I suppose it’s a bit cliche to claim giving flowers as a token of romance. It’s at least obvious. But I’ll be honest, it’s still really lovely to receive them. Especially when they arrive unexpectedly on the first day of Spring. Just because.
I love that phrase: just because. It’s doesn’t really need to be finished, does it? But it can be, in so many ways: Just because I love you. Just because you are YOU. Just because I want you to know I’m thinking about you.
No matter the sentiment: just because flowers are a lovely way of speaking your heart.
As it’s the first day of Spring, I’d be remiss not to comment on his flower choice! There is something so hopeful about a daffodil. So utterly cheery and delightful: you can’t help but smile. And waking up to a big yellow bouquet (that even the old retired dog seemed to notice!) — well, let’s just say it’s a GREAT way to start the morning. *wink*
Just because flowers: romantic glue. What’s your romantic glue?
Every morning. He greets me with a mocha and says, “Good morning Beautiful.” Which is as romantic as it is ridiculous. You’re never going to get the “just awake” photo from me, (vanity vanity) but trust me: I don’t match the description!
And it seems like such a small thing. But I can’t think without my coffee, and he knows. Waking me up has become his ritual — and it’s stunning to me, that after 24 years, he’s still bringing me coffee — still calling me beautiful. Still making me feel beautiful.
These small moments, these faithfully held traditions hold us together in ways that mark us, MAKE us “us”.
What holds you together? What is your romantic glue?
Day Eleven: Take good care. Whatever that care might look like. Sometimes, romance is just being there for your person.
I dropped Geo off for his morning class and headed down to the church to touch bases with our church administrator. Get a feel for how Sunday went–just a quick check in before heading back home to my day jobs. Since we were iced/snowed in this Sunday, I had left instructions with staff for all my kiddos to use their activity bags (stuffed with fun things to color, a snack, stickers!) if I didn’t make it down the hill to teach Sunday School.
Clearly, I didn’t.
So, I was a little surprised to find our Sunday School classroom trashed. Art supplies everywhere — small children had clearly been making things in the space last Sunday when they should have been hanging out with their parents using their activity bags.
Which, for the record, I’m typically cool about. The kids know they’re allowed to use the craft supplies just so long as they put everything back. I’m more than happy to let you play and create when I’m not there: but I’m not keen on picking up your messes. We’ve had this conversation. More than once. And as a church, we have this conversation every February: we call it Stewardship!
And as if it was not enough, I walked into the girl’s bathroom and found my feet sticking to the floor. Oh, the ewww factor. The more I looked around the space, the more I knew that it needed some real care. It’s not my job to clean those spaces, but it was clear those spaces needed some love.
After talking with our administrator, I headed home and told IZ, “I’m so peeved at the moment, but it would be a really good idea if I went back and cleaned right now. I just hate to strand you at work.”
“It’s OK, you should go. You clean better when you’re angry anyhow.”
Oh, did I mention I clean best when I’m angry? Yeah, I do.
Here’s the thing, I had plans for today. Plans for my job job, plans for Mirieo and this blog, plans that did not involve deep cleaning a public bathroom and classroom at church.
But I also knew that these things needed to be done and well, I might as well do it now when I’m motivated.
As IZ shooed me out the door, I realized: sometimes plans fall through. And sometimes, true love is about taking good care of the people and things in your life.
Caring for a church and the children in it: even when they trash rooms when they shouldn’t.
Caring for a loved one and making room for them to do the important things to them, even when it doesn’t fit your agenda. Saying, “GO!” when it would be better for you if they stayed.
It’s now 3 pm. The girl’s bathroom is less sticky. My classroom is picked up (thanks to the lovely ministerial staff who saw the problem and fixed it for me). I’m a bit spent from all the cleaning and if I’m honest, all I really want right now is a Starbucks.
As Valentine’s Day approaches we are all focused on the beautiful — and so we should be. Cards and flowers and poetry, these are the things we cherish. These are the gestures of love. I’m not a skeptic, I think these gestures have staying power. It’s why we keep doing them: they work!
But I also treasure that romantic gesture of being “seen”. Of having someone understand what is important to me (even if it’s being a bit OCD about a bathroom at church!) and supporting me.
When that same person can say, “Really? You just need a Starbucks?” — well, that might just be love in a paper cup.
How do you take care of the ones you love?
Lovely woodland find on our walk– captured by IZ
First off, the weather has been GLORIOUS. So much so, IZ and I have been sneaking off for an hour walk on the riverwalk every day this week. We walk out past the town, into Alderbook; traipsing through the small woodland path that connects the two.
Yesterday, I stopped short at this lovely mushroom. There had been a large stand of them recently, but most have faded into a slimy mess. This one was still standing proud and I was really wishing I had lugged my camera along.
IZ pulled out his itouch and started snapping photos. “Look, it’s really easy. You try.”
You may now all pause for laughter. Here’s the thing, I don’t really like talking on the phone. So, I don’t have one. We bought a couple of burner phones when our son traveled this summer: just so we could connect in the airport and on the road. But I barely know how to turn one of those things on. Using a phone or handheld to take pictures is just so. . . wrong.
But, you know, live into your weaknesses, step out into your fear, yada yada. I took the ipod thingie (that’s the official name!) and tried. “So, I click here?” pushing a button that made the entire screen disappear.
“No, you have to push the ‘hand'”
I tried again. Um. And again.
Really, this is ridiculous. About now is when I start feeling far too insecure: so you know, you haul out the “But I went to GRAD School . . . and GRADUATED” Anything to prop up the ego.
Sigh. I’m just not equipped. Slow learner I guess. I finally managed to take photo or two. Apparently, there is image stabilization on the camera, but I never found it. Clearly:
Nice shot of the LEAVES, Wende! Yeah, that was what I was going for!
To think IZ keeps trying to convince me I need an ipad.
And you can stop to laugh here too.
I’m not sure about longer nails, but everything else is certainly right with this print! On Sunday IZ and I celebrate 23 years of wedded bliss. Ooh. La. La. If ever there was an occasion for bright red nails, I think an anniversary is it! Not sure exactly what we’ll be up to (is it really a naughty thought if you’re thinking about the man you married?!) and we may even delay (or extend?!) celebrating because our big day also happens to be Father’s Day.
Somehow, all those years ago, we didn’t realize we were planning a wedding for Father’s Day Weekend. This was before the internet and pinterest weddings. We chose a date months in advance and thought we were in clear when the day wasn’t anyone else’s birthday or anniversary (IZ is the baby of 8!). The holiday didn’t even dawn on us! Trust me. Father’s Day is a lot of things, but romantic? Not really.
So, every few years we share our anniversary with the holiday. And when that happens, we tend to postpone festivities to later in the month. Considering I’m swamped at church on Sunday, I’d say it’s a fair bet we won’t be celebrating on Sunday.
But I have bottle of vermillion nail laquer and I know how to use it. Just in case.