The other day I awakened to the sound of a vacuum cleaner, but the noise wasn’t quite right. It sounded a bit muffled, and why would DF be vacuuming anyway? We have a robot to do that.
Maybe he was dust-busting around the fireplace insert, which he sometimes does when he cleans out the ashes. Whatever. Because I was zonked on cold medicine, I went back to sleep instead of getting up to check. Later that day I found out that he was getting his ears lowered, i.e., using the Flowbee in the basement.
The sound of a man cutting his own hair…Now that’s frugal sexy. He’s been self-saloning for decades, saving who knows how much money. This is just one of the reasons I find him devastatingly attractive.
Newer readers who aren’t clear on DF’s backstory should check out “Midlife love rocks! (Ask me how I know),” the post that introduced him back on Valentine’s Day 2013. We’re still together and still entirely stupid about each other.
Last summer I finally got to introduce DF to my dad and stepmom, during their visit to Alaska. That was a relief, because part of me wondered if they thought I was making this guy up. Smart, loving, frugal, funny, kind, practical – could he be real?
Dad later pronounced DF “one of the good ones.” Yep.
Regular readers have already heard about his wit, kindness, empathy, smile and, frequently, his frugality. Being on the same page financially is huge. He doesn’t judge my cautious money attitudes because he shares them.
Neither of us minds spending on things that matter. Yet we see no reason to overspend, and we find so much richness in the everyday that having a good time doesn’t cost us much.
We spent a chunk of Friday evening getting the new stove in place: muscling the old one out of the way, degreasing the range hood (long overdue), scrubbing the wall behind the stove and the floor under it, hooking up the stove and sliding it into position. Not everyone’s idea of Date Night, but it worked for us.
DF did most of the stove work, because he’s handled gas lines before. The fact that he was willing to do this rather than hire it out was also frugal sexy.
Afterward we stood beaming at our newly cleaned hood, freshly scrubbed wall and shiny new cooker. It’s a black Frigidaire with a preheat function that actually works, a window so we can see how things are baking, and “simmer” and “quick boil” burners. Its predecessor had labored faithfully for three decades, but it was time for a new appliance.
Not that this is the end of the old stove’s useful life span. DF’s giant sons (6’6” and 6’7”) are coming over later to haul it out to the back deck. Their dad wants to hook it up to propane so he can cook bacon outdoors when the weather warms up. Given our all-too-short summers, sunny days are made for al fresco breakfasts.
A constant giver
After that the three guys will go set a friend’s bed up on risers, in hopes of ameliorating the user’s GERD issues. This should take only a few minutes, but it is a few minutes on a Sunday. All three will do this cheerfully, which is the Alaska way: You help people because it’s the right thing to do.
DF is always looking for ways to help others. His financially challenged friends get rides, meals, Christmas gifts and, if necessary, bail money. He donates to a handful of charities and picks up extra toilet paper at Costco to drop at the family shelter. Every seven weeks he gives blood; his lifetime totals are up in the double-digit gallons.
Certainly he’s always finding ways to make my life better. To use an old-fashioned turn of phrase, he truly is my helpmate: faithful friend, stalwart supporter, cheerful choreboy, champion cuddler. DF works to get me out of the house when I’ve spent too much time alone, anticipates needs I haven’t uttered (or even realized), encourages me when I’m feeling wavery about work, sympathizes if I’ve had a troll-herding day.
Happy Valentine’s Day to one of the good ones. I will never stop thanking God that we found each other. May all of you find your own true loves as well. And if you already have, hold him or her tightly and realize what miracles life can bring.