Monday, February 21, 2011

"After the First Kiss... And Chicken Wire" by Catherine Mann

Yes, February is the month of Valentines, which leads to thoughts of falling in love, that first kiss… And then what? After the tingle of that first kiss has faded, does that mean the romance is gone?

I certainly hope not!

That brings me to a story about my own dear handsome hubby of twenty-three years. I’ve shared this story before, but it’s one of my favorites, especially this time of year. My husband is a gem in that he always kisses me goodbye before leaving for work or a trip. He always remembers my birthday, our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc., even when the Air Force may have sent him thousands of miles away.

I do so enjoy when the delivery guy shows up with a surprise bouquet of wildflowers or my flyboy hubby struts in the door with a box of Godivas. But the longer we're married, the more I realize his best gifts can be less pricey and surprisingly unusual. My favorite ever romantic gesture from my husband?

Chicken wire.

Yes, you read that right. I should probably backtrack a bit to explain.

Three years ago, I got a puppy, an adorable Boston Terrier/pug/beagle/mystery breed pound rescue named Sadie. We had a general idea of her adult size based on the vet’s guess, and we knew she would be on the small side. However, we never counted on her being so little and lean she could bolt right through the pickets on our pool fence.

Yipes! She quickly found every porch in the neighborhood with pet food. (Hey, did I mention she’s brilliant as well as adorable?!)

I increased walks with Sadie to drain her energy, while waiting for her to grow big enough to enjoy our large yard without escaping. After 6 months I feared it would never happen.

Replacing the fence was out of the question. The fence is big and pricey. My husband fretted over options. He really, really prides himself on having a pristine yard. One of our neighbors suggested weaving chicken wire through the pickets.

My husband visibly paled.

We waited another month for her to grow. No luck. I continued to walk my feet off in cold, rainy weather with Sadie (while feeding her very frequently and praying “Grow, puppy, grow!”)

A few days later, I readied Sadie for her walk – HUGE storm clouds looming. I stepped outside and found my husband. On his knees. Weaving chicken wire through the white pool fence.

Bless his big heart, my husband worked in the rain to finish before he had to leave that afternoon for a two week trip. And yes, the chicken wire worked. Our fence has been Sadie proofed with - as my husband calls it - poultry fencing!

What a romantic gift! What a romantic guy! And yes, I also got a spine tingling kiss from my hubby before he headed out!

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I would love to hear you. What’s the most unique/unusual/surprising romantic gifts or gestures you’ve ever received?

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25 comments:

  1. Great story, Catherine. You have a fabulous hubby. You'd better keep him for at least another 23 years. One of the nicest things my husband did for me was surprise me with hardwood flooring in my living room. We had this yucky old carpet that I hated. He sent me out for a day and night of movies and shopping and had his friends come over and put in the hardwood floors. That was SOOOO special to me.

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  2. I should have said the friends helped him put in the floors. He worked too, AND he has a bad back so all the bending didn't help.

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  3. A BB Gun! Yep, that was it. I had a momma cat with a bunch of kittens in the back yard in the days before the fence was put up and the stray dogs (anyone with a weak stomach should stop reading right here) kept coming around and killing my kittens. So Husband bought me a BB gun. After a couple of weeks, no more stray dogs. (Disclaimer: No dogs were killed during that two weeks and after that all I had to do was shake the gun out the back door.)

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  4. A breadbox. After that I was careful to say what I'd like to have because I didn't expect a breadbox for Valentine's Day.

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  5. I've told this story before, but it's a good one, I don't mind repeating...

    My eldest child was 11 and my youngest was 7 and my husband and I had never left the three kids and taken time together. So when DH had a conference in Disney, he suggested we find someone to watch the kids and go.

    My dear friend Nancy came out from Seattle and had planned to spend a few days before we left to get the lay of the land. The morning after I picked Nancy up from the airport, the conference was canceled because Hurricane Ivan was supposed to hit. Stephen called me as I was leaving for the gym and I was so bummed. I told him I didn't care where we went, but we were going somewhere--even if it was a Motel 6.

    Off to the gym I went, I just about had a heart attack when I was paged. Stephen was on the phone and asked how Paris sounded. I said it sounded great. Then he asked how it sounded to fly to Paris on a 7:00 flight (that airport is 3 hours away!) I said it was doable.

    I ran home, dragged poor Nancy out of bed, took her to all three kids' school "You remember Nancy, Mommy and Daddy are going to Paris, I love you, Bye!" I drove her by the kid's Dr., the hospital, the vet. I had less than an hour to pack and we were off for 5 days and 4 nights of heaven in Paris. I can't wait to see how he tops that!

