Slipping my favorite CD into the CD player, I eased the car out of its parking place and mentally tuned out the rest of the world as I made the transition from “work” to “home”. Sometimes it seems a little overwhelming when there are so many responsibilities pulling at you from so many different directions and today had been more stressful than most days. The fight that I had with Scott last night started the day off on a bad note, because we did not speak to each other as we both got ready to leave for work. And why is it that when things are not great at home, the workday seems so much harder?
Once again, I found myself grateful for my long country commute because it has always given me the opportunity to leave work at work and come home ready to be wife and mother. As I listened to the soothing strains of piano music; I left the city limits and watched as the landscape changed to the countryside that both Scott and I loved so much. He had left his position with a large architectural firm in the city to start his own firm and allow us to raise our children in the country. That was a decision neither of us have ever regretted; although at times, money has been short and the income from my position with an insurance company has been more needed. The farm offered privacy, with its wooded acres and the solitude we both craved. It was a wonderful place to raise a family and with a menagerie of farm animals, we had grown very close as a family. However, with both of our children now in college, there is once again some tension over money and some disagreements about where our priorities should be. I smiled a little regretfully as I thought about the years that we have been married and the times that we have argued about finances. That was last nights fight and once again, I am feeling remorse over the hurtful accusations that we hurled at each other–he is more conservative than I am; and while I am not “HIGH” maintenance, I am definitely the spender in the family.
Turning onto our county road, I switched the music off for a little quiet time before I arrived home– I knew Scott had taken the afternoon off to attend a meeting and I knew that he would be waiting to finish what we had started last night. I sighed as I admitted to myself that I am not handling the empty nest as well as I thought I would–the stories that I had heard about the marriage relationship improving had definitely not happened with us and I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for myself. We had continued dating during the time that our children were growing up, heeding the advice of the books that we read on marriage–but there was just such an empty hole with both of the kids gone. The house was so quiet that I hated being in it alone and Scott seemed to prefer using the extra time that he now had to work and I was feeling left out!
Pulling into our driveway, I felt a flash of anger as I realized that his car was not in the yard. Another night alone! Bridget, the family dog, came up to greet me and I patted her head. She wagged her tail and rolled over to let me scratch her stomach. I laughed and said, “Well, at least you still love me.” Walking around the side of the house I filled her water dish and then entered the cool, stillness of the house. It was so quiet and I pushed the button on the kitchen radio as I walked by. The dirty dishes in the sink told me that Scott had obviously been home. Little irritations seem so big these days–before the kids left, I expected to come home to dirty dishes. The irritation passed as quickly as it came and guilt followed. Poor Scott has been putting up with a lot of my ill temper and I haven’t even bothered telling him what was wrong.
Trying to decide if I should make something for supper, I looked for a note telling me where he’d gone and how late he’d be. Not finding one, I decided to go change my clothes and go putter in the garden a bit. As I walked through the family room, there was a trail of rose petals leading to our bedroom. I raised my eyebrows in surprise since Scott has not been an overly romantic person, but I smiled, hoping this little romantic gesture meant that he was also regretting last night. I opened the door, keeping the smile on my face to let him know that I was also ready to say I was sorry; but he wasn’t there. Instead, on the bed was a long stem red rose and an envelope. My heartbeat increasing a bit, I opened the envelope.
I’ve spent the day preparing for a night of making up–I’m sorry for the things I said and I want to make it up to you. I know you’re sad and I want to change that. Please follow the directions and you will find me. I am home! I’ve run a bath for you– now, go relax!”
I walked in the bathroom and found a bubble bath had been drawn for me and there was a glass of wine set on a tray. Hanging on the towel hook was the pegnoir set I had worn on our wedding night. Quickly undressing and slipping into the warm, fragrant water; I sunk into the bubbles up to my neck. Closing my eyes, I let the water soothe the tension from my body and slowly sipped the wine. Curiosity getting the best of me, I stepped out of the tub, toweled off and slipped the ivory nightgown over my head. As I reached for the robe, I noticed another note pinned to it.
I hope you enjoyed your bath. My goal tonight is to make you realize how much I love you and that I’d do it all over again. Come and join me–I’ll light your fire. You know where to find me.”
And now I did. Feeling just a little self-conscious about going outside in the lingerie, I walked out the back door and down the stone pathway that led to the woods. The sun was just starting to go down and in the woods it was getting dark. Following the stone path, I could smell the wood smoke and finally reached the little clearing where we had set up our stone fireplace. I had expected to find Scott there–but I didn’t expect the romantic scene that he had set up for me. I looked around and saw that he had draped netting from the trees, covering a dining table set with candles and china. Behind the table he had placed the air bed, covered with white and red rose petals. There were twinkle lights everywhere!
Scott was standing in front of the fireplace holding two glasses of champagne. Slowly walking toward him, our eyes locked together; I reached the fireplace and his arms. With tears in my eyes, I raised my face to accept his kiss and returned it with equal passion.
Pulling away, Scott said; “Alicia, I know that things have been hard for us and that we are going to have to find our way again. I want you to know that this is my way of promising that I will try–this is just a beginning of what you can expect from me. If you remember the vows that we said at our wedding I would like to renew our vows out here; just the two of us.”
Of course I remembered! Setting the wine glasses down, we clasped hands and stood in front of the fireplace. Love and appreciation overflowing my heart for the effort that he had put forth, I once again pledged my love to him and he did to me. With the addition of a promise to spend our lives committed to the other’s happiness; we fed each other bites of the cake that he had brought and sipped the champagne. Then, wrapping his arms around me, he proceeded to fulfill his promise.
Tipping my face to his he kissed my lips as his hands traveled down my sides and back up again. His hands at my shoulders, he slipped the robe off of my shoulders and it fell in a puddle at my feet. Standing back just a bit, he stood and looked at me.
“You are just as beautiful now as you were the night we were married and I love you even more now than I did then.” Pulling his face down to mine, my hands started undressing him. Finally, he stood before me, wearing nothing; but very ready for love. Pulling my nightgown over my head, he slipped one arm under my knees and one at my back and gently placed me on the bed. As we lay there under the stars; our mouths locked together, our hands exploring each other; his hands moving all over my body–first at my breasts–then lower. As he raised himself over me, he kissed my lips and then slowly moved down and kissed every inch of me. Slowly making his way back up, he thrust easily inside me and we spent the rest of the night showing each other what life as an empty nester can be.
The passion is back and we are definitely lovers again! And next time it’s my turn to think of a special way to show him how much I love him!
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