Love Language

Posted 12/1/22

Everyone has their own love language, whether they know it or not. 

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Love Language


Everyone has their own love language, whether they know it or not. 

When my son-in-law’s mother came to visit recently, she took to their rooftop with a crowbar to address some minor leaks, in anticipation of the new grandchild. 

Another mother may have wanted to take her son to Target for a new shirt, or sit in front of a roaring fire, sipping hot cider, spinning tales of long ago with their daughter-in-law. 

Maybe your love language has you writing poetry or baking cookies. Hers, we decided, is doing projects. “When I take a week off work and come to visit, I want to get something done!” she said by way of explanation.

It’s good to be well-versed in your own love language and that of your loved ones. My husband likes to recite doggerel verse. Sometimes he just likes to talk about dogs. Or about himself. I know it means he loves me, either way.

I started to get in touch with my love languages when I was a young woman living on a pastry-thin budget. Having little with which to give substantial gifts to family and friends, I spent free hours after work and school sewing and baking. I made generously-sized caftans for my mother and her aunts, from fabrics I bought at discount from my employer. I made baby clothes for my niece and a dashing vest for my stepfather. 

I found a vintage recipe in the local newspaper for plum pudding and proceeded to make a double recipe. It required creaming together beef suet and sugar before folding in a flour and fruit mixture. This was before food processors so I developed ample arm muscles as well as a bout with carpal tunnel syndrome. The effort yielded two dozen puddings in crockery bowls, wrapped in muslin and tied with string, that I gave to friends and family with handmade cards with the recipe printed inside. It became an annual ritual that I continued for years, even selling them in some of the leaner years.

When my mother died, I continued her tradition of making fruit chutney every August. It kept the sweet taste of fresh peaches alive all year. I never served a curry dish or pork chop without it. Bourbon balls were another of my mother’s favorites, made from vanilla wafers and pecans and bourbon, and rolled in confectioner’s sugar. I still make them, the easiest recipe of all and the most coveted gift.

When my daughter became pregnant this year, I remembered the old Singer sewing machine, covered in barkcloth, in the guest room. I drafted my husband and son to move the craft table upstairs from the cold basement to warmer climes. I invested in a new pair of sewing scissors that had not yet been desecrated by plastic or paper, and even a new iron to flatten my seams with.

My sewing days dwindled as my children grew out of overalls and frilly dresses. But the skills I learned to love as a teenager, sewing ponchos out of Army blankets, never left me. And the Singer Golden Touch & Sew I received on my 16th birthday still hums efficiently as it methodically stitches a seam. 

A trip to the “Walton’s” fabric department found gingham and plaids, a honeycomb print and a Winnie-the-Pooh cotton that my daughter and I both liked. As she enters her last week of pregnancy, I still my nerves and cut out patterns for the next generation, looking forward to discovering this new person and her own love languages. I’m hoping she will remember mine someday. One of them is right here in print.

love language, love, care, family, affection


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