It all started with some morning emails. "Hey, nobody but you and me home for dinner tonight" I typed to my husband. He shot back with , "Steaks on the grill?" I quickly replied, "Yeah, can you pick them up after work?" And he sealed the deal with, "I'll do it up." My husband is a wonderful planner, and a fantastic cook. I knew with that last communication that I was in for a treat. But how much of a treat I didn't realize just yet.
I got home first, and trying to keep my hunger at bay watched some Oprah, then some Dr. Phil, all the while knowing he'd be home a little later than usual because he had to make a stop at the store to pick up the meat and maybe a little something to go with it. I could taste those juicy steaks now - yum! Pretty soon I heard his car in the driveway, and within moments he was in the kitchen with some grocery bags.
I could tell he had a plan. "Have something to keep you busy for a little while?" he asked.
Sensing that he had some very good plans up his sleeve, I quickly exited the kitchen and went into another room to make some phone calls and catch up on a few things. I was happy to let him unleash his wonderful creativity in preparing the evening meal!
In the midst of working on some papers, my cell phone rang beside me. I looked at the screen and it read, "Steve". My husband. And he was calling me from....where???????? Curious, I flipped open the phone and tentatively said, "Hello?"
"You can come on out to the garage now," was the reply. "Dinner's ready."
My anticipation was steadily building as I was starting to realize that possibly he had done a little more than just grill up two pieces of red meat on a flaming rack. Imagine my surprise when I approached the garage only to be greeted by my smiling husband opening the door for me, symphony music filling the room from the Bose speakers, and seeing tucked in the back corner a beautiful table for two done up with rustic table and chairs, fresh flowers and candlelight!
I think it was at this point that I started squealing. This was wonderful and so unexpected! He really surprised me. As I got closer to the table, I could see a beautiful plate of cheese and crackers, strawberries and grapes. This was no ordinary Thursday night dinner- this was my thoughtful husband knowing just what I like and making it so special for me. Outside the sliding glass door next to the table was the grill with two wonderful-smelling steaks sizzling away on it, along with zucchini cooked to perfection.
He was pleased. I was thrilled. Only he could take a corner of our soon-to-be-finished garage and make it look like something out of Country Living and top it off with a delectable menu. I quickly told him I needed to go get my camera and get some pictures of how fantastic it all looked! He finished up the steaks, I photographed in the ever-darkening light, and finally we sat down to a delicious, slow paced meal with background music and good, uninterrupted conversation.
After a wonderful dinner, we decided to sit on the sofa we had out there and just enjoy the green, woodsy view out the back window for a while as the sun was setting and the day was coming to an end. Eventually one of us would need to go pick up our son from youth group; eventually the dishes would have to be washed; eventually the dog would have to be let out. But none of that needed tending to right now, and we were just enjoying the relaxing time we had together. I loved him for making such a special, romantic and wonderful dinner for us to share. He loved that he got to really surprise me and show me a wonderful time. And we both agreed that maybe this empty nest thing staring us in the face isn't going to be so bad after all.