I took the card and put it in my windowsill, right by the sink so I can read it while I wash dishes.
He bought me flowers this week and took the time to write down some words.
Kind words. Loving words. Words between him and I.
Farmer Boy is good at words. He shares them with me generously. He tells me I'm beautiful, tells me he loves me, asks me questions about my day.
Sometimes he tells me I'm too "Northern".
I think he means that he tires of coaxing me to say, "I love you too", or "Yep" and "Nope" to all his questions.
I'm not so good at words.
I love to write but writing and speaking are very different.
Writing is slow and deliberate. Words can sit on the back burner of my mind while I busy myself with other tasks until the right word is ready. Writing gives me time to think, to create, to choose.
Speaking is immediate and quick. An opportunity for the right word, the perfect word, might present itself, but I might not realize until the moment is long gone, out of sight, lost. Speaking means saying it out loud. Right now.
I guess I am Northern.
When I first moved to the U.S. I realized quickly that people were different round these parts - more chatty, ready to hand out advice. I stood in line at the grocery store trying desperately not to make eye contact with anyone.
"O honey, are you sure you want a small box of detergent? That's not gonna last very long. It would be better if you bought the big one. Should I run and get if for you?"
What? You talking to me? I don't think I know you and I know I'm not your honey. Step away.
I've walked beside Farmer Boy for almost 23 years and I've learned a lot. I can now talk to people at the grocery store and I'm fine with it. Some people even think I'm chatty but it's not what comes naturally. I work at it and try to keep up with Farmer Boy.
Farmer Boy doesn't meet a stranger. At a football game or at church or wherever we go, he greets everyone by their first name and then proceeds to ask them about each of their children, by name, and wants to know how they are doing with whatever path they've chosen.
It's not idle chit chat. He honestly wants to know. Everything.
I won't even know who he's talking to, let alone how many children they have or their names. If I ask him details on our way home, he gives me a look and then explains to me, probably for the fourth or fifth time, who they are and how we know them.
"Oh." I say, "I don't know them."
Another look, a shake of his head and then usually he asks me a question.
"Nope." I say.
As I was washing up breakfast, taking in the beauty of a autumn morning while my hands splashed around in warm sudsy water, my eyes settled on my little card and the precious words my Farmer Boy left me. For a moment, I plunged into guilt for not being able to give my husband what he most needs from me.
But as I played in my sink of warm water, the words started to come.
Thank you for the flowers and for the lovely words on that little card.
Thanks for getting up and going to work today while the rest of us slept.
Thanks for always being my biggest fan and for being belted in beside me on this ride of life.
Thanks for how you love and take care of your family.
I'm proud of you.
I trust you.
I love you.
P.S. The flowers and card had a reason. I start a temporary job at the local university on Monday. I'll be working in the office of a Dean. It feels like a grown up job and I'll have to dress nice and everything! I'll be working there until Christmas and maybe longer if things work out. One day at a time.
God is good.
God is good.