Last spring I scooped out most of the ash. I left some in there because I have learned that a little bit of ash helps the fire take hold. I don't know why that's the case, but that's been my experience.
Husband, by contrast, is
I slept my usual odd weekend hours last Saturday night, and before I went back to bed at 5:30am I hauled out the industrial size slow cooker and levered in a hunk of beef that had thawed long enough to need cooking soon. When I woke up at 8:30, it smelled to me . . . like Christmas morning . . . with the cozy waft of roasting meat winding tendrils of brown savory goodness up the stairs. Husband had been up for a while, and as I poured my coffee, I asked him, "What did you think when you woke up and smelled beef cooking?"
I wasn't hoping for extravagant compliments on my housewifely skills, but I expected something along the lines of, perhaps, "It smelled good."
The sensualist to whom I am married thought for a minute, searching his memory for his exact thought upon waking, and answered, "I smell beef cooking."
I am pleased to report that for some time now I have been able to keep control of the laundry. Not even the odd sock has exited the dryer through the invisible portal to the alternate universe where socks go. In the past much larger garments have vanished. For a while every time I did the laundry, another pair of Husband's jeans disappeared. Less to put away, but puzzling for me to see his stack of jeans dwindling there in the closet. In frustration one day I asked him where his jeans were disappearing to. He paused to consider and murmured, "Let's see . . . what night did I come home without pants on?"
Husband is beginning to remind me of my uncle Red. One morning at breakfast, my aunt offered more coffee, and as she filled his cup, cautioned, "It's the bottom of the pot." Red tasted, stretched his lips to a flat line and sucked in air at the corners. "Tastes like it," he said.