Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Is your romantic celebration looking different this year? Ours definitely is. And I actually love it.
My husband has been working extraordinary hours this month. His normal Commish responsibilities, plus the weight of legislative season, all compounded by the ongoing complex problems brought to the utility industries by this crazy weather… The man is giving it all, 24/7. Although we have been together at the farm pretty solid since mid March of last year, these recent weeks he has felt a bit absent. Even when he emerges from his upstairs office, he is barraged with phone calls, texts, emails, and ongoing new emergencies at all hours of the day, every day. We never know how much down time we are going to enjoy together.
This may sound a bit grueling for our marriage, like a low key complaint, but that’s not at all how I mean it.
Not only am I immensely proud of the work he does, and the fact that he is happy to pour himself into it, but also I see a few beautiful daily constants remain for us:
We always drink coffee together in the morning; we never miss dinner together; and we always go to bed at the same time. There are plenty more sweet, unexpected ribbons of time together throughout each day, for which I am thankful, but the other day it struck me that those three rituals seem to be non negotiable. What a gift.
I am thankful that we have such a well established rhythm and harmony, so we can absorb disruptions of every variety and remain in step. I am thankful that our feelings come from somewhere deep, like abundant well water, rather than from intermittent rainfall. We can keep up with shifting circumstances, and I love that.
For posterity, I feel like documenting what romance looks like this Valentine’s weekend, in pandemic, during an historic winter storm, while my man is purely exhausted from his day job:
Romance in times like these can look like chopping the frozen pond and troughs several times per day.
It can look like taking overlapping conference calls in ear buds so he can drive to town and buy horse blankets because his wife is worried sick about Chanta and Dusty.
Romance can be grocery shopping together well ahead of the snowstorm and unceremoniously handing each other boxes of chocolate to take home, then laughing out loud inside our masks like it’s the best joke ever.
Romance, in fact, is laughing together every chance we get, at anything we want. It’s also watching documentaries together, and freely criticizing strangers who join cults.
Romance is trading prayer requests with each other, for the people each of us talks to separately, as well as updating each other on good news and difficult news. Romance is counting our blessings as if it is the counting of them that makes them real.
Romance turns out to be old school, crayon-decorated coupons for massages that he is too tired to give and future outings that we cannot guarantee, because the tradition is old and good and happy. Romance can be homemade brownies filled with chopped up candy bars. Steaks that are sort of shaped like hearts and layers and layers of silky, fuzzy blankets.
Romance is obsessively loving every single animal together, so much. It is wearing your black felt cowboy hat and winter coat with the upturned collar (so sexy) to gather shivering ducks so they can warm up in the bathtub and then cuddling an overly attached a cat who won’t stop fake nursing our blankets. Romance is clearing ice from horse hooves even though your sweatpants are making you crazy and your eyes hurt.
Romance is troubleshooting every single cool breeze you detect and investigating every sound that might be a troubled pipe.
Romance is checking on your friends together and being proud of the kids together.
Romance is selecting television distractions that won’t drive your wife too crazy and playing UNO even when you are dead tired and she mostly wins. : )
Sometimes romance is jewelry and rose bouquets, fancy restaurant dinners and cologne. But we have no need of that stuff now.
Soon, babe, we will get dressed up, go out on the town, and maybe even travel. Until then, I am happy to get bundled up and care for the farm together.
I am so happy to cook our dinners and desserts here, take hasty hot showers to protect the septic field, and live thereafter in soft pajamas. These nine acres are paradise to me, and you make it all better. You embody all the romance in the world, and I am so glad you are still my Valentine.
NOW DRAW FOUR BITCHEZ