Yes… yes… I know. I’ve have been busy as always, but no, I hadn’t forgotten to update everybody. Nope. Carolyn just got extra sneaky this time out and threw a few curves my way to surprise me with something special and it’s just finally gotten around to happening. Wanna know what she’s been up to? Well… then all you sorta know how this works by now… 😉
Back on the 3rd I was all set for my wifey to go all out in the big extravagant way she likes. Nobody… and I mean NOBODY… enjoys special occasions as much as she does. Mind you, I figured she was going to have to really reach to beat last year. I mean… honestly… what tops a marriage proposal?
So when the day rolled around, I wasn’t surprised to find that Carolyn wanted us to go out for dinner to celebrate. She made reservations for a nice time at our favorite Moroccan restaurant and let me know that Sam and some of our friends were coming along to make a night of it with us. A very nice night I might add… with good food and good fun, plenty of hugs for the Birthday Girl… but nothing crazy or… well… “extravagant”. That of course had my “Magical Catgirl Senses” all a’ twitch…. (Think “Spidey-senses” but oodles more femininely intuitive and… alas… far, far less useful for crime fighting…) I kept expecting something. Anything... to spring up out of the blue. But… nada.
I did get some very nice gifts from everybody. A gorgeous lil’ wool beret from Sam, a couple of bottles of wine from Shéryfa my sous chef, a pair of gloves from Emily our Dinner Hostess at my restaurant… but nothing from Carolyn at all!! 😮
No… she hadn’t forgotten me. In fact she was awfully upset to be empty-handed that evening. She swore she had something for me… but she’d run into a couple of snags and it wasn’t ready yet. Wouldn’t be ready for a couple of weeks… but she also swore when it finally was, it would be worth it.
Hmmmm? What the heck? Was this some new intricate torture plot to catch me off guard and get me but good? Oh yes… she’s a cunning one, is my darling wife. This would be sooooo like her. The sneak!! 😉
Well…. weeks passed, and with every passing day, my anticipation grew. It…. was…. excruciating!! When was “it” going to happen? Turns out… that was yesterday. 🙂
So… while I’d been waiting… expecting something crazy…. I failed to pick up on Carolyn’s real birthday plot.
Off handedly one day last month right before Christmas while I was working in the kitchen for dinner, sneaky Carolyn wandered in and offered to help me chop up the veggies I was getting set for our meal and rummaged around in our cabinet before innocently asking: “Sweetie? Where’s that old butcher knife of yours… I can’t find it.”
I knew instantly which knife she wanted. An old wooden handled 7″ one I’d had since I moved into the apartment after I left college. Cheap… a wee bit beat up… but sharper than hell, and originally bought at a second-hand store along with a lot of the stuff I purchased back then to get by. That knife fixed many a meal for college drop-out Miyuki and for her best friend Carolyn too when she came by in those early days…. Even though I’ve bought other more expensive kitchen cutlery for myself since then, I’ve always kept it because thrifty lil’ me is loath to throw anything away… especially not something a downright tough and useful as it was. Mostly though… “Old Hickory”… as the name on the handle slabs proclaimed, just sat in the drawer waiting for the day when I’d need him again to “butcher” something. Hey… It could happen… 😉
Well… I took a look in the drawer… and although my old serving fork, salad tongs, pizza cutter, garlic press, two stubby paring knives, a couple of well worn French knives, and a boner were all still there, “Old Hickory” was gone. I assumed I’d taken it out for something… just what… or when… I couldn’t recall… and that it was around somewheres. So I grabbed out an 8″ French knife for her and soon we were back to it, merrily chopping away to get the fixings for our stir fry ready. I should have paid more attention… Carolyn must have been smiling over more than just the chance to share time with me making dinner.
So anyways…. just yesterday we were hanging out in the kitchen again cleaning up after dinner and Carolyn casually asked: “So, Miyu. Did you ever find out where that old butcher knife went?”
For a moment it just slipped past me, then the “light bulb” lit up. I turned around and she was smiling… her crooked lil’ grin… the one that always tells me she’s up to something. “Maybe you ought to look in the drawer again. You could have missed something.” Ooooohhh… such a naughty lil’ sneak!!
In the drawer, there was a rolled piece of canvas tied up with a piece of paracord. Unwrapping it revealed a knife…. it was “Old Hickory”, but that beat up old kitchen knife had been transformed, the blade cleaned up and reshaped from it’s 7″ length down to a compact 4½” one with a lovely finger choil ground in and a new rounded handle of gorgeous oil rubbed Australian Red Mallee burlwood over brown canvas micarta spacers all held together with tiny brass pins and a lanyard tube. Topping it all off, a nice braided lanyard fob with wooden beads. Wickedly sharp and so beautifully balanced and just perfect for my petite lil’ hands!!
“You’ve been talking about wanting us to go camping again, and there’s a grad student in my department at the college who makes his own bushcraft knives as a hobby. When he showed us some of the ones he “remade” out of old kitchen knives, I just knew he could make you your own custom camp knife out of “Old Hickory”. He was supposed to get it done before your birthday…. but he got stuck in Oregon over the Holiday break with family business and didn’t get it back to me until just today.”
She went on to tell me she wanted something for her “fierce lil’ kitten” to use when we went back out for an adventure together. I already have a camping knife of course… a cheap lil’ swedish Mora with a plastic handle. It’s sharp and effective too, but apparently my adorable wife has always noticed how interested I am in all the hand made custom knives used by those “bushcrafty” people when we watch those survival shows on Discovery Channel. Yep… OK… I’ll admit it. “Warrior Princess Miyuki” does have a serious cutlery fetish… 😉
So. Now I have my very own “Kitchen Goddess meets Crocodile Dundee” Bushcrafting knife. One that blows away my boring old “bought at the store knife”. That… and a definite sign from my adorable wife that she really wants to go play in the woods with me again and have some adventures!! What else could any nature loving, tree climbing, lady with fond memories of “Sheena Queen of the Jungle” want?
Sigh…. She did it again. Managed to be my best friend… and my loving spouse… and still surprise me on the one special day of the year even when I’m alert and wary and ready for any and all surprises.
Now I just need to plan us the perfect getaway trip for two. Summer…. hurry up, this Catgirl wants to take her sweetie camping!!