My hubby had his birthday today. He is now officially one year away from being old. At 59, he has gone through a variety of ailments, such as a sebaceous cyst the size of a golf ball, bladder cancer, and just recently, a torn or damaged Achilles tendon. Sigh.
He's a bit strange. Let me list a few things that back up my opinion.
He has a lot of trouble changing seasons. He wears shorts and sandals well into the fall, putting on a sweater when necessary, but denying the dropping temperature. In the spring, he has trouble giving up his warm sweaters and hats and gloves.
He insisted on installing central air conditioning, yet makes sure there's a fan running in the bedroom. At the same time, he likes to have a comforter on the bed year round, no matter how warm he is.
He thinks Black Forest Cake is health food.
He must have ice cream on a fairly regular basis, even though he has trouble with dairy.
He needs crackers. With salt. It doesn't matter that there is zero nutrition associated with soda crackers.
He likes his toys, and expects his family to like them as much as he does. He has boats and tanks and a helicopter. He has a Jack Bauer figure, and an old pink Teddy Bear from his childhood. He's got a Smurf and some pez figures, a Gandalf and a Toy Story Dinosaur. Some day, he'll leave them all to his grandchildren.
He's a bit weird - but he has some great qualities, too. He's the most loyal guy I know. He is steadfast and immovable when it comes to friends and family, and you've got to really treat him badly before he'll write you off. He considers his friends from 40 years ago to still be his friends, even though he hasn't seen them in four decades. He's always been here... he'll always be here. He's a rock.
He is a builder. He gets an idea in his head, and follows it through, no matter what. Even if his family doesn't catch the vision, he can see what he wants to accomplish, and he plows on through. I look around this old house and I have evidences in every corner that he's a builder - the Great Room, the garage, the barn, the shed, the deck... he gets an idea, and he does it. His family benefits. His children have learned to wield a hammer, to design and plan projects, to use tools. We all have enjoyed the fruits of his labour.
He is a dreamer. He's always wanted a boat. He wants to take his kids and grandkids out on a huge boat, so that they can enjoy the water as he did when he went out with his dad, many years ago. Maybe some day he'll get his boat. For now, the kids and grandkids will have to enjoy the pool instead. Enjoy it, they do!
Today is his birthday - he's 59. I close my eyes and see him as a shy 17 year old. I remember the look of love when he first told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. The years have flown by.
Today also marks the 21st anniversary of our possession of this old house. It's been 21 years since we moved in and celebrated Daddy's birthday on the kitchen floor, because we still didn't have our furniture out of storage. Twenty-one years; many joys; many tears.
Twenty-one years before our move, I met this man who was destined to be my life's partner. I've known him 42 years now, and shared everything with him - the birth of 12 children; the loss of one... the sorrows of rebellious teens, the joys of grandparenting.
I wonder what the next 21 years will bring.
Happy Birthday, Rick. I love you.