Brian wakes me up at about 5:00 (completely justifies all my shopping the day before) and we're on the road by about 5:30 heading out to the marina. I just barely referred to this a couple weeks ago, but we keep our sailboat (it's a Catalina 22) out on Canyon Lake at a marina/yacht club there. Just a couple of days before, Brian had been out there to check on it and found out that in all the rain we've had recently the drain holes in the cockpit have become clogged with leaves and it has flooded so high that water seeped into the cabin and had pretty much ruined everything inside there. Thank goodness it was on a trailer, because he told me if it had been in a wet slip like it was until the drought got really bad last fall, it would have been at the bottom of the lake. So we had to haul it out that morning and drain it of water. It's about 30* and 6 am the day before Valentine's day using a shop vac to get all the thousands of gallons of water out of the boat then tow it home, where it sits in our front yard, all high class. He's been working every day since then on rewiring the whole thing, rebuilding ruined drawers, creating new better drain holes and I don't know what else.
There she sits all sad and full of water.
The reason we had to get out there so early is because we had to be done in time to get to his grandfather's birthday party out of town. This was a completely special event because of how amazing this man is and the fact that he was turning the big 9-0! God grant that I live so long! He's still in such excellent spirits and relatively great health. Brian's aunt hosted the shindig which had about 30 people in attendance. Several more were prevented from coming because of snow storms all over the country. It was an all around good time with fajitas, champagne, and three kinds of cake. But the most special part of the party was that everyone was asked to write about their favorite memories of their Grandpa, Dad, old buddy Big Leo. There were such incredible things written about him. Even though I've only known him a couple years, I love him like I love my own grandparents. He's such a good-hearted, Christian man with a sense of humor you can't help but appreciate. I wrote about how special it was for him and Granny to come to our house on Thanksgiving last year as I know they'll be the only grandparents who ever will come to our home. They celebrated with us and I'll remember that forever. Here's a picture of Thanksgiving because we're all a bunch of nincompoops and no one took any pictures of the birthday party.
It really made me reflect on how I want to be remembered and what mark I want to leave on the people around me. People told stories at the party about his service to his country, what a fine father he was to his four children, the one-on-one time he gave to his eight grandchildren teaching them to shoot, to drive, taking them for a hamburger, how he was always available to his friends and gave back to his church. It was really very inspiring to me and I hope to know him 20 more years so I can learn as much from him as some of them have.
After the party Saturday evening, Brian and I exchanged Valentine's gifts. We often can't wait to give each other what we got so the night before is pretty common for us. Now here's where I make the kind of statement that makes men say things like "women are crazy" and "there's no use trying to understand chicks." I don't want exactly what I want this year. The last couple of years I have asked for something very specific and gotten it exactly, no more, no less. I wanted to be more surprised this year, for Brian to give me something that he wanted to give me rather than what I asked for. So when he asked me, I had a strategy. I asked for sapphires because I knew they were out of the question this year, but I really really want them. So I figured on the off chance that he actually gets me sapphire jewelry I'll be so elated I won't care that it's what I asked for, but since he probably won't get them, he'll have to use his imagination.
He did very well on his own. He gave me Dolce and Gabana Rose The One perfume, which I had never smelled before, but I just love. It's pretty and floral just like I like! Since we did the exchange early he "didn't have time" to pick up a card. I don't know when the plan for that was. I got him a double wide sleeping bag with the promise of going camping together this spring. We've had one before, but he got really frustrated with it on a middle school retreat we chaperoned and ripped the zipper out of it. He got the temper from the other grandpa. :) I knew I wanted to give it to him early because I was inspired by Lauren's Date Night Brainstorm and wanted to build a fort in our living room like kids do and I thought the sleeping bag would be perfect in it. Unfortunately, I picked out the wrong one and it was really cheezy even though the salesman said it was the better one. So we still built our fort, we just used comforters instead.