My husband Kenneth made coffee for me this morning. I lingered in bed, (it was 5:30am-we both like to get up early), and fell asleep again. It was an unexpected gift I gave to myself. Zooey, the fabulous calico, cuddled up at my side. When I woke a half an hour later, the rich deep dark earthy smell of coffee filled the house.
Kenneth doesn't always do this, make the coffee. He hasn't had a cup for eight years, ever since we went on a cruise ship party for a friend's birthday. On the cruise, the coffee was abominable, and he decided that's it, no more cuppa joe. He needed to quit. At work, he drank pot-loads, and it was time to stop.
But he made the coffee for me today, such a lovely gift. Even more so because it was unexpected.
This made me think of John Updike's story, "Wife-Wooing," from which the title above is taken. John Updike died yesterday, 76 years old. I bow my head and heart. Reading Updike was always a gift.
More unexpected gifts:
Kenneth and I played tennis this weekend with our friends, Brett and Monique. They just had a baby boy. His name is Venture. Brett and Monique have a gorgeous vineyard called BoaVentura.
Go there and buy some vino! Amazing cabernet.
After three sets of tennis, we went out to lunch at Casa Mexico in Livermore. The food was delicious. Our friends' toddler, Pepper, sat between Kenneth and me, and Baby Venture rested his month-old self all the way through the meal. He needs his energy to grow and grow.
There is nothing better than playing tennis on a warm winter day with friends, then eating Chicken Tortilla soup, enchiladas verde with beans and rice and a Pacifico beer, talking with Pepper about her red high top tennies and wiping avocado out of her hair.
Kenneth and I have many children in our lives now. We have three grand-nephews, two grand-nieces, and Pepper and Venture. Our nephew Anthony is marrying Shirley this summer, he's 32, she's 28. They'll be starting a family soon. Kenneth and I are right there, ready to babysit. This unexpected role suits us fine. We met late in life and didn't have children, but now we get to have this unexpected beauty of babies and kids all around us.
Life is good, better than I expected. I've always had a sweet fortune of friends who've lasted through the seasons of wonder and heartache, but I had no idea family would be this good. I see my father almost every week and play tennis with him, or we just lull and have lunch. Truly a miracle, after the estrangement we lived through. My two sisters and I have always been close, but now I spend more time with my older sister. We are discovering each other in new ways as we age like cabernet. This year, I'm planning some unexpected adventures with her and our younger sis.
I'm counting my blessings, I'm drinking my coffee. I'm throwing my arms around Kenneth in the middle of our rich deep dark earthy kitchen as the sun rises and spills the room into light.
He is the most unexpected gift to my life. I never expected to like marriage so much. I never expected to like a man so much, and for fifteen years! Kenneth is many things, has many sides, and one of them is nourishment. He is a great chef, so I mean that word literally, but his personality is nourishing. I never expected to feel this loved and healthy.
This morning I say to him, "Wow, you made my coffee and gotta lotta points!"
We kiss, and unexpectedly...
Causes Susan Browne Supports
Run Together, A Race to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society