Why is there a priority mail box in the refrigerator?” Ed asks hopefully. “Did you order a cake or something?”
“Noooo,” I reply. “The lily bulbs I ordered are in there. I’m waiting for the daffodil bulbs so I can plant them all together.”
“Oh,” he says, with an I should have known tone in his voice. Yes, he should have. Lily bulbs in the fridge, saved seeds in the butter compartment, hyacinth bulbs in the vegetable crisper—Ed knows not to eat anything he doesn’t recognize in our fridge. I’ll make a cake for poor Ed later. You know, after gardening season is over, when I have the time.
When my stepdaughter and her beau were talking marriage, I told her that there would be times when she would look at her husband and believe she was the luckiest woman on earth. There would also be times when she would look at him and wonder What was I thinking? There would be times when she would have both these thoughts on the same day. I think every woman has these thoughts. I know I do.
Ed is a pretty good husband. He tolerates food and plants in the same fridge. He has taken the job of family tree planter, mostly because I tend to plant them with a slight lean (I don’t know how that happens, but it does).
I have brought sketches to him, and he has welded them into garden art. One of my favorites is the stick couple he welded from rebar to look like they are dancing. He even put them on an old chair swivel so they twirl in the breeze. He has made some wonderful birdbaths using concrete and rhubarb leaves.
He’s not perfect, of course. He won’t quit smoking. But at least he doesn’t smoke in the house. His time frame is not the same as mine. When I want something done, NOW is when it should be done. When he gets around to it is his. Sometimes I will start something and mess it up so he has no choice but to fix it. (OK, maybe I do know why the trees I plant tend to lean, but don’t tell him I admitted that.)
Just the other day I was busy working in the garden behind the viburnums. Ed came out on the deck to enjoy the sunshine and have a cigarette (Ugh! Nasty habit!), his arm resting on the deck rail. Before I could speak, a wren landed on his outstretched arm. It flew off to its nest under the eaves, then returned. It was pulling hairs from Ed’s arm for its nest!
Ed had a grin from ear to ear on his face. My heart filled with love for this man who allowed a small bird to warm its nest with hair from his arm. I thought about all the things he does to make me happy.
Then this man finished his cigarette, stubbed it out on the deck railing, looked surreptitiously around, and, not seeing me, flicked it over the railing into the viburnums.
What was I thinking?! ❖
This article was published originally in 2018, in GreenPrints Issue #112.