In the early years here we heated our home with a wood-burning iron box on legs that sat in the living room. It was not specifically designed as a cook stove, but it had two generous flat surfaces, one a bit higher than the other, which easily simmered pots of soup or stew. Simmer, meaning not actually boiling, but certainly steaming and perhaps an occasional bubble.
Most of the time the hope I feel about our Boy is simmering there like the soup on the stove. But there was a serious bubble of joy over the weekend. He got off work from the sawmill early on Friday and went to the thrift store in town. He came home with a suit and a pull-over shirt to match it that he bought for $4.
A couple of months ago a friend gave me two pairs of nice shoes that her husband could no longer wear that fit him.
Last week he went to church wearing a nice shirt my sister had given him and some old, very ugly sweat pants that were stained and baggy and looked terrible. Yesterday he dressed for church in his new suit and these shoes and he looked wonderful. Fortunately, I was not speechless. I told him repeatedly how great he looked. I took pictures of him to send to the folks back home.
In the amazing move we saw Saturday night on HBO about Temple Grandin, there are several amusing scenes pointing out how oblivious she was about grooming. I sometimes wonder if Nat has a similar unawareness. On several occasions he has gone straight to the bank from the sawmill, filthy and not smelling so good, and wonders why the tellers are not falling over themselves to be friendly.
Now I see a glimmer that he does actually care about his clothes and how he looks.