Tag Archives: marriage

Conversations

It was after 7 this morning before I rolled out of bed. Very unusual for me. The night had been spent with wild and crazy dreams which may have made me more tired than rested. I awoke thinking about the dreams and wondering where some of the material for them came from. Then I remembered. I had a number of serious conversations the last few days with a variety of people. My mind had jumbled all those conversations into a long stream of dreams.

I was out early Monday morning, running errands. I like to start early, right after 8:30 and be home by 11. During the drive between stops a friend left a message on my phone letting me know she was hospitalized. When I arrived at my next stop I called her and we talked for about a half hour. She is hospitalized, having gone for heart tests on Friday that in turn required her heart to be restarted TWICE. She faces open-heart surgery today. She also faces a long recuperation and rehabilitation period. It makes me sad as she is the same age as my husband. She has smoked and eaten badly all of her adult life. The heart surgeon told her that almost every patient he operates on has been a smoker.

After finishing my errands and coming home I found a message on the home answering machine from my sister who I had not heard from in months. We live in the same town but rarely see one another. She celebrated her 82nd birthday last week, and I had sent her a card with a photograph of Terry and me. My sister does not have a computer so there is no way of keeping her apprised of what we do except by phone/snail mail. After the birthday celebrations with her grandchildren and visits from her great grandchildren, she had time to sit and talk for awhile.

A couple in our church celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on Sunday. I chatted with them about their achievement and how so many did not reach that number. We also talked about how so many of the younger people are not even getting married any more, taking their chances with the legal quandaries that can come about without the legal documentation. I’ve seen that with children at school whose parents never married, especially if the birth father’s name is not on their birth certificate. It can cause havoc with their life should something happen to one of the parents.

My sister got married shortly after I was born, and had she and her first husband remained married, they would be celebrating their 65th anniversary later this year. I brought this up while chatting with her on the phone, telling her about the couple who has been married 61 years. She marveled at that and said she admired those who could make it in a marriage, long-term. Her first husband is still alive but doing very poorly, health-wise. Her second husband, who was abusive, has been out of the picture for a long time and we never even mention his name, but the knowledge of his one-time existence in her life, and the reason for her diminished lifestyle, is still there, nonetheless. It was a bad decision to marry him and get his name legally attached to hers. I tried to dissuade her, but you know, people in love never see what others see. Perhaps it is better to just live together.

And the final conversation jangling around in my head is that of homeless people, especially the elderly and those with mental issues. I was discussing the importance of having a network, a support system, when one gets older. What happens to those without family or friends who develop dementia and can no longer care for themselves, but no one is around to witness the progression and get help for the person? The other two people in the conversation were telling me the difficulty of getting conservatorship and getting help for those in that situation.

On top of the conversations, also bouncing around in my head are plans for coffee fellowship after church next Sunday. I am in charge of the refreshments and  I have a Valentine’s theme in mind. That’s what part of my errand-running was about, getting supplies. Those plans got dumped in with the various conversations and made my dreams hectic and chaotic. I’m staying home today as the weather forecast calls for another rain storm. At least it’s warm–60 degrees this morning.

In the kitchen

Today is one of those days when I am cooking lots of food to keep us through the week. Chicken enchiladas, potato salad, beef and noodles, croutons for soups and salads, pecan pie.

Terry walked through the kitchen just as I was getting ready to start the water for the potatoes.

He: Are you stirring the water with a knife?

Me: Yes.

He: Don’t you think there is a better utensil for that?

Me: Sure, but that’s what I have right now so it works just fine.

He moved on.

Life after college

It has been 40 years since I graduated from college. Same for Terry. Although he is older than I am, and he started college before I did, he did not file for graduation until I prompted him to do so when I filed. We had only been dating a few months at the time of graduation, so I’m kind of surprised he took my advice. He had all of his units, though, and I could see no reason to delay the filing. As for the actual graduation ceremony, I participated; Terry was a spectator. Maybe that was foreshadowing to our future. But that’s another story for another time.

