"You don't fall in love with someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear."
Every once in a while Handy Hubby throws me off balance with an unexpected surprise of the sentimental or romantic nature. Why does this surprise me? Because my guy is not the hearts and flowers kind of guy. It is not that he is not loving, he is just not given to sentimental gestures. Something seems to be shifting in this area because he kept me off balance all last week and I am lovin' it!
First there was the buttercup incident. We were standing out in the field with Darling Daughter practicing archery when he suddenly stooped over and picked a buttercup. With his little boy grin that melts my heart he romantically said, "Wanna flower?" :c)
The camera of my minds eye focused its lens on the tips of his thumb and finger between which rested a single buttercup. With a blink the shutter clicked and forever engraved an image not of the flower being given but of the hand that was extending it to me. A rough work worn hand that so often is resting on my cheek when I wake up in the morning. A hand that is always gentle and helpful. A hand that is quick to comfort. Who needs romantic gestures when you have a man with those hands? He tucked the buttercup behind my left ear and ruffled the back of my new short hair cut saying, "In case I didn't tell you, I really like your hair like this."
Next there was the tree carving incident. It was Tuesday night while cooking supper before I noticed it. As I cook, my family likes to gather around the kitchen or dining nook to hang out, talk, and lend a helping hand. Darling Daughter was perched on the table and Handy Hubby was sitting beside her in a chair as I was whisking between stove, sink, pantry, and refrigerator. I have a habit of glancing out the window as I work. I was arrested by what I saw. I literally stalled mid sentence and dropped a spoon in the sink with a noisy clatter as I tiptoed to get a better look at the tree trunk in my line of vision. "What in the world?" slipped from my lips as I yanked open the back door zipping across the deck to trace my finger across a symbol I had not seen since high school.
I turned to see my guy leaning on one shoulder in the doorway, hands in the pockets of his jeans, grinning like a Cheshire cat, "You didn't notice it? I did it over the weekend." "I think I would have noticed you out here carving on the tree." "No you wouldn't. I did it with the pressure washer." :c) I burst out laughing, now how many guys out pressure washing the deck would think to use it to carve a plus sign and initials in a tree right off the deck rail for all to see his declaration of love?Then Thursday night he calls on his way home and says he wants to take me on a date. The following conversation ensues, "Where are we going?" "You'll see." "What do I wear?" "Whatever." "Casual or dressy?" "Whatever. Just be ready in a few minutes, I'm at the end of the driveway." "OK." He had planned a picnic by the lake, at the very place where we sat on the tailgate of his old green pickup truck some thirty odd years ago and shared our first kiss.
After eating and strolling down memory lane we drove up "snake hill" to The Old Mill to enjoy the garden. Nearly every high school senior has had their senior photo taken there. Because of its romantic beauty, it is the site for about 200 weddings per year. A bit of trivia of the mill is that it was filmed in the opening scenes of the famous award~winning movie, Gone With The Wind, which was released in 1939. It is believed to be the only remaining structure from the movie.When you step through the iron gates you are transported back in time. While a road runs up above and beside the mill, you feel sequestered in the stillness and beauty of the surroundings. The mill was never actually a working mill. It is a memorial replica of the type of old mills once found in our region. It was contracted to be built in 1931 and christened in 1933. It is named Pugh's Mill, in honor of Mr. T. R. Pugh a friend of the mills developer, Justin Matthews.The mill was intended to appear abandoned~absent of doors and windows due to time and decay~just as old mills that were in service in the early 1800's had become by the 1930's. The image is that the old grist mill and driving equipment have been disconnected from the water wheel; and the water gate on the flume above, although closed, is leaking enough water to turn the old wheel, which is idling away though the years.Once the mill was complete with native stone, artist, Senor Dionicio Rodriguea, was commissioned to create the fantastic bridges, archways, benches, and mill interior structure. He was a descendant of the artistic Aztec race. He was born in 1891 in Toluca, Mexico. At the age of 16 he had his first experience with what was to come his life's work while employed by an Italian artist, Robles Hill, who specialized in creating imitation rocks, caverns, ruins, and ancient buildings. Rodriques called his style "rustico", but it is better known today as faux bois ("fake wood" in French).He was extremely secretive about the process by which he produced his work. He refused to work from written plans, so none exist. He would mix coloring, bonding agents, and other products in the trunk of his car (slamming it shut if anyone approached) or break the jars and peel off the labels so no one could copy his work. His secret techniques, applied using ordinary kitchen implements, are so detailed and exacting that you can identify the species of trees in most of his work.
We closed out the day by sitting on one of the curved benches high above the mill pond watching families with young children laughing and playing on the enchanted structures and young lovers stroll hand in hand. One young couple showed up just before dusk laying a bright blue print blanket on the ground and producing a picnic for two. She grinned at him as she unwrapped a guitar from another blanket and began to tune it. Music filled the evening air as she strummed and hummed.
Twinkle lights blinked on at a nearby private dock as a family prepared to dine lakeside. Families whisked children away for baths and bedtime and still we sat. The peepers began their nightly serenade as soft yellow flickers of lightening bugs reflected on the ponds surface. Sighing, we drove home the long way down back roads in the inky night, top down, heater on to ward of the chill.
Handy Hubby has taken the day off of work today and has yet another surprise in store for me. A girl could really get used to this. I told him he was setting the bar pretty high and that I was going to expect this more often. He grinned and said, "Expect it when you least expect it."