Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day - A Brigid Guest Post


It's that time of year folks, flying cupids (best handled with a Kentucky longrifle), Hallmark cards, and often expected expensive presents.

I appear to have received what appears to be an antique box.

My gift to my husband, otherwise known as Partner in Grime, was wrapped. The bottle of single malt was not for I inherited the wrapping skills of my Dad and Submariner brother.

You could give my Mom a 15-inch scrap of decorative paper and she could gift wrap a Sikorsky in less than 10 minutes. I will carefully lay out the present, cut a swath of paper the size of North Dakota, and when I'm done, there will be a gap in the back held together by a big piece of scotch tape.

I'm not too keen on wasting a lot of money on paper and ribbon either.  I had joked that all we had at the house was Christmas paper, and he suggested I could just draw some cupids on there to avoid spending money on new paper.  I did one better and made my own paper online and printed it out on our copier.
Partner said, "add in a couple Leprechauns and a birthday cake and we'll never have to buy wrapping paper again!" (yes, we have expensive taste in single malt, but we are both notorious cheapskates around the house, DIY'ing most everything.)

It started with a card of course, with a somewhat cryptic message.

Hmmm, it's a copy of the Blaster's Handbook (copyright 1949)

 Apparently, I'm going to need some directions with my "gift"
Time to carefully open the box.

It seems Partner in Grime has Put the BOMB in Bath Bombs!

If you haven't seen one, ladies buy them at the drugstore or from DIY Etsy shops for their bathtime. Made out of baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, water, oil and fragrance oil they are usually formed into round balls and make a wonderful fizzy and moisturizing bath. They are also super expensive for what you get. The DIY ones tend to be a bit more crumbly than the store bought but the ingredients are more natural and cost WAY less.

Mine smell like something with lavender/sandalwood and perhaps orange, a restful scent, just toss in the bath water. By the time it was light enough to get a good photo, I'd already tried one out as I telework today, and didn't have to just do a quick shower.   I almost hate to use the other ones up, they just make me smile to look at them.

I would imagine that would be some spouses that would say "that's all you got me, something homemade?  Where's the jewelry, the flowers, the bling?"

Love is much more than what you buy for someone, it's the effort you put into making sure they are happy and cared for.  I look at my Dad who has outlived two wives and two children and think of that every day.

I read somewhere that heartache is to a noble what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. So true and words my Dad lived by. From Dad I have learned that whatever terrible things may happen to us, there is only one thing that allows them to permanently damage our core self, and that is continued belief in them. Dad's lived these beliefs.
A WWII Vet, that bravely adopted two redheads with my Mom when he was 40, he survived cancer and a small stroke, buried every member of his family but me. He held my hand during 34 hours in natural childbirth, when my daughter's father abandoned me, and swept me away to our rental cabin after I handed her over to her adoptive parents, listening to me cry myself to sleep for weeks. I was a teen, barely out of high school and he never judged, never said he was disappointed in me, never said I told you so, for a choice in first loves that he had warned was going to be a bad one.

He taught me forgiveness and compassion as being more important than possessions.

I was in class in school when Mom suddenly died, but 30 years later I watched him sit a vigil at his second wife's bedside that lasted days, sleeping only in naps in a chair, never letting go of her hand. He was simply there, a constant presence next to her slender, silent form, from which weariness and exertion had yet to depart, holding her, never doubting the actuality of his faith, guarding with sharp and unremitting alertness those minutes that he knows are fleeting.

I watched him as she left us. He touched the streak of white in her hair as lightning cleaved clear air and a gentle rain fell from cloudless skies, as if their moments together, as brief as they may have been, lingered there in a flash of light and tears, though breath itself had ceased.

That is what love is, not things.  I think of all the evenings this week when Partner was down in the basement experimenting with various formulas, trying to make a plan a reality, one he knew would make me laugh out loud, even if it meant no time to relax after a long day in a factory or laboratory, and having to get an extra shower to get the "girly" smell off of his skin so I wouldn't get wise as to what he was doing with essential oil in the wood shop.

I think of that as I pick up the phone to give my Dad another call. For he too will be waking up from his afternoon nap. I can picture him sitting in his recliner in the family room, Bible and coffee mug close at hand, his small frame illuminated by the early afternoon light, framed by ancient glass that bore light and witness to many a happy memory.

I will send photos of my husband's gift to the Walgreens near his house which his nurse will pick up. And tonight when I call him yet again, he will look at them laugh as if he was young again, knowing as I do, it's the care and the time we give one another that mean the most.

Still that Borepatch recommended manicure set would have been cool :-)


Patrick said...

I'm very glad to see the guest posts here. I didn't realize as soon as I should about the situation with Brigid's blog and I miss it. Been reading for several years, have all the books but never comment. Just wanted to say I'm glad to see some here and I've appreciated the time it takes for every word.

drjim said...

Happy Valentine's Day, B!

It's our 7th anniversary. She tells me she picked this day to get married so I wouldn't have ANY reason to not remember it!