When I woke up yesterday, I knew it was going to be perfect. For one, I’d just finished getting an entire eight hours of sleep after accumulating a little less than that the two previous nights. I slept like the dead despite the fact that we now have a German Shorthaired Pointer in our bed because he thinks it’s too cold to snooze outside.
So, when I woke refreshed, I had baking, cooking and writing on the brain. Just the notion of puttering around the house for an entire day put a huge smile on my face. The plan was to make two pots of soup, bake something pumpkin and then spend the rest of the afternoon at a desk finishing my 50K manuscript–only 12K to go!
By the time I’d chopped up an onion and roasted the baby Idaho blue and red potatoes, I was completely in heaven and humming happy tunes like Betty Crocker. The methodical motion of mincing, roasting home-grown veggies and tossing everything with olive oil and garlic makes me smiley and warm all over.
About mid-morning (and two recipes in), I knew plans were about to change. It was about that time that BD started hinting about cutting wood. It wasn’t a surprise as we’ve been discussing four trees that have needed to come down for quite a while. And if you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you probably already know that I love my chainsaw and look for opportunities to use it.
It just wasn’t in my plans for the day. This day. MY day.
I was able to stall him for a bit (with food, duh!). But when his itinerary became a bit more concrete and vocal, I started to whine about all of the things I had planned for me, myself and I. My selfish tendencies were starting to rear their ugly heads like Medusa and it reeked of self-indulgence…and powdered sugar.
Fortunately, I’ve learned to listen to BD over the last twenty-seven years and it usually only takes a moment to right my ship.
He’s also very persuasive.
So, it wasn’t long after lunch that we were bundled up in Carhart brown, boots and ear muffs to continue with the age-old Terry family tradition he introduced to me when we were first dating. He invited his parents over and we made it a family event minus my girl away at college.
The way to my man’s heart is not always with food and hooker heels, but through manual labor, a good attitude and a pair of too-big overalls paired with a genuine smile.
The project took most of the afternoon as we cut and sawed and hauled wood and debris to the huge burn pile that had been accumulating all summer. My pyro-son was in charge of the bonfire and we fed the flames for a good four hours. The embers were still there this morning despite a dusting of snow late last night. The fire became our respite when our muscles got a little sore, needed a drink and when Tanna called for my chicken noodle recipe.
Yesterday’s simple gift was so beautiful that when I wasn’t sawing or stacking or taking orders, my camera was out and snapping. Something about achy muscles, the scent of the outdoors and moving forward when it would have been easier to sit at a desk filled my soul with a sense of accomplishment and flooded my brain with the words I would use to write about it later.
Being outside with my family did more for my writing than sitting down with a thesaurus and looking out the window ever could have. Two surgeries in the last five months forced me away from a normally very active lifestyle and I was starting to get depressed. There’s only so much good you can do at the gym and it was curative to achieve something worthwhile with a huge pile of wood left to show for it.
Simple and quality time with people I love is a reminder of what’s important. Life is never just about me and thank goodness I have a family who still loves me even on the days that I think it is.