He kissed me and thanked me for picking, snapping, washing and canning all those green beans (14 quarts today)
and said he owed me dinner. I said: "If you take me out to dinner it will more than cancel out any savings we might have gotten from this work I did." We laugh. "Well, I owe you something!" he says.
...and I remember all those evenings in June when he swung his mattock into the hard Kentucky clay, to break up the soil.
I remember how he hoed it, and raked it and then carefully planted the bean seeds while I watched from my chair, often too sick to get up and do anything to help.
And long summer evenings when we both knelt and pulled stinky bean beetle larvae off the leaves, and when we together bonded over spraying essential oils on our plants so that the bugs would not win.
I remember last winter all the evenings he spent reading up on gardening, and how it was HIS energy, passion and drive that got me out there in the dirt in the first place.
I remember how he gave me time, and let me fall in love with gardening on my own terms, at my own pace....and if I had not, that would have been fine, too.
No, dearest...we are in this together.
I've been paid in long summer evenings in your company, listening to cicadas and the buzzing hum of life that is a summer-time garden. I've been paid by the relaxed conversations we had driving to and from and the walks we took out at the community garden. I'll be paid again in the winter when we sit down and eat these beans. I've already been paid. You don't owe me anything.