Saturday, June 14, 2008

Home Coming Surprise by Kat Magendie

So, I get home from the Pen to Press Writer’s Retreat and my dogs are waiting, every last inch of their bodies wriggling. I pet them, my bones weary from the trip from South Louisiana to North Carolina. A friend has driven back with me, and she is anticipating a week in the mountains. I am anticipating the rest of my life here, and when I am gone, I want to be sprinkled on these mountains (and under a willow tree and under an oak tree – aw, friends, just sprinkle me in all my favorite places). When I step into the log-house, my husband stands grinning. I grin back. I say, “Hey.” He says, “Hey.” But, what we said isn’t as important as what I see. There is no way I can miss it. It is almost the size of a door. It is hanging over the double windows to my right. I stare at it, my mouth open as if to catch some flies and gnats and no-see-ums. I say, “Oh!” My friend says, “Wow!” My husband says, “You like it?”

And as I turn to say, “I can’t believe you did that!” I also see he has left fresh flowers about. And he has painted the ceiling in the bedroom the warm color we thought would look better than white, and pulled the same color into the hall, and as well the tall wall in the living room that isn’t log, just as we talked about doing. I am speechless. I turn back to what is hanged over the windows and stare again. It is a painting, one I learn he has almost completed in a weekend (we joke that he can draw and paint like I write, quickly and with a free hand). The painting is of me and of my dogs and of our view. In it, I am rocking in the rocking chair, my face half-turned to that awe-some view with a look of whimsy and pleasure and mischief, a bright red blouse for that shot of color to match our red couch; the dogs lie in their poses on the porch; there are the mists I love, blanketing; there are late-spring-rain clouds in the sky; there are trees, and ridges, and our porch things, and, some of my favorite birds on the feeders.

Now, how do you thank someone for that? Maybe a thousand ways. But for me, the one who loves to tease and hates mushy gooey globby romance stuff, all I needed to do was give him a hug and say, “That’s the most beautiful painting I’ve seen you do. What a gift you have. It’s so lovely. Thank you,” and to mean it; which I do. I really do.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Aw, how wonderful! Tell that man he is multi-talented. You were missed...what a great feeling.

Barbara Quinn said...

Brace yourself...How romantic. You may not like mushy gooey globby romance stuff.But, it doesn't get more romantic than this! You are lucky to have one another.

Kathryn Magendie said...

*laughing* -- *snort*

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