Tuesday, February 26, 2008

good things come to those that wait

My poor hubby was quite sick on Valentine's Day. To be honest, this would not be a big problem if he weren't the world's biggest procrastinator.

He came home early from work that day, something he does only once in a blue moon. He called me in advance, and asked what he'd need to do to keep himself out of the dog house. My response was, "A smart man would bring home at least a token."

He is a smart man.

He came home carrying an envelope. No chocolates, no flowers, no syrupy Valentine's card, not even take out. But that was okay with me, because --

tucked inside that envelope, I found:

Which gained entry for two into this. Quite an acceptable token.

We planned to attend the exhibit on Saturday after Valentine's Day. He was still feeling under the weather. So I waited. We planned to go the next Saturday, but both older kids went to Tulsa for the weekend, and we couldn't find anyone to babysit for the little guy long enough for us to leisurely take in the exhibit and lunch at the museum's wonderful cafe. So I waited.

On Thursday, my husband sent an e-mail telling me that he'd taken vacation on Friday and asking if I would like to go to the museum with him.

Friday morning dawned clear and cold. The two older kids got themselves up, walked dogs, fed and watered all the pets, showered, dressed and got ready for school. They woke me before they left to say good morning. Yes, on occasion, they can be angels.

The little one was still sleeping when I got out of bed to get him ready for school. I made him breakfast while he got ready, then drove him to school along with two of the next door neighbor kids. When I got home, hubby was having coffee. We lingered over coffee, tea, newspapers, and blogs. Dogs slept at our feet. Cats slept curled on the sofa. A fire burned in the fireplace. It was a lovely morning.

We drove to the museum and parked just in front of the door. Perfect! Lunch in the museum cafe was lovely. I had chicken tortellini with sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and grilled chicken in a buttery white wine sauce. Hubby had a Caesar salad and the soup of the day, which was a delicious seafood gumbo. Everything was delicious.

I loved the exhibition. There were lovely art nouveau posters, quite a lot of them, by people such as Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Alphonse Mucha. We saw porcelain by Sevres and art pottery by Edmond Lachenal. Some of the paintings exhibited were beautiful; my favorites were by Charles Guilloux.

Some of the more fascinating items we saw were books detailing the restoration work done by Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc on Notre-Dame de Paris and Saint Denis Basilica. The were open to various pages and displayed under glass. I would have like so much to take those books in my hands, find a quiet corner and sit down to read. The books were on loan from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, which is about a thirty minute drive from my home. When the exhibition is over I'm going to find out if that's possible. Wouldn't that be wonderful!

After we left the museum, my husband took me shopping. Normally, I hate to shop, but we were shopping for furniture in an antique store in lovely El Reno, Oklahoma. I think he felt terribly guilty about Valentine's Day, because I came home with these:

a Duncan Phyfe style china cabinet

a little French style side table

this gorgeous buffet to match the china cabinet

this little two tier table with a pie crust edge

and last, but not least--

this mirror for my dining room wall

We had such a wonderful day. I'll remember it every time I walk into my dining room for many years to come. I can't think of a better Valentine's Day gift he could have given me.


Pamela said...

oh boy.. I'll say he made up for it.

Gee, I wish my hubby had been sick. (:

Faye said...

What a great day. Have to ask--did you all drive a You-Haul truck to bring home all those consolation prizes? I'm beginning to wonder if you love all things France?

You've inspired me to check out a new exhibition at our Speed Museum.

Babaloo said...

Oh wow, that's quite an acceptable "token".
I love the cats posing on the buffet and one peaking around the chair on the photo of the two tier table.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Man, he must have felt very guilty, either that, or he loves you beyond all reason.

I am sure you have just the house that all these beauties will fit in. You are such a Francophile when it comes to the arts and, apparently, the antique furniture as well. You will leave a true legacy for your children some day.

I used to like antiques in my other life, but nowadays, I shop Ikea for the ease of the payment and the look.

I can recommend living two lives to anybody. It gives you two totally different looks on it and you learn a lot.

Enjoy the furniture!

Jen said...

Awww, that's incredibly sweet, and very crafty. Not only did he make up for Valentine's Day, he's done it in such a way as you'll never forget! Very clever. Although, I wonder what that fabulous china cabinet will cost you in the long run *grin* Glad you had a wonderful day!

Manic Mother Of Five said...

WOW! Does the husband give training????

laurie said...

that exhibition looks great.

and i've been to el reno! but i never bought any furniture there....

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I wish my husband would forget Valentine's Day too.

Beth said...

Wow! I guess he made up for it! Your new furniture is really lovely, but what's best is the way you seem to care about each other.

Kim said...

He does have his moments, Pamela. Usually Valentine's Day is chocolates and dinner.

Actually, he and a friend of his picked the big pieces up in his friend's truck, Faye. The little tables came home with us in the back of our VW Passat. The back seat folds flat, which is very handy. I do love French things, but Duncan Phyfe is considered an American maker (even though he was an immigrant, Scots, I think). Not that my new furniture is actually Duncan Phyfe -- that much genuine antique Duncan Phyfe furniture would cost more than my car. Actually, probably more than all of our cars.

I got the camera out and the cats came sauntering in. The buffet is their new favorite place to take a nap out of reach of the dogs. I thought they looked cute, Babaloo, even if they are a little moony eyed.

It's funny, Irene, but I like either antique things in a fairly traditional style or clean, modern lines.

Now, Jen, how could a little china cabinet end up costing me lots of money?!? Right now, it is filled with china and crystal that belonged to my mother-in-law. Of course, now I'm thinking that I need my own pattern . . . ah, that's what you were talking about!

I've been working on him for twelve years, MMOF. The only other thing he's done close to this was a diamond ring on our fifth anniversary. I guess something spectacular every five or six years will do. :)

El Reno is no more than thirty minutes from our home, Laurie! It's a quaint little town. The little store is right on old route 66 where it runs through the town. The exhibition is great. I think it was put together by OKCMOA; it's not traveling as far as I know, which I think is a shame.

In his defense, he didn't forget Valentine's Day, Coffee. He had the exhibition tickets all along. Taking a day off work to go with me, that was pretty amazing.

Kim said...

Thanks, Beth. I love the furniture and I cherish our relationship.

MJ Krech said...

Beautiful furniture!
Beautiful man!
Lucky you!

Katie said...

You made out like a bandit!

Carolyn said...

There are some flowers for you at my blog...

the rotten correspondent said...



That's just...