I came home from work on Tuesday to find that my husband had dug a fire pit in the backyard.
He's never been a frat boy, but he found a recipe and "Iwannamakepaella!" We had friends coming for dinner Thursday night, so, cool.
Wednesday, we went to Ikea (we were headed there anyway) and bought a pan, stopping for mussels on the way home.
When I got home Thursday, he was working away in the kitchen, pre-cooking the bits that needed pre-cooking and chopping vegetables.
Then he had to run out and cover the fire pit because the rain had started and I was so disappointed because enthusiasm? Is so wonderfully contagious and by now I was thinking, "I really, really wannamakepaella, tooooo!"
The rain let up. Alan lit the fire and a couple hours later we sat down with three of our nearest and dearest to, seriously, one of the best meals I've ever had.
But I'm not telling you this just to brag about my husband's abilities with fire and food. Good though the meal was (oh my lord! it was good!), it was the excitement around the meal that I really loved. The fact that he started planning it Monday, dug a hole in the backyard Tuesday, went all over the place Wednesday for provisions and then came home from work Thursday and cooked his little heart out, for the sheer joy of it.
My parents used to get on a roll like that. I remember when my father discovered composting, long before it was even remotely cool. He read everything he could about it. He started a compost pile out behind the garage. And when the first batch actually broke down and became friable, well, it was show and tell time.
It's not about the subject matter.
It's about the passion and the joy that you find in the subject matter.
It's about being around someone who can get THAT excited about dirt. Or food. Or the history of paper.
It's a rare thing, that kind of excitement, but it makes life SO much better.