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Thu, Dec. 05

Words fail in true love and 'guy projects'

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone.

I'm supposed to be the wordsmith in the family, so how is it that I suffer a gargantuan case of writer's block when I try to put my feelings about my husband into words on a card? He, on the other hand, writes the most wonderful, romantic musings not only on Valentine's Day, but many other times of the year. I've saved every one!

I've always loved Valentines Day, even when I was single, which was for a lot of years. I usually did something special for myself or a couple of friends that day - bought a book, flowers, perfume, or some other small item, or shared cards - just because it's a day for love and beauty.

Occasionally, one special friend would send along a card or a little gift that would brighten my day. She's as incurably romantic as I am, and one year she gave me a little handmade fabric pumpkin with a note about Cinderella's carriage. Had to do with dreaming that someday our princes would come.

Another longtime friend, who was for years my sounding board on all things "guy," surprised me one morning years ago with a single rose for Valentine's Day. It's amazing how a small, thoughtful gift like that made me feel so great all day. It was he that I told one day after Randy and I started dating, "We're going to get married, I just know it, and I'm scared to death." We'd only had, like, three dates, so my friend looked at me as if I had three heads. Now, more than 7 happily married years later, I can tell my friend, "I told you so!"

Since I've always been the romantic type, I thought when I married that I would like the type of guy who brought me lots of little gifts and sent flowers and wrote poetry and gazed at me non-stop with loving eyes. The reality is different, but better.

The little gifts and flowers and writings are nice, but they really don't matter as much as this man who married me and in the bargain, took on a whole houseful of critters that he also loves and helps to care for, a gigantic yard and garden that his wife loves and he has to help maintain, a less-than-domestic goddess that he puts up with and helps often, a book addict who hauls more of them into the house nearly everyday, and who will put everything aside to chauffer his spouse to yet another newspaper event just to spend time with her.

And that gazing with loving eyes non-stop thing? Yup, he does that, early in the morning, when my hair looks like a bale of straw exploded and my house dress resembles, well, less than haute couture. I'm worried about his eyesight, but I don't encourage him to make an appointment with the eye doc. Love truly is blind!

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to mention that my dream man is not perfect. We do not, and I repeat, do not, do "projects" together. If he is doing a "project" that involves tools, hand saws and other guy things, I will often wander out and lovingly offer my assistance in the form of helpful "suggestions." I'll even employ that loving gaze thing. This usually results in a tone-of-voice issue. "Don't you have something ELSE to do?" Sheesh, I just love to watch him work! And I like to supervise, just a tiny little bit...

This man-of-my-dreams shows me every day that he loves me, in so many ways, that I find myself gladder and gladder that I waited so long for him. See what I mean about those words? Grammar goes south in the presence of my prince.

Since I had such a hard time writing how much I love him and enjoy sharing our lives together, I made up for it with extra cards on Valentines Day. Four. Three from me and one from the critters. I put them on the bathroom sink, in his lunchpail, on the table, and on the kitchen counter.

I hope he got the message.

Randy Foster is a keeper.

Heidi Dahms Foster is editorial manager, non-daily publications for Prescott Newspapers, Inc.

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