I married a city boy. He picked me up at school where we were working… or perhaps I picked him up… I’ve always been fuzzy on those details. But nonetheless, this country bumpkin was smitten the moment I saw him.
I tell him all the time, I never believed in ‘love at first sight’ until I met you. He thinks I’m kidding.
It was his confidence. His smile. His “honest” eyes, as I called them. When he was around, I felt comfortable. Happy. Like myself, but better. I was absolutely elated when he finally got the hint and asked me to marry him!
Six years later, I still feel lucky.We’re raising three great kids and still consider eachother to be our best friends. My confidant. My support. My love.
There are a lot of ways Andy shows me he loves me. But every week, I’m reminded of one of the biggest: when he mows our lawn.
We have a riding lawn mower. It sorta came with our house, although I suppose we did pay an additional $200 for the seller to leave it for us. And what a help it has been! We have just under an acre in the backyard and a small plot in the front; having a riding mower not only allows Andy to give the boys frequent rides around the yard, but it also allows him to get it done in half the time and energy it would have normally taken. Every time I see him on that mower, my heart skips a beat.
My city boy.
When we met, he was living in the city. While we dated, it was clear to me how much he loved living there. He was a sixth-generation city-dweller and wore his heritage proudly. Working in real estate, he had a heart to restore the city to what it had used to be, the community he heard his dad and grandfather talk about. I agreed to marry him, knowing full well that I needed to be okay with living in the city with him for as long as we both shall live.
I knew this was the man God had intended for me and I trusted Andy’s heart, so this wasn’t a really tough choice. Except it kinda was. I grew up in (what I always thought was) the country. People nowadays tell me that it’s really the suburbs. But the fact that my parents live next to a big red barn, own several acres and our road wasn’t paved (nor did we receive access to cable television) until I was in high school are big indicators of “country” to me. I dreamed of building a house with tons of land, letting my kids stay outside all day until it was dark and having campfires during the summer. But I had to let those dreams go in order to follow my husband’s dreams. Not hard, but still kinda hard.
Andy renovated a beautiful apartment for us, even installing same-floor laundry and a walk-in closet for me so I wouldn’t suffer in any way. And it was wonderful! We walked to restaurants, rode our bikes to the park and grilled on our balcony as we chatted with the neighbors. Truly a phenomenal place to start a life. We sold our house about four years later and moved into another apartment just a few blocks down because we didn’t have a peace about any of the other houses we saw. We were within walking distance to the zoo, had memberships to the museum and went to the park every few days. I found that I had really come to enjoy the city not just because my husband liked it, but because I was discovering all of the good things it had for our family!
About a year later, Andy found a great house. But it wasn’t anything I was expecting. It was in the suburbs, just two miles from where I grew up! It appealed to him because of its community-feel… sidewalks, houses were close together, and you could walk to the post office, bank, diner, coffee shop and a couple stores! We won an intense bidding war not on price, but on terms. The Lord completely paved the way. And. I. Was. Still. In. Shock. It was such an amazing house because of its ability to cater to both ‘city’ and ‘country.’
That was this past July. We’ve been in this house for about ten months. And every day, I pinch myself. I’m living my dream. The dream I abandoned. The dream I never thought was possible. We’re doing it together. And it’s even better than I imagined!
I know that Andy would prefer to live in the city. He tells me that he really likes it here, but I know he misses it. But he did this for me. For our kids. Because he knew it would make me really really happy.
It used to take him five minutes to mow our front and back lawns in the city. Because they literally were the size of a postage stamp. Here, it takes at least an hour (and that doesn’t even count the amount of time he spends weed-wacking.) It’s a labor of love, for sure. In the fall, he’d laugh that all of the leaves that fall in our backyard – which was quite abundant, by the way – would have covered an entire city block. And he’s right. But he does it anyway.
This afternoon, I watched him give the boys rides on the lawn mower as he worked to mow our entire lawn. Back and forth, back and forth, my city boy smiled with one of our four-year-olds on his left knee as he manuevered our big old mower through our property. I know he would rather not be mowing. But the fact that he does – and with a good attitude – is one of the most romantic things he does for me.
My city boy. Mowing our lawn. Swatting at the flies, ducking at the low branches and carrying bags of cut grass to the curb. For me.
Daddy and Jack, September 2012
Now THAT’S love.