I've been thinking about Tim. It's not his birthday or anything. But he does work a 12-hour shift as a nurse and that means that when he leaves in the afternoon, I don't see him till I wake up the next morning. So I'm bound to think about him every so often as I drift about the house and hunker down in the studio. Last night I was lying awake in bed, something that often happens because I need to stop reading exciting books just before I turn the lights out, and I was appreciating my buckwheat pillow. It's a pillow filled with buckwheat hulls which form and arrange to your head and neck and it gives wonderful support. At least, mine would if it weren't huge, and didn't weigh 17 pounds. A 17 pound pillow. That's right.
A few years back I gave Tim a surprise buckwheat pillow for his birthday. It was 11 pounds. A manageable size. Very pleasant. A size that's easily dealt with when one is half-asleep and needs to rearrange one's pillow. So Tim decided to surprise me with a buckwheat, and perhaps thinking if enough is good, more is better, chose the hefty 17 pounder. This is more the size that makes one think one is in bed with a bull seal when one awakens at 2:12am needing to rearrange one's pillow. I finally scooped out two (large) Ziploc bags full of hulls and it is now a delightful pillow. The pillow it was meant to be. The pillow my neck dreamed of. And we have lots of extra hulls in the closet, just in case we might need them for anything someday.
This is the same man who, the other morning, picked a handful of Brazil nuts out of his cereal and, walking over to the cutting board, laid them there, saying, "I don't like these." I think he thought they might disappear. Like the cutting board had a transport pad.
This is also the same man who, while in a lobster restaurant in Nova Scotia with yours truly, perfectly imitated Donovan, our rottweiler, choking on a piece of branch, (this is something I ask him to do sometimes) to the alarm of all the surrounding booths. Do not imitate choking in a lobster restaurant in Nova Scotia. Ever. That one can still bring me to tears, bless him.
This is the man who, one night while camping in a rather spooky field in Belgium, (again, I need to stop with the reading before bed) unexpectedly surprised me by pulling two wine glasses from his pack, along with a bottle of red, which he had been carting around secretly for 3 days. The glasses were perfect little balloons. Let me add that when you are carrying a pack around for months on end, usually extra weight is not tolerated. Like a bottle of wine. Neither are delicate objects, like little balloon glasses. But he did it. And I loved it.
This is the man who spent hours following the leafcutter ants around when we visited Costa Rica.
The man who calls me to the upstairs porch to look at the sunset.
He can juggle snowballs.
And every afternoon on our Colorado trip, he whipped up some delicious cashew butter & jam sandwhiches. He has a very interesting method. I learned a lot.
He's also great at grilling things. And he's good at getting Lucy to imitate the Sphinx.
Mimi loves him.
And Donovan trusts him implicity when confronting waves.
In fact, both dogs are really crazy about him. Especially since he lets them on the couch. Bad Tim. Bad.
He's also really good at throwing snowballs in just a certain way, so Donovan gets really contorted catching them and I can laugh myself silly.
And every time I say, "Babe, can you please turn down the music/film/radio/etc.," he promptly turns it down. (I think he's a teeny bit deaf from all the years of concerts without earplugs: I, on the other hand, carry them at all times in my bag. I wore a pair just the other day when I went to see the the River Dance Chicago troupe.) We both know it's important to protect my delicate eardrums so their keen sensitivity will still be useful when we are old and living in a cabin by a lake, so I can listen for bear when I let the dogs out last thing at night.
Protecting my hearing is really important to me. And he's totally on board with that.
He's actually totally on board with a lot of odd things I do.
Because he's a good sport.