Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A chair and a cheese stick

Seven years ago tonight, Spence and I sat side by side before a roaring (gas) fire in his upstairs guest bedroom in an ugly, overstuffed chair that once belonged to his grandmother. I shouldn't criticize the chair as it was a family heirloom (that's fancy for old and valuable) and was about to become the most significant piece of furniture in our 10-month courtship. I wish I had a picture of the chair because it was truly hideous, sporting all the colors of the 70s: avocado, brown, orange and tan. I'm sure it was stylish in its time. Anyway, we sat together in this lovely chair talking about this and that, when Spence suddenly said, "Do you want a cheese stick?" A beer or some popcorn seemed more logical, but I like cheese so I said, "Sure." And he went downstairs and brought back two cheese sticks. Thinking back, it's so funny how obviously nervous he was. He admitted later that he thought a cheese stick would settle the butterflies in his stomach. If I had known what was coming, I would have absorbed every moment, hung on every word. But I didn't. It was more like a fog of sweet words to which I enthusiastically responded, "Yes!" Then moments later I said, "Wait, did you just ask me to marry you?" I couldn't recall there being an actual question, and I worried that I had just jumped the gun and revealed my answer before he asked the question. This is so stupid, but even today I'm still not sure if he asked the question or thinks he asked the question or just made a statement that we should be together forever, but from that moment forward I made a promise to myself to cherish this man and absorb every single moment I have with him. On the outside, I do a terrible job of this. I take for granted all that he is and does. But on the inside (he likes it when girls talk about how they feel inside), I know the gift that God gave me, and my heart doesn't take a second of that for granted -- even if my actions often do.

Let me tell you what I love about my husband. He makes me laugh. He's soft-spoken and gentle, but he can single-handedly blaze a trail through the woods using only hand tools and grit. He's thoughtful and sensitive. If you hurt his feelings, he'll never tell you but he will suffer for days. He's talented. He can sing, write songs, imitate Elvis, fix things, build stuff like barns, pot racks, and porch swings, create beautiful furniture out of barn wood and tin, play guitar, operate heavy machinery, and paddle a canoe in class 4 whitewater (really class 5, but his wife frowns on this). He can spell and write grammatically correct sentences. He can read a book and learn how to do something completely new. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, delve into tedious projects, or embark on extremely ambitious adventures that most people would think insane. He's incredibly patient with the kids . He's not even scared to take both them with him to the grocery -- or camping for a week! Most important, he was the one who remembered what was special about November 16.

I have no idea how I scored such a perfect husband. I don't deserve him. I'm a lucky girl.


los cazadores said...

Seriously.... faucets on. So beautiful, Lori. Cheesestick and all. My eyes are welling up.

Happy Day of Proposal.

Spence sounds amazing. And I think even more he and Craig would get along famously.


rebekah said...

You know, even when proposals are not perfect (like, did you just ask me to marry you???) they are so perfect.

Thanks for sharing!

Judy said...

You do have a very special husband and he has an incredible wife. You make a perfect pair.

Norma said...

Tears fell like rain when I read your touching tribute to Spence. Grandma Goldie would have been honored that her chair had such a high calling. Thank you for sharing your beautiful proposal story. Spence found a treasure.

Spence and Lori said...

I hope she'll forgive me for calling it hideous. All my childhood furniture looked like that.

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful Lori! I am such a sucker for love stories. I was hanging on every word. And Jon is so much like Spence, that I am particularly fond of this story. :) So when I say that you are a lucky gal, I also realize that I am also a very lucky gal. And then, when I see clearly just how lucky Spence is to have you...well, I hope that Jon is lucky to have me. But I could do a much better job than I am doing. Here's to love. *clink of wine glass*...I mean *crinkle of cheese stick wrappers*

Haha! Love your story.


kristine said...

Oh Lori, I love this so much! He sounds, um, perfect! Thanks for writing this, it was a joy to read.

Miss you.

Jenn said...

What a fabulous proposal story. I love reading your blog. And it makes me want to stop yelling at my husband about all the unpacked boxes and hug him instead for fetching me a paper and Sonic today.