April 2, 2007

The Gifts

We’re back from Tahoe. There was still enough snow for some fun skiing. I took a lesson in the morning while Jrex hit some black diamonds—then he kindly joined me for a couple greens and one and a half blue slopes. After my knees started aching, he skiied a few more tough slopes while I lounged in the car and called Mom K. She was SO happy I called. She’d wanted to call but was worried that her once (and sometimes twice) daily phone calls during our cross-country drive had been, well, a little stressful.

What? You don’t care about all that? Skip to the chase? Sheesh. Impatient, huh?

As I mentioned, my gift for Jrex was a book.

The title-- “Thin Threads: a Decade of Drama”.

The contents? His poetry. Over the years he’s written poems on various scraps of paper. I selected the best of them (or at least the ones I enjoyed most!), put them in chronological order, designed a layout, and hand-bound the book. I spent a grand total of $24 (with 26 hours of labor).

He said it was the best thing I could have given him. If you can read Korean, his name is on the cover as well as part of the title page.

Here’s what I wrote about the author on the back page:
Musician, poet, husband, friend. Born in Korea, most of his life has been spent in the USA. Despite his status as a Yankees fan, he is loved by anyone who has worked with him, eaten his food, or heard his dry wit. While wrestling with life’s deepest questions he’s managed to complete a Ph.D. in bio-physical chemistry, an Internal Medicine residency, an Oncology Fellowship and three years of slogging research. All this on less than five hours of sleep most nights.

His wife knew he was a keeper when she saw him standing firm in a swirl of her mother’s sisters. A man who could exude peace, stability and humor in the intensity of a gathering of [Last Name] women was a man to be reckoned with.

His gift to me? Well, first a story. (Patience IS a virtue!)

My wedding and engagement rings were burgalarized from our house in Baltimore back in 2003. We bought a replacement wedding ring right away. For this anniversary I was hoping he’d get me a ring, but after I found The Box and casually mentioned, “my ring”, he’d said, “It’s not a ring”. I was bracing myself to act excited when I saw a bracelet or necklace. Also, please note, I’m usually very good at spoiling a romantic mood. We did the gift exchange at a fancy restaurant. As I saw him pull a little blue velvet box from his pocket, I exclaimed, “You lied!!”

Turns out he didn’t lie, exactly. The Box only contained loose stones for Jrex’s selection. At the time of our conversation, there was no ring, yet.

This ring is what Jrex had originally hoped to find when he shopped for my engagement ring. He and Jeweler Friend worked very closely to design this one, pick the right sapphire and get it done on time. It’s beautiful.

On the way home, I called my sister. I told her the ring was very ‘blingy’. She laughed, “Maybe it’s only big in your head.” Um. No. It’s big.


k. said...

Ooooh, shiny! I guess by most people's standards, that's not hugely blingy, but for you? Muy blingy.

The book is gorgeous! And only 26 hours of work--not bad, not bad at all.

Many congrats on good skiing and ten years!

Snickollet said...

What absolutely lovely, meaningful gifts. Happy, happy 10th.

Great to hear your voice this morning. I'm so glad you called.

Rachel said...

Wow, that's a gorgeous ring. I love the book too. What a thoughtful, romantic gift.

Inkling said...

I tried to comment last night, but blogger was being obstinate.

The book you made is beautiful, and you did a fabulous job, coming up with something so thoughtful and memorable. Those are the best kinds of gifts, in my opinion. And the ring is exquisite. That must have been so fun to open! Now it will just be hard to pay attention at work, and not get caught staring all day at it. =)

Happy 10th! May you have many more!

Wistful one said...

BEAUTIFUL ring!!! It sounds like it was a lovely weekend.

Thank you for letting me stay with you :) I'm sorry we didn't have more time together, but it was wonderful to see you even for just a day. Richard and I have to come visit soon...

scarp said...

That's awesome. You two know each other pretty well, huh? Those are really great gifts - they mean so much to each of you and are both absolutely beautiful. You 2 are way too artistic and creative for me :)

Beloved said...

Wow. That book blows me away! It's amazing. What a fabulous idea.

The ring is very pretty and so unique. I love it.

deirdre said...

That book is fabulous. The ring is stunning - I've always loved sapphires.

Anonymous said...



AMH said...

Lovely and thoughtful gifts, both of them. The book is just beautiful and as a fellow designer I appreciate the work it must have taken to put it together! And of course your bling-bling is gorgeous too, I love sapphires!

Glad I found your blog, will be coming back...