What qualities do you most value in your better half?
It’s early. 4:00 in the morning maybe. The sun is only starting to lighten up the midnight blackness. The increasing light only just gives the tiniest glow to the window shades. It will be a while yet before the dawn. I reach over and touch her shoulder that is sneaking out from under the covers. The night air has made her shoulder a little cold so I put my hand on it to give it a little warmth, then I pull the covers up and tuck them in around her neck. In a little while she starts to rustle. Sometimes we chat a bit but more often she gets out of bed and goes down to the kitchen to start the coffee and poach herself a couple of eggs. In my own good time I too, get up. In the dining room she is working her newspaper puzzles and I give her a good morning kiss on my way to the coffee pot. Back in my place at the table I start to read the newspaper on my computer. The day has begun.
More than anything else, I love how kind and generous she is with me. As I’ve got older she is always there to lend me a shoulder when I’m walking down a rocky path or over uneven ground. Sometimes when I get up in the morning I’ve found that she has cooked bacon or whipped up a batch of salmon spread for bagels or rye bread. A homemade batch of cookies or even a pie sometimes appears out of nowhere to make our lives that much nicer.
My Love has always been artistic but has hidden it under a bushel. With her starting to work in fused glass, her art has come into its own. Plates, dishes, and panels are just some of the things she has created. We have collaborated together in the production of sculptures, which I have really enjoyed. Her artistic tastes mirror my own.
Together we have produced two wonderful children and from them, 4 grandchildren. How can I ever thank her enough for that? They are our delights.
As I write this in June of 2021, Butch and I have been married for 52 years. We have lived our life together for a long time and have shared many good times and hard times along the way. It is somewhat difficult to separate individual qualities of a person who actually seems like half of me. I’ll give it a try.
One difference in the two of us is how outgoing we are. Don’t get me wrong. I love people and have many friends I feel close to but I have always been a bit shy and am reticent when meeting new people. Butch, on the other hand, “has never met a stranger”. He readily talks to people he doesn’t know and quickly finds some kind of connection with them. In our travels he strikes up conversations with other travelers, waitresses, ticket agents and the like that draw me in as well. We met an Australian couple on a train when we were traveling in Belgium and enjoyed a friendly conversation for the whole journey that we enjoyed a lot. These conversations make travel richer and probably wouldn’t happen if left to me.
Butch is also a meticulous planner. I am a doer and if things were totally left up to me, I would just plunge in and get started before I had looked very far ahead. I think this is an area where our two different approaches are very complimentary. It is another way that we are a good team. Our travels are a good example of how this works out. When we decide on a destination for one of our car trips, I immediately start looking at the possibilities of what we would enjoy doing at our end point and some potential places along the way. I get pretty specific by looking for special events that might be coming up. When we were planning our trip to Yellowstone, I discovered that there was an annual Buffalo round-up with cowboys and the whole works on one day in the fall. I got really excited about it and immediately wanted to go. Here’s where the planner comes in. Butch takes over and fills in the details about how long it would take to drive there, how much driving time is reasonable in a day, and what routes we could potentially take to get there. He sketches out mileage and timelines to make it practical and pleasant while I pick out more things we might enjoy. He comes up with a chart that guides our trip. We are not too rigid to take advantage of a nice surprise along the way but our plan keeps us from getting into trouble.
Butch can always make me laugh. I am the worrier in our family which, of course, never solves anything. When we are together there is always teasing and joking around. We have tons of shared memories that we can laugh about to lighten most situations. In 2020, during the pandemic, I often thought how lucky we were to be quarantined together. I have several friends who did not have a partner and felt very lucky that I did… even though some of his jokes are lame indeed!
Another quality I most value is harder to identify but for want of a better term I will call it our “connection.” It is hard to explain except to say that when I feel something strongly, there is no one I want to share it with more than Butch. A joy is doubled if I can share it with him and a sorrow is bearable if he is there. He has the hand I want to hold!
This post is part of the StoryWorth project that I am participating in.
At the ButchieBoy main page click the Storyworth catagory to see all the entries in the series.