Rare guest blog from BHD’s Spouse
This story was requested by one of this blog’s readers. When I was asked to write it, I thought “what can I say?” but then it just rolled off my Chromebook’s keypad.
I am the spouse of this blog’s author. I have a name, a real one, but like my spouse, I just go by affectionate initials he calls me — BB. So, upon request, here is a glimpse of the day-to-day life of my spouse who his twin brother calls Taz (known for his spinning energy in old Bugs Bunny cartoons.)
My husband naturally awakens every day about 4am. He is a real morning person!
He quietly slips out of bed and makes his way to our basement where he showers and dresses for the day. He built our house and he says that he especially loves our basement two-headed shower. Or is it that he loves the bathroom’s location next to his boot closet?
He gets on his computer and monitors our household finances, as well as the finances of his small non-profit businesses (more on that later) and two other organizations on which he serves as an officer. His dedication to financial responsibility is amazing. I know at a glance where every penny of our household finances was spent, as do the organizations that he supports.
By 4:45, he makes his lunch and also prepares breakfast for me — though I am still sleeping. When I stumble into the kitchen later, all I have to do is turn on the waffle iron and make my waffle with the special gluten-free batter he prepares for me fresh each day. This batter is quite complex, but I can count on him to make it for me every.single.day.
At 5:05am (seriously… his schedule is quite precise!), he gets his Harley ready to ride for his commute to work. He is meticulous about his preparations for riding safely — and I appreciate that! I want him to enjoy himself, but also to come home in one piece. Thankfully, he is not a “hot dog” and is the safest rider I know.
He arrives at his office in the downtown of our Maryland hometown by about 5:30. He has a demanding job. I cannot describe what he does, but I see it on his face when he gets home. He is tired, but smiling. He says that he feels successful at what he does. I know that for a fact by how he has been promoted and selected as employee of the year. While he seldom brings work home, there are times when he has to take or make calls to distant locations due to the time difference between where we live and U.S. interests in the Pacific. I hear his professional side … and watch proudly. I hear myself saying, “wow… I’m married to that guy.”
Most work days, my spouse arrives home before 4pm, but often he parks his Harley, dashes in to change clothes, then runs out to deal with something-or-other. He may drop by a house he just bought and is having renovated to check progress. He may visit one of his “senior pals” to fix something. He may do a quick grocery run. He may visit a sibling. He may drop in at the local fire house where he is a life member. He is such a fixture in the community.
Reliably, though, the spouse returns home by 5:30pm at the latest and gets busy making our dinner. Another benefit of my spouse building our house is that he designed a chef’s kitchen which we both love. We always eat a freshly-prepared meal at home. My spouse loves to grill meats out on the deck he built off our kitchen, and easily whips up sides on the stove. Dinner is hot and on the table by 6pm without fail. Every.single.night.
We eat and catch up on each others’ days. No TV, no phone, nothin’ but each other.
He clears the table, washes the pots and pans, and then he may do one of two things: attend a meeting in the community or (what I prefer) settle on the sofa next to me. I may turn on the TV, and sometimes, depending on the urgency of things that need to be done, he may get on his laptop there in our TV room and respond to email, pay bills, order supplies, organize community events or activities, or plan — such as for a motorcycle ride. My spouse has little interest in TV, but watches it with me while multitasking.
One of the active tasks to which he attends are his small businesses. He owns a small not-for-profit company under which the properties that he owns are titled. This is where the funding comes from to purchase, renovate, and make available houses for rent to local police, firefighters, and teachers. My spouse has always been concerned that entry-level community employees cannot afford to live in the county they serve, so he runs a small, private, affordable housing program.
He also hires people to do repairs and renovation projects on the properties that he owns. He strongly believes in giving employment to skilled people who live in the neighborhood and who need work. He realizes that some of these people are not documented. But his commitment to employing hard workers trumps politics. It also helps that he has become fluent in Spanish, because that is the primary language for all of the people he employs.
My spouse also owns a small not-for-profit organization under which he carries out his twice-annual Senior Safety Saturdays. He does fundraising and receives donations that he uses to purchase smoke alarms and other safety equipment that he and his volunteers install in the homes of seniors in our community to keep them safe. He has been doing that for over 25 years — well before we met — and I am always honored to view his commitment through his voluntarism and his heart. Again, as I view what he does, I lean back and say, “wow–I married this guy!”
On the nights that he may go out after dinner, these outings are for his ongoing commitment to the community where he grew up. He is still involved in civic life, even though he is no longer serving in non-partisan elective office. He still appears at various public hearings to testify. Or he may attend monthly meetings of his motorcycle club. He used to be out at community meetings an average of three nights each week. Now, to my relief, he is out in the evening more like three times each month.
If my spouse does not go to a meeting, then he is usually suggesting that we get to bed by 8:30pm. I may twist his arm to stay up a little longer, but never past 9pm. If he went out, he is reliably home by 9pm even if that means leaving a meeting before it ends.
Then… off to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Weekends are a little different, but not that much. Spouse still rises by 4am, does the business and household finances, and may work on his hobby website or this blog. By 7am, he comes back to bed with me. We talk, cuddle, think, plan, and …
He prepares a wonderful breakfast, then we’re off to the races. Senior pals to take grocery shopping. Houses to renovate. Chores and work on our house to do. Community service to deliver. Family to visit. And — imagine that — motorcycle rides to join (though not as often as he would like.) But also for those special rare moments of down time, he and I will sit by our pond, hold hands, watch our frogs and wildlife, and chill. That does not happen as often as I would like, but I value our time together.
Yeah, my spouse is special. He is busy but keeps his priorities focused on what’s right for us and the community that makes our home.
As he often says, “show those you love how you love them.” He does that for me, his family, friends, and neighbors, every day. I cherish my husband with all of my heart.