Monday, February 15, 2016

Love Is A Many Splendored Somethings

I've been married for nearly 32 years, and in all those years we've rarely made a fuss over Valentine's Day. Other than for hubs to proclaim it a made up holiday but yeah besides that, not a big deal. We almost always plan dinner at home that evening, and in recent years we've begun a tradition of sorts, where we find a new recipe and enjoy a very relaxed evening cooking together. We usually have music playing, and will stop now and then for a slow dance in the kitchen on this non-holiday holiday.

This year though, we're living in a new town and decided to book a table for Saturday night at a place we'd never been. Hubs was out of town all week, so we thought dressing up and going out would be fun. A date if you will.

Hubs got home late Thursday evening, and worked from home on Friday. He went out to run an errand mid day and you cannot imagine my surprise when he returned bearing gifts. Flowers, chocolates, and y'all the biggest, bestest, balloon in the universe.

I cannot describe how happy this balloon makes me. My face hurts from smiling. It's so over the top in size and sentiment and everything, and I love it more than words can say. I think more than the flowers or the chocolates because how can you not? I mean it's ginormous.

Sometimes that's what married love looks like.

Big giant gestures and grand declarations.

Saturday morning we had plans to meet our builder and his wife for breakfast, followed by a trip out to the lot to assess progress. We got up and I made coffee and hubs suddenly teetered and said, "whoa I'm dizzy...let me sit down for just a minute"...and I recognized from recent personal experience that wobbly posture and pale face which told me he'd succomed to whatever delightful bug I endured a couple weeks before. My husband, who honestly has been sick about three days in the 30+ years I've know him, was sick. On Valentine's Day. The non-holiday we'd for some reason decided this year to make a holiday.

He's a trooper so he showered and got dressed, and even went so far as to put his coat on before admitting defeat and heading for the couch. He told me to go on to breakfast so I did, and it was lovely. I neglected to ask the builder any of the questions on our list because we got to talking about all manner of other things completely unrelated to building our house, and when I came home hubs wanted to ask me what the builder said about windows and walls and stone, but by then was feeling too puny to care.

I said I'd go ahead and cancel our dinner plans, but he said no let's wait, that maybe he'd feel like going. Right. Since I'd been there done that a week ago, I knew it was wishful thinking on his part, so I cancelled. Happily too I want to add.

I went back to the market and purchased essentials-ginger ale, chicken soup, and rainbow sherbet. I covered him gently with a blanket and let him sleep on the couch with all the lights off and the blinds shut tight even though we're in a 'cozy' apartment which means the living room is pretty much the only place to hang out.

Because sometimes that's what married love looks like.
Dare I say most of the time, that's what married love looks like?

Small acts of caring every single day.

Serving up Tylenol instead of champagne.

Making plans and changing plans.

Giving and taking.

Roses and chicken soup.

Chocolate and a blanket on the couch.

A big balloon that makes your heart do loop-de-loops.

You tie it to a kitchen chair and let its message follow you around. Words you already knew were true, but that when splashed across an unexpected heart shaped piece of mylar feel fresh and new.

You are loved.

For better or worse.

In sickness and in health.



And forever.


  1. So lovely. I'm sorry he's been sick, but hopefully is on the mend. But you've nailed it. That's what love really is.

  2. This is so, so sweet and that same virus has been going around here and hits all of a sudden. Hope he's on the up and up today. I love that balloon as well, what a thoughtful man. We had friends in for dinner and had a wonderful time over dinner and visiting. Yes, that really is what love is.

  3. Hope he is feeling better. Love is so many things..

  4. Well Joyce, you nailed it. Love is all those things. As I was reading your post, I couldn't help thinking about our Valentines observance. Like you, we never make a to do about this holiday. However, Hubby decided he wanted to fix steaks for us on Sat night. In. The. Kitchen. Well, he got them a little too seared and the house filled with smoke and a smell open doors and windows couldn't touch. The steaks tasted good though. Then, he decided to do it again on Sunday after church. Repeat! Well, today I have continued airing out the house, cleaning the counter tops and floor. Oh my, next year I think I will insist on taking him out.

  5. So beautiful. Definitely what love is all about. Hope hubs is on the mend soon!! That is one ginormous balloon for sure!!

  6. Awwww! :) Believe it or not, my own hubby came down with that nasty crud Friday night. We wound up eating the only canned soup in the house (Cream of Celery - ugh), but I made up for it by making that Mississippi Pot Roast you told us about last week. Thanks for the easy and delicious save!

  7. I hope hubby is feeling better by now and you're still enjoying your balloon, flowers etc. Like you said the meal out would have been nice but the small gestures we do day in and day out are what makes a marriage work.

  8. Best love post I've read in awhile! Definitely what "real" love looks like!

  9. So sweet! My Hubs insisted on going to my Doc. appt. with me on Friday AND my mammogram this morning. Just because, he says, he loves me. :)

  10. Hate that he was sick, but at least it was while he was at home and not away during the week!

  11. Your writing is fantastically beautiful. I smiled from ear to ear for you and for the hope that one day I have that kind of love to treasure.


  12. Hope Hubs is feeling better, he's a big old hunk of honey!

  13. That's exactly what love & marriage looks like - every day about caring for each other for what the day holds.

    My hubs gets me one of those GIANT balloons every year for the past 23 years. He said he just CANT NOT get one now :) ... be warned - they stay inflated FOREVER!!!!! :)

    Hope the icky bugs are leaving your house

  14. That is so beautiful! It has me all teary-eyed. Hope your husband is feeling better.

  15. Hi Joyce,
    I loved this!! So well said.
    I also had the bug!!
    I hope your husband will be feeling better soon. I hear ya, I needed everything dark! My head felt like it would explode just by seeing light.
    I will be back to see you at the Hodgepodge on Wednesday.

  16. What a great Valentine post. I love the gifts and your taking care of him. That's what it's all about. That is true love.