Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Practical kind of girl

I am writing this now as there is no better time for this post than this gift-giving season.

It is 28 years since my husband took me out for the first time. Last week I received a beautiful gift in honour of that first date.

The day was in late November and the year was 1983. Really.  And no, I don't remember that day like it was yesterday; we went to movies and it was not a spectacular piece of moving pictures. We have the normal kind of marriage with its ups and downs (that is the roller-coaster part) and many, many long stretches of just everyday life (no, not boring because  there is only so much of the roller-coaster part anyone can digest) that we refer to as "possujuna"- ride.  All the Finns know what  I mean with this but if you have not been to Särkänniemi, "possujuna" (scroll down, it is there in the right) is a small train that is meant for ages three and under and that goes around and around on a flat surface in steady, very slow motion.

As you may remember my husband works at sea and we have been more apart than together during these 28 years.  When a celebration happens in a time we are together, he usually surprises me somehow. He is very good in it, way better than I am.  I have received all sorts of gifts during these years and I could probably list 10 different ones (never yarn though) but here is my top three at the moment:

  1. New washer and drier. While I was having the twins, he bought to me as a surprise new washer and drier and had them installed while I was in the hospital and when I returned home with the girls, the surprise was there waiting for me. Two pieces of beautiful new white maschinery. For two years from then on, they kept going almost non-stop. Oh, how I treasured that gift.  The washer was replaced already some time ago but the drier died this fall and it really felt like an end of an era.

  1. The second gift  is a bit more romantic. When the twins turned 2 and Sonja was almost 4, he bought me a short weekend trip to Paris. The way he presented this gift was unforgettable. It was after ordinary longish day in a family with three kids under 4, when we were reading newspapers at the kitchen table after the girls were put to bed. We used to do that every day, it was such a joy to maybe drink a glass of wine, divide the paper in half and then each one of us was reading the own half. I finished my paper and there under the paper, was a map of Paris, flight tickets and money (it was long before euro). It was Tuesday night and I was due to leave on Thursday. He gave me one day to get prepared but not too long to get too worried how he could manage everything while I was away. He told me to get lots of souvenirs and all for myself. Great, great present and they had a good time while I was away.

  1. And now we come to the third. We have a high ceiling in some of the rooms and it is very challenging to change light bulbs and dust the ceilings to get rid of spider webs. During nearly 17 years in this house  I have  managed to climb almost high enough and have used settings that one is not supposed to use, like dragging a table and then putting this three-step-ladder on the table, you get the idea… It  is history now because finally I have a proper tool: a sturdy ladder and oh my, what a grand ladder, it takes me high up and I can have a bucket of water up there and don't need to climb up and down every time I need to rinse the cloth.  So I have been cleaning and dusting and have loved every single moment.

I have often thought that I love mostly romantic gifts, but who knew, I am a practical kind of girl after all. (Ok, so 28 years since that date, I am not sure about the girl-part.)

Wool with you,


  1. My favorite presents are the ones I didn't know I wanted until I had them. And those usually turn out to be the washer and ladder.

  2. congratulations to you both and I too would love such gifts

  3. Those are sweet gifts. He knows you well!

  4. The best thing is that all of those presents show that he is aware of what your daily life is like. . . we like him!

    (look -- my word verification starts with "purl"!)

  5. This is the sweetest post! I love your most recent gift -- it definitely improves your life.

    My favorite gifts from my husband are from our first Christmas together when we were very poor. I think they meant a lot since I could tell how much thought went into them, and I knew that money was scarce.

  6. Ahhh...a clean house, man who loves you, and knitting. Life is good.

  7. Suzy03:17

    Nothing says "love" like a good safe ladder. He wants to keep you around for another 28 years at least!

  8. This is a beautiful story, I loved every word. And I am a practical girl myself, a good vacuum and I am beside myself.

  9. I admit I've always been a practical kind of girl as well. I love simplicity. I understand very well about dealing with a spouse who is away most of time as my 20 yrs of being an army wife that way. I think you come to appreciate all those little things more. What beautiful and touching memories you shared with us. thank you.

  10. Minulla myös kaksostytöt ja seurustelumme alkoi keväällä 1985. Käytännöllisä lahjoja mieheni ostelee ihan minun tahdosta. Leikkoruusujen sijaan olen saanut mm. ruusupensaita puutarhaamme hääpäivälahjaksi.

  11. .. you have a very thoughtful husband, congratulations to both of you...
    ciao ciao Christa

  12. This kind of presents don't get dusty in the corner but get used! Verry nice presents indeed.

  13. I like that you talk honestly about marriage and I can so relate with your happiness about getting away the dust. He's a good man!

  14. Happy Anniversary!!
    My DH always buys me practical gifts too like kitchen appliances or yarn/fleece :-)

  15. Happy Anniversary!
    We also try and do something to take note of the anniversary of our first date: a party my husband organised so he could invite me LOL He isn't always here, but we do always commemorate it somehow, and after 5 years we got engaged on that day.
    Now it's been 27 years of being together (also November!) and 21 years of marriage, 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 2 grandchildren later - brilliant.
    And he still knows what to get me to bring tears to my eyes - of pleasure!!

  16. Anonymous19:41

    Happy anniversary! It sounds like your husband understands your heart. Beautiful.

  17. Lizzi20:04

    A very thoughtful, caring man.

  18. Trista21:34

    How very romantic and practical but all his presents reflect his love for you. Thanks for sharing these stories- they make me smile!

  19. A touching blog entry - it reminds me somehow of that famous short story written by O.Henry : "The gift of the Magi" with a pinch of Truman Capote "A Christmas memory"...you know, not the plot, but the feeling. - Telling your story about your gifts, you evoked the same feeling as when reading those two short stories.
    Have a good time, you deserve it.

  20. Anonymous07:15

    Happy anniversary to you two! What an endearing blog.....you have a way of reminding us, we are the same no matter where or how we live! I validate how you feel about simplicity. only the best to you and yours. Jeanie/
    Montana USA

  21. Anonymous18:57

    He loves you - no doubt about it!
    And he deserves a big kiss;

  22. I loved this post- what wonderful gifts, your husband sounds like quite a gem! I also love the look of your house.

  23. What a wonderful love story... thanking for sharing that with us, Lene!