When Phil and I were dating, he took me to the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain. I had been there before - or thought I had - until I went with Phil. Phil is a detail person and an antique car lover. In the past, I could cover the whole museum, get a Coke downstairs, visit the lady's room and be ready to head for the car in about an hour... To my shock, however, we spent several hours that day making sure that we had eyeballed every car and every feature of every car. While I was surprised, I really didn't care because I was so thrilled to be with him. He could have been reading the label off a mayonnaise jar to me and I wouldn't have minded.
And speaking of mayonnaise, on this particular date I had provided some tuna fish sandwiches but Phil said he thought we'd eat them after looking at the cars. At the time I was thinking, "Well, I don't know... I don't have the sandwiches packed in ice and an hour is a long time for them to sit in a hot car..."
Several hours later, we finally emerged from the museum and headed to the car. At that point, Phil said something about looking forward to eating the sandwiches I had made. I looked at him in disbelief. About an hour and a half earlier, I had already mentally consigned our lunch to the garbage bin and had been speculating about where we'd stop to eat on the way home.
After we got in the car, I realized he wasn't kidding when he said he was going to eat those sandwiches! I helpfully pointed out that mayonnaise becomes toxic when it sits in a hot car for several hours. He told me it would be fine and took a big bite of his. After several bites, he asked me why I wasn't eating. I told him I was going to watch him for a while and if he didn't show signs of botulism, then I might try the tuna. He just laughed but I wasn't kidding. Later I thought that was a little heartless of me since he proposed to me on that same day!
One of the other things I remember about that outing: while we were slooowwwlly winding through the museum with me hanging on Phil's every word, he turned to me at one point and said, "You're not like my sisters. After about an hour here, they start complaining about being bored and telling me they want to leave."
After we had been married for a year or so, we went back to Petit Jean. This time I packed the tuna sandwiches in ice and took a book... A loooonnnnnggg book:) After an hour of looking at cars, I was done. Went downstairs, got a Coke, went back upstairs, told Phil to enjoy the museum, and assured him that I was fine and that when he was through, he'd find me in the car happily reading my novel while eating my cold tuna fish sandwich.
Time and marriage change things!
These are some of the things that, over the past twenty-five years, have never changed:
1. Phil always thanks me for fixing a meal - even if I get it from a fast food place!
2. He never fails to brag on me when I start a new project, reach out in some form of ministry, or do something well.
3. Whenever I'm upset, he always suggests we go for a walk so that I can talk while he listens. And he really listens! (When I'm upset..:) And when he gives advice, it's always good.
4. When Sunday rolls around, he always wants both David and myself in church. If I am occasionally thinking about playing 'possum :) and he suspects I just want to sleep in, he doesn't get upset but instead tells me how much of a blessing I'll miss if I don't go and I'll end up going.
5. He never questions me about the money I spend. And when a new novel that I really, really, really want has just hit the book stores -he'll take me across town to get it and then take me to Black Angus to celebrate.
6. When I want to do things that are waaay out of his comfort zone, such as say, oh, letting an international live with us or having twenty people over from various nations for Thanksgiving in our shoe box of a house, he takes a big gulp and then jumps in to help make these wild ideas work!
7. If we know someone is having trouble, he doesn't hesitate to help whether that means working on a broken car or whether it means giving money once a month while a friend is ill and unable to work or even if it means sending me off for a weekend to spend time with a friend.
8. He has always helped with any of the house work that needs to be done - laundry, cooking, cleaning - you name it and he's always been willing to do it without being asked.
9. He has never lied to me - or to anyone else that I know of, for that matter. I can trust him - he's proven that to me over and over again.
10. He always takes the oldest vehicle that we own and drives that so that I can drive the newest vehicle we have. And he never complains about it.
11. After almost 25 years, he will still periodically thank me for marrying him and he frequently holds my hand when we are together. (Even though he now knows for sure that I am not any better than his sisters and that I don't enjoy spending an entire morning in a car museum now that I don't have to go on a date with him in order to be near him :)
These are just a few of the ways he has consistently shown his love for me and his commitment to me over the years; there's a lot more that I could write about but I think I'll just end this by saying what I should say every day: I am blessed.