Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We don't go in for Valentine's Day at our house. No flowers, no lace dripping cards, no candlelit dinners. Nothing big or showy, or even little and sentimental. So what I was feeling this morning was distinctly unrelated to the day.

But the fact that it is Valentine's Day probably made me feel more put out than I would have been if it were, oh, say, Groundhog's Day.

It is That Time of Year. The Symphony's BIG concert is coming up fast on the first Sunday in March, and Warren's normally rigorous workweek has shifted into a high intensity and demanding workweek (and work weekends). It is a given that this happens. Normally I take February for what it is: all Symphony all the time.

Yet when Warren called me this morning and gave me a rapid-fire-matter-of-fact-yes-my-schedule-has-changed-I'm-just-leaving-for-Columbus-now answer in response to a text I had sent, I forgot what month it was and hung up in tears. Nothing wrong, mind you, nothing that couldn't be tweaked in my schedule to accommodate the Symphony, but...

And that was where my thoughts jumped off from: but... But for once I would like not to have to be responsible. But for once I would like not to have to be the one trudging in the snow to the office. But for once I would like not to feel guilty about my schedule.

I know, I know. I'm whining. Or I was as the tears fell. I know, I like walking. I know, we are close enough in town that most of the time I am able to walk and I don't need to vie for car time. I know, I have the more flexible schedule. I know, it is February. And for crying out loud, it was just a light snow and the temperature was warm, so it wasn't like it was a hardship for me to walk this morning.

But it stung all the same. So much so that when Warren called me back some 20 minutes later, upbeat and chipper and on the road to his appointment, I couldn't quite match the tone of his mood. I told him so.

When I left for the office five minutes later, I admit it, I trudged. And, I am embarrassed to say, my mood trudged as well.

Last night I read The Country Kitchen, by Della T. Lutes. It was a Katrina book from our great book packing adventure and one that I am grateful she told me to take. Written in 1935, it is the author's memoir of growing up in rural Michigan in the late 1870s. Memories are intermixed with recipes and the entire book is a gentle, comforting read from an era long gone. The last chapter centers around a Christmas dinner that carried the potential for going terribly awry, but which managed to come to a satisfactory conclusion. Looking back, Lutes wrote: It had been a good day, after all. Nothing to make history, but good to live, good to remember. 

I thought of that phrase as I walked. Nothing to make history, but good to live, good to remember.  I tucked the thought away and went through my day, trying not to dwell on my bruised mood, but not entirely letting it go either. It was that kind of day.

Tuesdays are usually long days for me. By the time I got to Warren's office and by the time he got done with the Symphony, the hour was late. I was tired, Warren was chilled from the long day. We came home, we ate a non-memorable late supper, we talked quietly of quiet matters. While I finish typing this, Warren is downstairs working on, yes, more Symphony matters. After all, it is February and the BIG concert is just a few weeks away.

Before sitting down to write this post, I picked up The Country Kitchen from my desk and reread the lines that I had carried with me all day long. I then picked up my notebook of quotes and turned the pages until I came across a companion quote from Matchless by Gregory Maguire: they had the warmth of one another, and enough on which to live, and in most parts of the world, that is called plenty.

It is Valentine's Day, which we don't celebrate, although Warren surprised me with a Valentine's Day card at supper. A thoughtful, sweet, loving card. The BIG concert is almost upon us. And on balance,  it has been a good day. We have the warmth of one another, and that is plenty.



Anonymous said...

Our Valentines Day was unremarkable too. I so much wanted to call in to work today. DH got himself up and inspired me to meet the challenge of my day...so THERE is the plenty at our house. This is a good reminder to remember the things we so easily take for granted.

see you there! said...

A good quote, it is always good to remember we have plenty.

On the other hand sometimes we just want to be first. I understand that. We don't always want to have to be the one to accomodate, to do without, to give. I wonder sometimes how much this has to do with being a woman.


Sharon said...

I love the quote...I'm going to have to write that one down too!

Isn't it amazing how simple words can change our trajectory of thoughts?

Glad the day balanced out for you!!