“All Aboard!”

Today is my husband’s birthday. In honor of this momentous occasion, we attended the “Big Texas Train Show” yesterday. My husband loves trains (and planes and ships), having worked on the Soo Line Railroad in his much younger years. There are times that he regrets having left the railroad, as he will tell you that he enjoyed his work there very much.

As we were wandering through the show, looking at all the railroad memorabilia and the various displays of model trains, we came across a vendor who was selling ball caps. There, sitting among the other ball caps, I found one for the Soo Line. When I picked it up to show him, his face completely changed. I have not seen him smile that big in a very long time.

Now, in that moment, I knew exactly what I had to do. I began thanking God for “saving my bacon.”  You see, I was totally unprepared for my husband’s birthday. I had planned a special meal, but had not yet purchased his gift. This was within my rather limited budget, so I told him grandly: “I will buy it for your birthday present.” A little further down the way, we came across a vendor selling coffee cups and, you guessed it, there was a Soo Line coffee mug. You know what I did; made the same offer.

Wearing his new ball cap and carrying his new coffee mug, I have never seen a bigger smile on his face nor more twinkle in his eye. He was inordinately pleased with these two rather simple and inexpensive items. There are few events in life more satisfying than giving a gift to someone and knowing that it has given them pure joy.

So, to my husband, I wish birthday felicitations with profound gratitude for your love and care these past thirty-three years. It is an honor to walk through life with you.

Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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