Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Practical Thinking

My husband isn't big into giving gifts.  Meaning he doesn't pick up a bouquet of flowers on his way home from work, or a box of chocolates for Sweetest Day, or a card for any other occasion--including birthdays and anniversaries.

That doesn't mean he doesn't give gifts at all, rather, he gives big gifts, just not little token ones, and not often.  For instance, for years I'll get a 'Happy Birthday" phone call when he's at work and suddenly remembers it's my birthday.  Then, out of the blue, on another birthday year I'll get a brand new Carhartt coat for a birthday gift because he'll have noticed my other one is completely worn out and patched over several times.  Practical.

We joke about our first Christmas together, in which he bought me a pair of earrings and a case of Twix because he couldn't think of anything else. He knew I had pierced ears and liked candy bars, hence earrings and Twix. 

But there have been other Christmases where the gift he gave me cost so much more: the year he got me a KitchenAid Professional 600 mixer because I had injured my shoulder and kneading bread dough by hand was quite painful.  The year I got a large dump-cart to tow behind the lawn tractor so I wouldn't have to tote my gardening equipment--which is a lot when you tally up stakes, hoes, rakes, my 4 lb sledge for pounding stakes, tomato cages, bean poles, etc, etc--from the barn to the garden by hand (and foot).  The years--a dozen years apart--that he bought me insulated Carhartt bibs to wear for outdoor work in the winter.  Not cheap gifts, and very practical.  Things he felt I needed to make my lifestyle (outdoorsy, but also very much in the kitchen) better.

This past Christmas he gave me what have, in recent weeks, become my most favorite gifts yet.  One was small, and very behind the times, compared to what most people have.  It is a cheapy mp3 player.  It plays music.  That's it.  But that's all it needs to do, because I love music and to be able to take it with me to the garden, to the woods, in the barn, down the road while I'm running, is something that makes me happy.

The other gift I got last Christmas was much bigger and much more expensive.  It is something that alot of women would turn up their nose at.  It is a Stihl MM55 tiller, with a wheel kit.  I love that thing.  It is so much easier to handle than a regular size rototiller, and I can churn up weeds between rows in the garden in nothing flat (and no sore shoulder afterward!).  Since the operating instructions say to always wear protective ear coverings, I have teamed it up with my mp3 player--I wear big funky looking headphones because ear buds just don't fit me right; they fall out just from breathing while I'm sitting still, no chance of moving around, let alone holding a vibrating power tool.  Yes, the two best gifts ever.  I'm out there jamming to great tunes while annihilating weeds in my garden!

I love my practical thinking man.  Who needs do-dads when a girl can have hard-core workwear, heavy-duty appliances, power tools, and music?

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