This weekend we celebrated Nordic Boy’s birthday. It was quiet, full of love and sweetness, just like him. It snowed a bunch, and we took walks in the silent neighborhood, sometimes turning a corner to find squealing kids sledding down empty streets. We ventured out to a show downtown, and we ate some fancy meals in low lit restaurants that were mostly empty due to the weather. His mom and sisters called him up, and so did my folks, all to tell him they love him. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, and he said he just wanted to see me and his two besties, so we had Biogirl and Delium over and ate and laughed. Biogirl made us waffles one morning and I went to a fancy bakery to find us some cake. He bought himself a present that only he would be super excited about: a dust vac that hooks right up to his power tools so the sawdust is collected before it hits the ground. Who buys themselves a dust vac for their birthday, I ask you?

The same sort of dude who thinks knots are way cool, that’s who. When I first met Nordic Boy when he was just a kid, we would go to the local bookstore and he would pore over this big book, about knots. I have teased him about it for years and years. This honker is gigantic- it’s got to be a 10 pounder of a book, at least it seems so. Paying for it would have kept us in Taco Bell burritos for literally two months, so buying it was out of the question. Even now, when we can afford that book, he has never bought it. It’s something he’ll go look at in the store every once in a while, even all these years later. He’s had a long and true yearning for that book, and the fascination has never waned. This year, I bought it for him. The delight that this purchase brought him will make me smile for just as many years, I’m pretty sure.

I also took our old deck of cards out of the closet. This deck of cards has been with us for almost two decades. The first thing that Nordic Boy and I ever did together was play cards with that deck, in my very first little apartment back in Illinois. I love that deck. So I wrote out, on each card, one thing that is awesome about that dude of mine. It was hard to limit to 52.

Happy birthday, sweet soul. You rock my socks.


  1. You ask who buys themselves a dust vac for their birthday…my husband, that's who! Only in his case it's an entire dust collection system that involves tubes going all over the basement workshop so that dust can be picked up at the location of each of the power tools. As well as a small dust collection system for the lathe by itself!

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