Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Romantic Pinecone


Any new visitor to our home always asks about it. It's a decor oddity, I know. It's graced 3 different homes in the last 7 years and it's one of my favorite symbolic gifts from my husband. . .

I've been with Handsome Hubby (HH) for over 11 years. We met when I was a sophomore in college (he was a junior). Like any other couple, we've had our ups and downs, relationship-wise, financially and otherwise.

In 2001, we were going thru a particularly difficult time financially. He was still in school, I was just out of school at my first "real" job and our budget was so tight it squeaked. When my birthday came that year, we were totally broke and I was totally bummed.

HH really wanted to make the day special for me anyway. We had no money, but we did have a full tank of gas. He decided we were going to take a driving tour of all our best dates over the years. Since we're pretty outdoorsy people, this include a few parks.

When we got to one of these parks, we decided to just go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful, late April day. As we were walking along, HH spotted a fallen pine cone. He presented it to me, and said, "Here's your birthday gift, 'cause even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you, honey" He then held the pine cone over my head and kissed me mistletoe style.

It's probably one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received. I took it home with us, tied it to a string and hung it from one of the chandeliers in our house.

If one of us stands underneath it, it means we want a hug/kiss from the other person. It means we're overwhelmed and need to recenter. It's also a great reminder that no matter what stress is going on in our lives, the love that we share is the most important thing.

Now that we're older, married, parents and homeowners, our decor has definitely advanced from "Starving College Student Minimalism" to "3 Year Old Daughter Messiness." Nevertheless, the pine cone remains as a good reminder to keep what's more important first in our lives.