Monday, December 27, 2010

like the back of your hand

not since harry truman was in office has my part of north carolina seen a white christmas. until this year. huge, fluffy flakes began swimming down around noon on christmas day, and didn't stop until the same time on sunday. it was, in a word, magical. but that doesn't do it justice. it was blindingly beautiful. serene. peaceful to an unseemly degree.

and cold.

cold enough to demand sleeping in socks, and i hate sleeping in socks.

so i did what any chilled, bored woman would do. i took a bath. it might be cold enough to freeze the bottle of cider in my passenger seat, but i was determined to be warm. i turned the water on hot and watched it fill up the ceramic tub.

and i sat. and soaked. and read my latest us weekly cover to cover. the water was hot, the kind of turn-your-thighs-a-little-red degree that i just love. it was so humid in the room i had to fan myself with an old magazine. then it happened. the slow, sad process of cooling down. i hate it when i realize the water is teetering on the edge of tepid. because tepid is to a bath as rain is to snow. not quite the same. not quite as hearty or fulfilling.

defeated, i started to reach for the drain with my toes, to pull up the plug and let the water run out. to sit and watch it sink until the chill once again crept in. but then i heard it. a shrill screech. a whistle from the kitchen that was both alien and somewhat familiar to me at the same time. and i heard something else. heavy footsteps on floorboards. the shuffle of jeans and the crinkle of a well-worn work jacket.

and robert appeared in the doorway. with a half smile, he held up our teapot. filled with hot water. he poured it in, and i felt the water rejuvenate. renew. refresh. and i got another good half hour of soaking in.

when and if i have a daughter one day, i want to sit her down when she's old enough and tell her. darling, don't marry for money. or because he's good looking enough. or because you're compatible in just the right ways that it makes sense. not because he's smart, dependable or charming, or comes from a good family.

marry the man who will bring you water from the kitchen to refill your bathtub. marry the one who leaves love notes on the dog's water bowl because he knows that's the first place you shuffle your slippers to in the morning. who orders you an extra frosty from wendy's because he knows that when you say one, you really mean two. the man who, when someone in public asks you your name and your stutter flares up, will intercede and say it for you. {by the way, sweet girl, i hope you don't get my stutter, but if you do, we'll go at it together.}

marry the one who shows his love in the way he knows you--the real you---wholly, completely and without judgment. without words or flowery shows of fireworks, but with simple gestures that only you pick up on. because he'll be the one who's in it for the long run.

because situations change. people change. summer heat gives way to fall winds and surprise christmas snowstorms. bath water cools. but the beauty of being with someone who knows your quirks, downsides, and idiosyncrasies as intimately as his own, is that you change together.

and that makes life beautiful. and exciting. and dynamic.

and anything but lukewarm.


Thisisme said...

Oh vintch, you are so blessed having your Robert in your life. All those little things that he does for you - they must make you feel very loved, and very special. How wonderful it would be to have a Robert in my life!!

Casey said...

This is beautiful. I am all excited to say that I am now engaged to my Mr. Wonderful, and he is all the things and more that you wrote about and above. :)

Glad to hear you had your Winter Wonderland for the holidays this year!


Dawn said...

I am in tears.
You have written so much the complete truth here.
I have a long (19 year) marriage story...and it isn't pretty. But it's turning into beautiful.
And for the reasons you list above with your graced-words!
This is beautiful! I want to copy it to remember it always.
I think you wrote it, not only for your daughter, but for me.
Thank you.
You have been a blessing more than you know.

Amy said...

Wow! You are such an incredible writer. (I know, you're probably thinking, "Okay, I get it" but I can't get over how great you are.) You create the perfect imagery and bring each story to life. I love the love you and your husband have for each other. It makes me want to strive to have the same. I know Justin and I are on the right path. And if that title is a line from a Miranda Lambert song, it will only make me love you that much more.
Love love love to you.

elsie said...

wow! this is the loveliest post! your daughter will be blessed to hear these honest words from you just as I have. thanks for sharing... ♥

Shalyn said...

Oh, how I love this. You are so lucky to have the sweet man you do and this post makes me incredibly happy and thankful that I have one as well. I bet your studder is endearing:-)

I'm AE Jones said...