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  6. My husband needed to host a meeting in central Europe for his company. It was totally up to him to decide the location. He knew I wanted to go to Paris so he chose to hold the meeting there so that I could go with him! It was a great trip. He also accepted an invitation for a conference in Venice last October so that I could go. *FYI - there were business reasons for going. LOL I know I'm a lucky gal.

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  7. What fun, fun stories!! Yay to all those hubbies for coming through with such great surprises - and even if the surprise was sometimes a bit unusual, I think a guy deserves major points for trying! :)

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  8. Terrific story Catherine thank you for sharing it with us ! The gift that comes to mind was actually one I received from my son (he was 3 at the time) two years ago. It was so unexpected but my sister took him to the store and he selected it himself, it was a huge basket full red roses and this adorable teddy bear with I love you mom written on it ,and also a glass that has Worlds best valentine canadite written on it !

    Not a very unusual gift or from the usual person you would expect it to come from but I thought I would share !

    I love reading everyone's stories thank you for sharing everyone !

    Best Desere

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  9. My wedding gift from my husband was the Chicago manual of Style. He really knows me!

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  10. I think the most touching for me is that my husband brought our first resuce cat home because I had talked about a box of kittens being given away at my daughter's school but we had a dog so couldn't bring myself to take one home and he had always said he was not a cat person. Then a few years after that a stray mama cat and kittens showed up on our porch. He has been the one to say - oh, let the poor thing in - I've had up to 7 cats inside and at least 3 permanently outside and many have come and gone (males) and found homes, fed, fixed, attempted to save many a cat since then and it's been over 15 years. He ended up a cat person after all :)

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  11. This was years ago when the kids were relatively young, 2nd and 3rd grade, I think.

    Hubby and kids sent me to my room to read and they prepped dinner Valentine's Day. When I was called to the table it was set with tablecloth and candles. The kids acted as wait staff/dj's. Menu consisted of Avocado with shrimp salad, cold cuts, cudite, cheese platter with plenty of bread and a bottle of wine. Chocolates and coffee came afterward. The kids had eaten an early meal and put themselves to bed without us. It was the most surprising and heartmelting meal. Kids and hubby made it into something of an annual affair.

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  12. I love it when I come home thinking I have this and that to clean and my husband has done it all! I'm always stoked when he cleans the house, such a wonderful man when he does it.

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  13. You know what I'm enjoying most about reading all these lovely stories is how each gift is so tailor-made for the person! To me, that's what makes a gift special - when it shows that the person who gave it chose what they knew *I* would like vs something they would want for themselves. It's really a wonderful feeling to know our needs have been heard. :)

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  14. What a wonderful story, Catherine. I'm not sure this qualifies as unusual, but two years ago, my husband took me to Best Buy on my birthday to pick out a Mac computer. I'd been salivating over getting a Mac for some time, so it was a really nice surprise.

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  15. That's so sweet that he would work in the rain to finish.

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  16. Those are the best presents indeed. Something that doesn't necessarily cost alot but major thought has been put into it. You know that person loves you when you receive such a gift.

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  17. Aww, what a sweet hubby you have! My husband has done soem great things for me, but the one thing I appreciate is in the middle of the night when I get thirsty, he still gets out of bed to get me a drink of water. Though he's gotten smart and usually brings me two glasses before he goes to bed!

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  18. It's fun hearing how many wonderfully considerate guys there are out there!! Nice to remind myself during those moments when hubby lapses into that male cluelessness syndrome. ;)

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  19. Such wonderful hubbies you all have. I have an ex-hubby for a reason. :-) Not wonderful. Not wonderful at all.

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  20. sounds like you have a great husband. As for gifts that I have received my guy knows how much I love to read so he has given me shopping trips at books store basically to get what I want period. :-)those I never forget. LOL

    Larena

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  21. I agree that coming home to a "surprise" clean house being the best present ever, romantic, thoughtful, perfect.

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  22. Larena, my hubby and I both enjoy dates that involve buying books!!! Our kids are also big readers.. Our shelves are jam packed.... My girls and I read off a Kindle now, but my hubby and the boys are still paper book readers. :)

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  23. I agree - a surprise clean house would totally ROCK!!!!! :)

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  24. Thanks, everyone, for the fun comments - it's a delight to hear so many different stories of showing love beyond those early days of dating!

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  25. He does sound like a gem, Catherine! Thank you for sharing such a great story.

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