When I first moved into a little apartment with Ramon, we didn't have a kitchen for the first two years. I cooked on a double hot plate on top of a mini refrigerator and washed our dishes in the bathroom sink. We dreamed of a functional kitchen where I could bake and wash the dishes, and looked through catalogues, worked extra hours and saved up money until we had enough for the a tiny yellow kitchen with a wooden work top and a deep white sink from Ikea. Do you know how much we appreciated that little kitchen? I jumped up and down when it was installed, and immediately baked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
For the the first year we also didn't have a washing machine. I would carry our dirty laundry two blocks down, under sweltering sun or pelting rain, to his parent's house, where I would wash our loads and then bring them home wet to hang dry around the apartment. Then one day we got lucky and his sister gave us her old machine to use because she bought a new one. Being able to take our dirty clothes from the hamper in the bedroom to the washing machine in the kitchen felt like an absolute luxury!
I worked as a waitress in a coffee shop during the day, and Ramon was on his feet all night working security at night clubs, and spent the days starting up his own company. Sometimes we only saw one another getting on and off the bus to and from work. I had to work on Christmas, he had to work on New Year's Eve. It was a rough start.
And yet, what an amazing gift that rough start was. My husband's film company began taking off, and eventually we were able to buy nice clothing, pay for a lovely wedding, and move into a larger apartment; I was able to quit my job and stay at home to paint, write, blog, and take care of everything domestic; we can afford weekly fresh flowers and organic groceries, vacations and fun gadgets. But more importantly....we have that rough start to remind us what is really important: the love we have for each other.
I like to think that, if we lose everything, if something goes wrong, if God has other plans for us down the road, if we are meant to cook on a hot plate and wash dishes in the bathroom sink again....we will still be OK. It wouldn't be the dream of course. But I just like knowing that we have those roots, that solid foundation, that absolute knowing that we are together because of our love. We loved each other when we had nothing to give on another but love, and that was enough to keep us together. So it will always be enough.
These are the thoughts I am having at Christmas time, when there is so much gift giving and money spending. Any gifts we give one another are just material examples of our true feelings; they are the cherry on top. They're fun, but not necessary.
I feel so lucky to have this man in my life. And so lucky that I am the woman he wants in his. And I hope it will stay that way for a long, long time.