I touched on this subject a little earlier in the week on another blog, but I enjoyed writing it so much that I thought you might enjoy reading about it.
You know I'm always making fun of my husband, Mel. He gets a kick out of it, and doesn't mind taking the brunt of my jokes as long as I'm still paying attention to him and he knows I love him. Well, a couple of weeks ago he started picking on me. I'm living out the year of the hermit after the loss of my mother earlier this year, plus the resulting illnesses I've experienced since then. Mel has to take off his scrubs as soon as he gets home to keep me from picking up more germs from the ER--and let me tell you, they have a lot of germs at the hospital! My immune system is shot. You need to watch out for that after you've lost a loved one.
Mel wasn't considering that when he made the sudden decision to attend a family practice conference in Tahoe, California a week after my birthday, and to take me with him. He said it would be a great way to celebrate my birthday, since I love the Sierras and especially Lake Tahoe area. Nevermind that I hadn't returned to my home state--the state of my birth--since Mom's passing. I bit my lip and didn't comment. I was barely able to drag myself out of the house in time to make church. Our assistant, Bonnie, did the shopping and errand running. He ignored my silence and breezed on his way making plans as if I'd jumped at the chance to travel across country via jet.
I nearly told him several times that I simply could not handle the trip. I had developed some weird strep throat that affected my head, my strength, my emotions, everything. We got right down to the wire on Sunday morning when I would have to decide whether or not I could make the trip. But my family doc placed me on antibiotics that knocked back some of the pain and coughing, and I was no longer contagious. I went. I didn't like it. I grumbled a lot, but Mel ignored the grumbles and made the best of it. Mel says I didn't grumble, but I did, he just didn't hear it.
The trip out there was awful, with every leg of the trip delayed. We were so late arriving that we couldn't even see the beautiful trees on the mountainsides as they welcomed us to Squaw Valley. We were so tired we fell into bed without unpacking, and I slept until noon the next day. Mel made things a little less depressing when he came in from his morning of classes filled with excitement, wide-eyed as a kid after cotton candy overload. He insisted we walk to the small town square a mile away through the forest. I went. Reluctantly. I would have preferred to crawl back into bed and cover my head, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. He knew I was in bad shape when I wanted to take the shuttle back to the resort where we were staying. Me, the avid hiker whose passion is finding the longest trail and trying to get lost to make it interesting. I was depressed, sick, my throat hurt, and I couldn't believe he'd dragged me here knowing how badly I felt. Poor little me.
The antibiotics must have kicked in Monday night, because the next morning I woke up and saw the golfers swinging their little white and yellow balls into the forest and then walking around, hunting them like Easter eggs, and I actually smiled a few times. When Mel dragged me out for a walk that afternoon, we walked the long way around, 2 1/2 miles to the town square, where we tasted some delicious gluten free salad and desserts, drank some coffee, explored a little more. I suggested we take the shortcut back to the hotel through the forest. This time I sniffed a tree. They smell like hazelnut and vanilla. The whole valley smells like a mixture of nuts and pine. Delicious. I started breathing more deeply, and for the first time since Mel suggested this crazy, impulsive trip, I was glad he'd pushed me into it.
"Honey," I said as we strolled through the forest trail together, smelling the trees (yes, actually sticking our noses up against the trees and sniffing) and listening to the birdsongs, "did you know how very much I hated the idea of coming out here?"
"Yes, Sweetheart, I knew. Kind of hard to miss."
"Why did you do it?"
"Because I love you and I felt you needed some time away to heal. I know how much you love it here."
"Honey, do you know how much I love you?"
"Yes." He stepped away from a fragrant tree, took me into his arms and kissed me. "It was worth a little tension, knowing this could help you come out of that cloud you've been living under for so long."
"You're quite a man, you know that?"
"Yeah. I know. I have my moments."
Ah. My modest, sweet natured husband. I think I'll keep him.
How about you? Any romantic interludes you'd like to share?