By Jane Thornton –
This spring my bi-annual case of nature fever struck as scheduled. Some time every March, when the sun has shone for seven days straight, and the daffodils and redbuds sing of the coming season, I get a yearning to be outdoors and plant flowers. The bug attacks again in September when the temperature stays below ninety degrees for seven days in a row. Unfortunately for my garden, the passion is always short-lived, and I tend to migrate to my habitual pastimes of reading novels or watching movies during every spare moment.
As usual, when my zeal peaked this year, I binged at Home Depot then came home to don my gardening attire. Since my lily-white skin rarely sees the light of day, I need to take advantage of these fits. On went the raggedy shorts and the T-shirt with arms and neck scooped out for tanning purposes.
After a few hours, my hair straggled over my forehead although a kinder person might have described it as tousled or windblown. Potting soil clung to my knees and had seeped through my gloves to embed itself under my nails. And, to use the southern, feminine term, I glowed.
At this point, my husband, Wes, drove up, returning from some long errand. I smeared my dirt-encrusted glove across my face, trying to see through the rattails of my hair. With a hand braced in the small of my back, I creaked to a stand, making it to an almost-erect position.
“Wow! You’re working.” He strode across the lawn, swept me into an embrace, and laid a fervent kiss upon my lips. Apparently he found the unusual aroma of perspiration an effective aphrodisiac.
I have noticed another aberration over the years. Wes finds the vision of me behind an ironing board a bigger turn on than me in a skimpy nightie, perhaps because the ironing is a rarer sight. We once went to a marriage seminar at which we were asked to share with each other actions which made us feel cherished. Ironing came up. So much for the impression gained by my novels and movies—they suggested a smoldering look was all it took. Recently, Wes threw out another shocker. He opened the cabinet and, finding I had stocked up on his favorite grape Kool-Aid, casually commented that a plentiful supply of the drink made him feel loved.
Now, I’m not knocking the usefulness of a beautiful negligee, but the desire for a successful marriage requires us to learn some of these other quirks—and to do something about them. Look at the description of a wife of noble character in Proverbs 31:10-31, NIV. This woman “gets up while it is still dark,” “sets about her work vigorously,” “grasps the spindle with her fingers,” “makes coverings for her bed,” etc. The result? “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28 NIV). I have a new habit of buying a few containers of grape Kool-Aid every time I’m at the store. And at this moment, the ironing basket is calling my name.