My husband sat uncharacteristically still when I entered the basement with a laundry basket on Monday night.
As I tossed a load of whites in the dryer, I watched him sit at his desk and tinker with a broken cordless drill. Finally, he pushed himself up from his stool and sighed.
"Do you not like me anymore or something?" I asked as he started up the stairs.
"No. I just need to grab a tool," was all he said before heading out into the garage.
I didn't think much of the incident. Dana had come home early because of a stomachache, and I figured he still wasn't feeling well.
Then last night he burst into my office with a grin on his face and one of those tin signs -- the kind you might find adorning the walls of an old-fashioned soda shoppe -- in his grip.
I pulled my eyes away from the computer screen in time to see the childlike grin camping on his face. Peeling the headphones from my head, I asked: "What's this?"
In retrospect, that's kind of a dumb question.
I knew darn well what it was. You see, my kitchen is decorated with an Americana theme. Red, white and blue curtains cover the windows. A strip of wallpaper with flags, little colonial houses and the phrase "let freedom ring" borders the ceiling. Models of American hot rods -- a Trans Am, a Charger, a Cuda, a GTO -- are on display, along with old license plates from various states.
These vintage tin signs are part of the decor also.
My husband -- who is a blogger's dream -- has purchased one for me every year since we moved into our home. On Christmas morning, however, I was a little surprised when I didn't find one under the tree.
As his cheeks now filled with a rosy shade of red, I realized why.
"This is one of your presents. I hid it, and then forgot where I put it," Dana said, his cheeks filling with color. "This is the reason I've been spending so much time in the basement."
Hmmm, that explains a lot.