When I graduated that June in 1974, with a BS in marketing, I had a job waiting with a publishing company. I had dreamed of a job with a real estate firm in the Bay Area, doing research for planned communities, but Terry told me he had no intentions of leaving Fresno so I decided to stay here, too, thus taking a job with a local company that published agriculture magazines. Who knew, 40 years later, that I would be a retired school teacher. Certainly not I.

This morning, at church, I saw a lady whom I have known for decades. We exchanged a few pleasantries, and when she asked what I had been doing, I mentioned that I had just taught the Sunday School class for the two and three year olds. She laughed and said, “you will always be in children’s ministry of some sort.” I think God is chuckling, too, because even though I have that degree in marketing and worked for 13 years in publishing and sales, the majority of my life has been spent teaching children. Now that I am the retired school teacher, it seems that my attention has shifted from high schoolers to younger and younger children. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed any of this 40 years ago.

I am not a killer

Terry and I have been married for almost 40 years and in those years, Terry has been my knight in shining armor. He rescues me from the frailties  of daily living like car breakdowns, and dishwashing, and window washing, and bug killing. He takes care of the injured and dying pets. He is the expert freeway and mountain road driver. My life would be much harder without him.

When we returned from our trip to visit the grandchildren, we found the cats had killed a bird and left it on the patio. I called for Terry and he got the shovel and carted it off. Then a large beetle scuttled across the family room floor, causing me to shriek, and again Terry came to my rescue with a paper towel scooping up the dastardly bug.

Occasionally, though, I must fend for myself. While turning off the water faucet in the backyard, a very large black spider crawled down the wall towards me. There was no time to get Terry to make short work of this ghastly looking creature. I would have to do it myself. A large unused sprinkler lay next to the water faucet so I picked it up and bashed away at the spider, fiercely yelling with each hit. Finally, the spider was dead, smashed into the dirt. I went inside, found Terry, and proclaimed my victory over what I believed to be a black widow spider. The more I described it, though, the more we thought it might be some other kind of spider, perhaps even a good spider that was eating a large variety of bugs which have overtaken our backyard and house this year. I just hate killing any living creature.

Never gets boring

Terry and I met on December 4, 1973. We got married February 1, 1975. We’ve lived in this house since 1980.

Today, the last day of 2013, while chatting over our Chinese lunch at a restaurant where we’ve eaten many times, I learn that there are two fishing poles in our hall closet that have been there as long as we’ve lived in the house and actually followed us from our previous two abodes.

In all these years Terry has never gone fishing or even mentioned fishing. Nor have I ever seen these fishing rods. Life is never boring around here.

The life we’ve lived, reflected in our face

Terry and I were by ourselves the other evening, after being with our granddaughter for four days. Four days of being responsible for this small, active life. We had kept a schedule of meals, baths, naps, bedtimes, and fun for four intense days, and we were tired. Then, I read a quote: “At age 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” George Orwell

We are both way past 50, but I had to wonder, did our faces reflect the life we have lived? Sitting there, in the hotel room, I opened up my computer, clicked on PhotoBooth, and took this picture:

I posted it to Facebook, along with the quote, and got some nice feedback. Life has been good to us, we are richly blessed, and I would like to think that is reflected in our faces.

If you are close to 50, then I recommend you snap a picture and see what you think. Was Mr. Orwell correct?

Weddings & Marriages

Yesterday was the wedding of a former student. Caroline was not only my student a few years ago, but this summer she was our housesitter while we were gone for three weeks. She married a nice young man and I wish them decades of happiness.

This morning, at church, another couple, married at this time of year, celebrated 65 years of wedded bliss. Pretty amazing.

As for those getting married now, I wish they would have indoor weddings. We have been to so many outdoor weddings, in so many venues–beaches, golf courses, rivers, camps, lakes, parks, and yesterday, a farm house, only it was outside the farmhouse and very chilly. Someone needs to tell these young people that there is this most wonderful invention–indoor heating and cooling. Sure would make these weddings more comfortable. Oh, and maybe I wouldn’t have to travel so far, either.