In the quiet car coming home from the doctor appointment that changed everythng, Tim attempted to make a joke about our situation. (Remember that ultimately, what the doctor had explained to us had not registered with Tim. I do believe he went into a kind of shock.) In any case, he made a joke.
"Tim," I said, "we've been married for over 25 years, and just in case you have not noticed, when I get afraid, I cover it up by being mad. If I'm very afraid, I am very mad. Right this moment, I'm more afraid than I've been in my life, so I'd strongly suggest that you don't try to turn this into a joke. It will not end well."
I spent a couple days building my concrete retaining walls on either side of the basement mandoor. They turned out quite nicely, and I enjoyed the digging, stacking leveling, concrete and rebar work. It was my project, and I worked alone hauling the concrete across the yard. It was good exercise.
Tim was working on his own project. He had used the tractor to fill in around the house where the dirt had settled or washed away in the rain. He scooped up dirt from the still huge pile of dirt left from when the basement was dug out, and moved it up against the house. I shoveled it in place. In the tight places this was accomplished with a wheelbarrow, and I used the pickaxe to loosen dirt from the pile. It was good hard manual labor and, strangely enough, it made me feel good and strong and able to do anything, which I really do think that I need to feel right now. It's reassuring.
Anyways, I worked on the second side of my retaining wall yesterday. Tim had gotten 2 tons of gravel and was using the weighted dump truck to tamp the soil around the foundation of the house, and then dumping piles of gravel encircling the house which I would be pushing on top of the dirt when I got done with what I was doing.
At one point, working away, I noticed that he was backing the truck up on the bank that the walk way was cut through. It's hard to explain, but the dump truck was over my head backing up on an unstable bank that was washing away, which was why I was building the walls.
"Huh-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!" I hollered.
Tim stopped the truck and got out. "What?"
"You're getting awfully close to the edge of that bank. If it crumbles, I'm down here."
He looked in an unconcerned way.
"Okay, in a couple months, you're going to need me, so you might want to hold off killing me until after that."
He laughed and got back in the truck. I noticed that he did go work on another side of the house.
I continued what I was doing. I guess we're both feeling more confident about things now that the situation figures into our jokes.