Romance: Tundra- and Grandma-style

 “I’ll see you Wednesday,” I called up the stairs to my co-worker, shutting the door behind me.

Crunching through powdery snow, I pulled my black French scarf higher across my cheeks and nose, shielding out the frigid air. Minnesota twilight looked blue silver, and neighborhood Christmas lights peeked out from snowy branches. Swinging my book bag to my shoulder, I shoved mismatched mittened hands into pockets deep, and turned the corner.

Idling in the driveway, steam rising from a still-cold car, my bearded husband waited for me. It stopped me in surprise, and I waved giddy to him behind the frosted windshield.

“You came and got me?!” I murmurred. “Thank you.”

The walk home wouldn’t have been far, but the near-zero degree temperatures have been making recluses of us all. I kissed him, cold and happy, and we drove home.

It’s those little things, huh? Little things we say and do that make all the difference in relationships. Romance, Minnesota tundra-style.

I asked them one time, Nick and Betty, an older couple in our church, what their secret was to a long marriage. They spoke of simple things:

“I like to make her breakfast every morning, just simple stuff,” he grinned. “She likes oatmeal and a glass of orange juice.”

“She makes me pies,” he smiled, wrinkles creasing up in crescents beside twinkling eyes. “She knows I love ’em, so she makes pies.”

He shifted his feet then and set down his thick winter gloves. “I like to bring her flowers, just because. Not for any reason or for a birthday or anniversary — that doesn’t count,” Nick asserted, shaking a finger at me, “just because.”

Betty smiled shyly later, peering up at him through long eyelashes, a petite woman next to him. In church, they sat side by side, and stood together to sing. And today? I imagine Nick still made Betty breakfast, and I wonder what pie she’s whipping up. Romance.

For you and me tonight? I’m reminding myself that it’s the “simple stuff” that makes the difference in our relationships. Whether it’s for siblings, parents, friends, kids, or spouses, take some time this week with me to focus on little ways to show love.

Now, excuse me. I need to gather ingredients for a chicken pot pie.

What little ways do you like to show love to people around you? (Those in email can click here to join the conversation.) 

(PS. My daughter took these photos. Didn’t she do a nice job? :)) 

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  1. Brian Miller on December 10, 2013 at 3:44 am

    it is the simple stuff. at times it surprises me that we have reached 20 years…it does not feel like that long…smiles…its the small things more than the big or any kind of large gift or anything life that…its the living life together…the good, the bad…it all plays well…

  2. Misty on December 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    it is the simple little things. Life's made up of the details and the subtle moments, not the big ones…

    Great post…

  3. Floyd on December 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I need this reminder today. Thanks, sister.

  4. Wise Hearted on December 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    My husband fixes me breakfast now and does the dishes on top of it. This acts of love make me want to do things that please him. Yeah it's the simple that really show love I think. Good post Jennifer.

  5. Jayne on December 11, 2013 at 12:27 am

    To often it is the little things that we forget to do. I get my husband coffee every morning.

  6. cabinart on December 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

    I'm fixated on the "french scarf" – what is this??

  7. Micah on December 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Isn't there something just so beautiful about married couples who've been together for so long and yet still have that continuing abiding love for one another. And that sort of twinkle about them. Like their marriage is both old and new at the same time. Just always makes me feel sort of honoured to be around people like that. And to be reminded that it's not the big showy gestures but the little things, the things that only that one person could know and do for the other. Makes me smile every time. And makes me want to try to live the same way in how I love my wife. Lovely post!

  8. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:28 am


    Congratulations for 20 years! We're right behind you at 19 1/2, and thankful for that.

    It's the small things, yes, I agree. Blessings and protection on you and your gal.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  9. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:33 am


    "Life's made up of the details and the subtle moments" — I like that line. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  10. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:37 am


    Me too. Glad you stopped by.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:42 am


    How sweet of your husband! It's true, too, that one person's selfless acts spur the other on also. Hmm, how cool of God. 🙂

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  12. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:43 am


    How nice that you get your man's coffee each morning. I bet he feels so loved by that. My man likes to make coconut chai teas, mmm, that are delicious.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  13. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 2:46 am


    The French scarf 🙂 It's a long black one that I bought in Paris when Mark and I were there years ago. I drape it around my neck a few times, and love it. Silly, huh?

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  14. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Micah, I agree! It is so beautiful to see older couples who enjoy each other, who gently love and respect each other… wow. I want to be like that someday.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    Jennifer Dougan

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