Friday, March 30, 2012

Eye of the Beholder

     Sometime around the age of forty I began to fade. My strawberry-blonde hair lost its brightness; my peaches-and-cream complexion grew pale. Even my eyes went dim and I had to buy reading glasses. It's the kind of thing that sneaks up on you. I am not afraid of aging, in most ways I even embrace it, but I began to feel dull and unlovely. I must have begun moaning aloud because, one day, I found this card waiting for me in the kitchen:

     My husband is not a traditional romantic, at least not in the candy and flowers sense of the word, so when he gives me a rare, unexpected card it makes an impression. This one is so dear I keep it close to remind myself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

     There is such desperation in our modern world to cling to the beauty of one's youth. Alas, it has infiltrated my own thinking at times and affected the way I see myself. I do keep myself clean, curled and moderately well decorated, but there is something ineffably sweet in knowing I can show up frowsy-haired in a bathrobe and bunny slippers, and my husband thinks even the skin-deep part of me is still beautiful.

     I like my husband's eyes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


     Winter is long in the upper Midwest. It usually outwears its welcome. By the time spring pokes its shy head above ground we are color-starved. Not this year. An unexpected week of warm breathed over the land and has the bulbs blooming and the treetops bursting with promise. The earth is laughing. A pair of doves built a nest in the evergreen outside my window, and the robins have settled their dispute over who gets the girl. The rabbits are feasting on tender shoots in the garden instead of stripping bark from my shrubbery, and I am feasting on color. Pink. Yellow. Purple. Green. And foil-wrapped eggs.

     Someone has hidden dozens of chocolate eggs all over the house for my husband and me to find. I discovered one beneath my pillow a few nights ago and another in the cupboard among the teacups in the morning. It was the same last year…and the year before. It is still two weeks until Easter so I know the Bunny hasn’t been here, but some bunny has. We don’t go looking for the eggs all at once; it would spoil the fun. Instead, we wait until a chocolate craving grabs us and then snag one from the clock case in the hall or the bookshelf in the study. Oddly enough, the daughter who still lives with us doesn’t eat a single one. She just watches with a gleam in her eyes as her gray-haired parents scour corners for stray eggs like a couple of delighted children.