Oh my goodness. I want a guy like that. THAT is what I'm looking for. You totally just put in words what is floating around in my head. :) Thanks. You're fabulous. Hope you had a great Christmas!! xoxo

Amber Blue Bird said...

what a beautiful story and lesson to be able to teach your daughter. Your guy is so sweet, I can feel the love between you two through your words and its a beautiful thing

sarah nicole said...

OMGosh, this is the sweetest post! What a great husband you have!

Merry belated Christmas and I hope you have a happy new year!


{av} said...

you hit the nail on the head, sweet girl. marriage is about so much more...and you captured it perfectly in this post. hope you enjoyed the flurries...we're dealing with our own right now in Rhode Island. hope you had a picture perfect Christmas...much love, my dear! xoxo {av}

Jessica said...

Sounds like you have one great catch. ;)

In My Tennis Shoes said...

ok... so
1. WASN'T THAT SNOW FABULOUS! My part of SC got rain most of christmas day and then that night it turned into beautiful white flakes and snowed all night! Sunday it was a delightful winter wonderland!
2. My sisters used to bring hot water into our baths from the kettle after ours would run out. It was wonderful.
3. I love your writing! and love your writing about marriage! Your love sounds lovely! {as fabulous as mine :D}

lindsay said...

oh beautiful...your words are simply magical! i love the lessons you will teach your daughter. you are should never marry for money or marry for good lucks.

marry for love...true love :) it sounds like you and your husband have just that ♥ i am lucky to say i do too!

jenna said...

i am so happy i found your lovely blog.

Diana Smith said...

YEAH, i hate sleeping in socks too!! That stinks you guys got snow!! We have been getting it off and on, but its normal here in Utah. I hope it doesnt stick around!

Blondie's Journal said...

Robert is a lovely man...and you have some wonderful advice to give to that daughter. She will also learn a lot just by your example.


Vic said...

i love when i meet fellow bloggers that i can totally relate to...i'm someone who hates wearing socks to bed as well but it's ice cold here in FL too....socks have become my friends:) and hot baths where my love will bring a pan of more hot water....i love the words for your future daughter...i have that man and a man with millions could never amount to that:) right on sista!

welcome and thanks for joining ftlob...we're so glad to be meeting fresh new faces:) xoxo

enjoy the night!

Ana* said...

I HATE sleeping in socks as well. On a different note, this post made me cry. It's so heartfelt. Thanks for the advise, that is the man I wish to marry one day!! I am sure your daughter will love hearing this story and following your advice as well. Much love <3

Paula said...

Oh Courtney, how I love to conclude my day with one of your beautifully worded posts. said...

Late blog hopper here (blame it on the bad weather conditions)I loved this post and immediately signed up to be your newest follower. Every woman wants a Robert in her life. You are so right about marrying for the correct reasons and I can proudly say that Hubby has been known to not only make me laugh 'til I cry but has filled my bath up too when it's been cold with a kettle of hot water. We've been manacled together for twenty-three years in a couple of weeks and we still manage to have loads of fun...I'm sure you too will be together and happy for many, many years...sounds like you chose the right one :)
Please drop by and maybe follow if you would like. I'd be delighted to welcome you. I love meeting happy people. Warning I am quite possibly a vision of the future :)
Warm wishes
Carol from

Signe said...

Aaaaw - how sweet of him!! And you are so right - one should never marry for money, looks or family!!

I hope you and your family had a happy holiday and I hope you are able to stay warm dear. And I am looking forward to reading more from you in 2011 :)


mskanorado said...

You captured marriage with some lovely advice in this post my dear! Love it!! Sounds like Robert is a wonderful man! I'm so happy that you two are so in love! That is so important in marriage! I love the advice you will give your daughter it's so real and so true!

Peaches said...

Courtney I'm catching up on blog reading and this post is just so sweet. I love hearing about happy relationships & marriages and from this post, the love in yours just radiates.

Happy New Year Dear!

charla beth said...

what a darling husband you have.

thank you for the reminder of what a real, deep-down, true love looks like.

lovely post.

gina said...

You did it again, are you published?!

I have a 17 year old daughter, I will have her read this, although I've actually given her similar advice, but I also told her to marry someone who loves God like crazy.
In love with your paper to pen girl!

beka said...

i beyond love this.

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