February 14, 2017
Though ravaged by desperate shoppers, the Valentine's Day card displays at three different stores today were still well-stocked with over-priced displays of bad poetry and syrupy sentimentality. I looked, and walked away, but not towards either the candy or the flowers. It was time for some serious Valentine's Day shopping, and I knew exactly where to go. If you haven't learned a thing or two in forty six and a half years of marriage, you are probably single. I may be a bit slow, but I'm still in the game. It was Home Depot or Bust!
The gift was also the card; twelve feet of 2X12s inscribed as big as I could make it: "LINDA, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY FROM ONE WHO KNOWS YOUR HEART." The gal at the checkout looked at me a bit oddly, but she doesn't know Linda the way I do. When I got home, I brought her outside, and she was delighted, just as I knew she would be. "Why would a woman want heavy duty lumber for Valentine's Day," you ask? Because she knew when she saw it what it was. In a couple months, it will be transformed into the raised bed gardens she's been wanting since last summer. She was hoping for them for her birthday next week, but I've got something else planned for then.
Forty six years brings its own blessings, including knowing my wife's heart. Flowers are OK, but they fade. Chocolates? By her own testimony, if she starts the stuff, she can't stop, so she's sworn off it. But a raised bed garden? Bingo! Oh, and by the way, she knows me, too. I walked in the door to see a gallon of maple syrup sitting on the kitchen table. Tonight I am thankful for the years we have had to learn each other's hearts. It has been a Happy Valentine's Day.