Feelin’ the Love

I woke up this morning with the thought “I love that man.” Of course I’m talking about my husband, John. Lately John has undergone all kinds of changes, and I love that age 63 he is still willing to try new things, even consider new careers.

Some of the qualities I love about him are his courage, his sense of humor; his wackiness; his willingness to fight for things he believes in (he’s the political activist in our family); his faithfulness to me and our family; his perseverance even in seeming hopeless situations; his concern for the less fortunate; his painstaking honesty (even when it costs us); his acceptance of people from all sorts of backgrounds; his faith, which he doesn’t talk about much but tries to live out; his love for our children even when they aren’t acting so loving.

In the past month or so John has been on an organizing binge in our house. Who’da thunk it? He is usually the one whose office looks like a tornado blew through. (Mine looks that way sometimes too.) So far he has organized a lot of things in his office, but it’s still messy. The big coup is that he has been organizing our garage (which used to be where his office was located), and it’s starting to look somewhat decent. This organizing mood is contagious. I’ve started attacking some of the clutter that accumulated from our move 6 years ago. If I haven’t used it by now, I need to find another home for it…that is, unless it’s something sentimental like pictures.

John has inspired and challenged me to keep reading, to educate myself on current events (he’s constantly reading The New Yorker and Newsweek, as well as anything else he can get his hands on, even some chick literature that I’ve brought home and said, “It was a good story”). I don’t think I’ll ever be as smart as he, so I’ve stopped trying. He has taught me a lot about history, about various presidents (he loves to read biographies), about the economy, and about real estate.

When our children were growing up, he was quite involved in such things as taking them to the doctor, caring for them when they were ill (he did have more flexibility, being self-employed), driving them to school (and taking them along with him to job sites, which was incredibly boring for them, but they survived). He made the sacrifice on Wednesday nights of taking them home after church supper so I could attend choir practice and get at least one break in my busy week.

In the past year or so, he has started taking on a few more responsibilities around the house, such as cooking occasionally (especially on Tuesday and Thursday nights when I have yoga). If I can ever get him to get out the vacuum cleaner, he uses all the attachments and cleans places I never thought of. Over the Christmas holidays, he reorganized our kitchen cabinets and even took a picture of where things belong in the cabinet we use the most (where our dishes and glasses are). Daniel had to write a comment on the picture of course: “Is this really necessary?” To which I replied, “Yes. Some of us have trouble putting things where they belong. I’m not naming any names.

All this gives me hope that we WILL get our living room painted this year in a shade that I like, of course. I am tired of looking at taupe walls. I would like to change the living room to robin’s egg blue. I think it’ll look nice with our brown furniture and most of the artwork hanging in our living room, except for that pink day lily watercolor that one of our tenants, a transvestite, left behind when he disappeared from his apartment.

And we MAY even attack our landscaping, which has gotten out of control (but one or the other of us has had physical limitations at times that have prevented our working together to “get ‘er done”). I even have hopes that 2011 will be the year we have a functional lawn mower that John doesn’t have to repair every time he uses it. Did I mention that he’s a great handyman? I have often taken this skill for granted.

So there. I won’t be displaying any bumper sticker that says “I love my husband” (I haven’t seen any of those anyway; I’m alluding, rather poking fun, at the PromiseKeepers bumper stickers). But I want the world to know that John is precious to me, and I think that’s pretty romantic after 28 1/2 years. I am a lucky woman.