No one will ever accuse my husband of being romantic.
Valentines Day at our house is the same as any other. We will be married 27 years this May, so I doubt anything will ever change.
But wait, he says, I DID give you a Valentines gift that one year. Yes, it was a nautical chart of the Puget Sound. He pasted a doily on it and wrote "Happy Valentines Day." Was it a clue that we were going to go on a romantic trip through the San Juan Islands? No, he just liked it. He bought another chart for the mouth of the Columbia River just for good measure. To my husband, nothing could be more romantic than imagining himself sailing those waters. Alone.
Earlier on in our marriage, I remarked that it would be nice to get flowers once in a while. He was shocked! Shocked! Why, no ones grows more beautiful flowers than you! I couldn't possibly bring home inferior florist flowers! Foiled again.
I blame myself. When we were dating he bought me a ladle for my kitchen. I already had two ladles, a large one for soup and a smaller one for adding liquid to other dishes (like risotto.) The one he gifted me was a regular size with a white enamel handle. All my other tools are wooden or stainless steel, not a piece of enamel in sight. However, he was having his kitchen remodeled and all the cabinets were going to be white. In his mind that ladle was a full-out declaration of love. Look honey, I'm buying you a gift that matches my kitchen! That way when you move in it will look lovely in the utensil caddy on the counter.
This year he remarked that Valentines Day was on a Sunday and someone he knew asked what he was going to do for me. He COULD see if he could get reservations somewhere, but he has classical guitar rehearsal. I sighed.
He has other nice traits I remind myself and look out the window onto my garden.
There, unabashed in the cold prairie wind and undamaged from the hail storm last night, are my roses glowing softly in the first light of morning. Pink, yellow, peach, carmine, white, orange, red, the whole group of them are blooming - every single one. And not just a blossom here or there, but a full-on display of petals that weigh down the canes they are suspended from.
Excuse me? It's Valentines Day. This is the time that we prune our dormant roses here in Austin so that we get that first flush of bloom in March or early April. But not this year, my roses haven't STOPPED blooming since fall. We've gotten an unusual amount of rain these past several months and all my plants are giddy with the excess. And while we've had a few freezes, the brutal late January early February freeze we normally get has not arrived.
So, as a proper gardener, I tell myself that the pruning must be done, and I'll just wait for this round of blooms to finish.
Except that it's Valentines Day. Maybe my husband was right. How could any florist compete with my roses? And since I need to prune, I think a full vase of flowers will be delivered to my table as a reward. I must be honest to myself, there really isn't a greater love than seeing my hard work pay off in such a beautiful form.
Who says romance is dead?