stories 2016 | remember the Alamo.
52 New Books in 2016 | 9


/'simətrē/ noun
 1. the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other
These front steps have a line of symmetry through its center.
 2. correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing
Building a new front porch with shorter steps to accommodate his wife's physical disabilities, a husband improves the symmetry of his wife's love language. 
Jeff has this habit of interjecting an out of left field comment, generally during a lull in the conversation. We call it shifting gears. Years ago, when we'd visit his mom and dad I figured out it is a learned trait. Yep, what do you know? He got it from his parents. He shifts gears in the conversation and I'm supposed to keep up with the new conversation, understand immediately where he's coming from, or going to, and be able to interject into that new conversation currently in progress. With a dog in the headlights look for a second or two - sometimes three - he'll realize he 'shifted gears', and like the other morning in the darkness before the dawn time of the morning, as we were getting ready for work, chatting, me on the computer, he preparing his lunch, getting coffee, after a lull in the conversation I looked up when he came in from outside, said, "they add symmetry - I like that!", I had that dog in the headlights look and he, dripping with laughing unabashed sarcasm said, 'what? you didn't just know what I meant?' WOMAN! Keep up! (The whole WOMAN thing is another funny story but, kinda, sorta, fits into this story).
Because of my rheumatoid arthritis and an assortment of other ailments climbing stairs is a chore at best...
Oh, wait! Did I shift gears too?
Au contraire.
When drawing up plans for new front steps a couple weeks ago, Jeff designed the front steps with a much shorter step. The shorter step meant I'd be able to step normal, one step after the other without having to use the railing to haul myself up, planting both feet on one step at a time. Now, except for the railings, the front steps are completed. 
When Jeff and I went to Lowes, the home improvement center, to pick up the remaining pieces to finish out the steps we picked up a package of two copper coated solar powered LED step lights. He attached the lights on the left side posts, one at the top of the steps and one at the bottom of the steps, temporarily. Temporarily, because he had to go back to Lowes, the home improvement center, for bottom fittings that I decided I loved and wanted. Heading to work each morning in the dark, the lighted steps would provide us a sure-footing. Unbeknownst to me, when Jeff returned to Lowes, the home improvement center, to pick up the last pieces to finish the steps (those bottom fittings I wanted) he picked up another package of copper coated solar powered LED step lights and attached them to the right side posts, one at the top of the steps and one at the bottom of the steps, permanently.
So, the other morning when we were getting ready for work and he came in from outside and said he liked the symmetry, after I shifted gears. And caught up, I secretly said, 'Yes!' Pumping my fist (to myself), because I was hoping he'd come up with it on his own and put up the other set of lights and really like it too - like I did. And the whole shorter steps to accommodate me is meeting one of my major love languages.