Joseph best christmas gift ever

Thirty years ago, I began opening my best Christmas present ever. My husband.
I found a soul mate for economy. We dated on a shoe string budget. Talk is free, riding bikes is cheap when you own the bikes, cooking over a camp stove is simple. Playing games provides plenty of time to interact. Attending church required only an attitude of worship.
We were engaged and married with a few coins to jingle in our pockets. He wrote out the invitations. I made my dress and bought his suit. We asked our attendants to wear coordinating colors. After the ceremony we were just as married as if we had spent much more.
I had always dreamed of remodeling a house, keeping a garden and preserving food for the next winter. I married the perfect obsessive-compulsive personality to do that. Even after I was so tired that I could have cared less about tearing out another wall, pulling another weed or peeling another pear, he plugged along until the project was done. Because of him, I realized many of my dreams.
I always dreamed of having a big family with lots of children. My handy man came with a couple of sons, of whom my mother once wrote, “Joan has welcomed them as her own.” I had a great time being their den mother, flash card turner, story teller, homework supervisor and manager of their paper route.
We raised my dream family on a rather tight budget. If it was in town and free or had a minimal cost, that was our entertainment. In recent years I have played a rather astonished grandmother to their seven little girls during our sporadic visits to northern Indiana where they live. My husband is not so astonished, he has been ready for grandparenting since his sixth and last child, and only daughter, was born. He enjoys having children help, whatever he is doing. … including the carpentry work of remodeling.
When the two-year-old grandson visited this Christmas he insisted on helping his grandfather pry up that wood, pound in nails and set the finishing nails. He dragged grandpa’s hammer along for his afternoon
nap. His mother let him sleep with it, “but you have to put it under your pillow.”
The day they left my husband generously gave his little helper that hammer for his second birthday then wen and bought a new hammer to finish the remodeling.
He complements my dreams. When I said an inexpensive collection of International Santa Clauses intrigued me, my husband went absolutely bonkers buying them. My collection has doubled this past month.
We both wanted to collect enough college credits for a bachelor’s degree. I encouraged him to quit wishing and start studying. He graduated in 1980. Then he encouraged me to finish the degree I started.
I walked the spring of 1988. Although we both tired of having the other in school neither one of us said, “Stop! That is enough. The degree is not worth it.” It was just one of our many, commonly shared goals and dreams that we achieved with each other’s help.
Couldn’t have made it this far without him. Happy 61st birthday, M.J.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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