The Gift I Never Knew I Needed but Now Can’t Live Without

I have a very thoughtful husband who always remembers birthdays in a big way. Even when I say, “Don’t buy me anything, just cook me a nice dinner,” or “Just being with you is a birthday present enough,” he doesn’t listen to me. This year he could hardly contain his excitement for the “small” gift he had in mind. He said he’d been thinking about it a long time and he “knew” this was the gift for me.

The suspense was killing me…..

He said that we need to stop in a sports store for the “little” surprise.

I couldn’t think of anything I needed except perhaps another pair of wool socks. But, Eric just doesn’t seem like the sock-giving type of guy.

We were wandering through a sports/bicycle/camping/hiking store in Wanaka when he directed me to the Swiss Army Knife display.

Eric: Penny, I really want to give you a Swiss Army Knife for your birthday.
Me: (bursting out laughing) Is this for me or for you???? (I know I’ve never given the slightest hint that I would like (or need) a knife)
Eric: Well, I’ve felt really bad about breaking your plastic spork (combination fork and spoon that I’d been using to make our daily peanut butter and honey sandwiches )and I really think you could use a good knife. Which model do you want?
Me: I don’t really want a knife. But if YOU would like a knife to replace the knife that the security confiscated at the airport in Sydney then go ahead. Pick out the one you want.
Eric: No, this REALLY is for you!
Penny: OK. then. Let’s see….the I’ll take this one (pointing to the least expensive, simplest model with a knife and corkscrew.

Fast Forward two Weeks…..

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I have used this knife EVERY day and sometimes 3 or 4 times per day since my I got it. I slice the cheese for our lunch picnics. I slice open the hard-to-enter packages of muesli and salami. I slice the vegetables for our dinner. And, tonight, I used the hidden can-opener feature for our can of beans.

There are some hidden features to my pocket knife, as well. I can pluck my eyebrows with the tweezers if the campsites ever have a mirror where I can beautify in private.And, I can pick my teeth with the toothpick feature when I run out of dental floss in the remote national parks of New Zealand.

I’m even making friends with my new pocket knife. A fellow camper walked up to me in the kitchen yesterday and said, “I have it on good authority that you can help me open my can of beans!”

I really must admit that my life is much better with my Swiss Army knife and I thank Eric every day for recognizing a need that I didn’t know I had.