, pretty much helpless, as I struggled through layers of grief. He still has to deal with it, when it comes back to me.

We have faced the prospect of life after the Army, and put ourselves back together. The time apart took its toll, and there have been incredibly rough times, where we fought each other, and fought towards each other, slogging through the bullshit that was between us.

So this? This is uncomfortable. This has been stressful, and hot and sweaty.

But we have been through worse. Here’s to us.

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