Thirty-three Years

Has it been that long?  And yet, who are those two kids in a couple of grainy photographs, getting married.  Eighteen, no jobs, no higher education, no car, no place to live.  No wonder Mother was so upset.

But, that feeling we had for each other would not be silenced.  We had to be together, no matter what.  And I didn’t want to start out living together without a license.  If we had, we might not have stuck it out.

A month later, Pasadena.  A perfect little apartment upstairs on the end.  I remember how he smelled when he would come in from work.  Like sunshine and clean sweat.  He had long brown curls and no mustache, then.  We laughed and played and fought and made up like the lovers we were.

Along came pregnancy and a lay off.  Finally, Uncle Sam put him to work and we took our baby son to California.  Our baby girl came along while we were out there.

We hadn’t been back from his service duty long when an industrial accident took most of his left hand.  People forget he has, I hate to use the word disability, but that hindrance.  After he got that business settled, we set in to making a home and raising our two little ones.

Adventure on the river during a few summers was the main thing. Then, he found a passion for longhorn cows.  The reconnection Mother made to her cousin during this time sustained me through many difficult years after Mother passed away.  She had longhorn cows and we got going with the Butler Sale the year we lost Mother.

I wasn’t long, it seems, Daddy went on to be with the Lord, our son graduated and moved off to school.  He hasn’t resided with us since. Then, our daughter graduated and moved off to school, only coming to reside after graduating and during a couple of job transitions, totally only a few months.  During, he lost both his parents a few months apart.  His father’s was sudden and unexpected. This was a dark and difficult period for those two young lovers mentioned at the beginning of this passage.

He started taking me to the deer lease with him.  Riding in the woods and learning how to hunt with him pieced our hearts back together.

Our son fell in love and got married.  Just that fast.  Our daughter married and then figured out he was not the right man.  So, we all went down and loaded her up and brought her home.  That is the night I realized my little family was going to be strong, after all.  She married the right man a couple of years later.

Our son and his bride have taken me on adventures in Hawai’i and California.  And after several years of wondering if they would, they produced a grandchild for us.  Five months later our daughter and her honey produced another grandchild for us.  Two girls.  Two suns to rise and set each day.

We are officially middle aged.  Grandparents.  We still like to have adventures on the river and in the woods.  Our favorite thing is playing with our girls.  I have a couple of great-nieces we love to play with, too.

We work hard to make sure we don’t take each other for granted.  We don’t want “settled” love.  We want to keep the passion growing deeper and sweeter with time.  I don’t know where I end and he begins.  And, yet, I am still shy to share some things with him.  His is the only opinion I truly care about.  He is the only person who can actually hurt my feelings.  He is the only person who has walked through the fires of hell with me and hauled me through the rough places not letting me quit.

So when I say Happy Anniversary to him, I really mean thank you; I love you; I can’t breathe without you; you still make my heart skip a beat; I am still trying to make sure I am pleasing to you; I need your love to keep me warm; you are my Rock. Happy Anniversary.

to crop

#32#weddedbliss#hardheaded

Tomorrow marks 32 years of wedded bliss for the two of us! Of course, it hasn’t all been bliss….  We have had many challenges to face together. We have had many challenges to face head to head.  Our hard heads butting against each other.

That very characteristic we share is the reason we are still together. We are both too hard headed to give up or give in.

Yes, there were times we may have wondered what was going on and why were things happening that shouldn’t. He may or may not agree with that.  I don’t know if he gives such things much thought.

He is the man God needed to take care of me. I had such a rough time getting through things that happened when I was younger.  He fought the demons that tortured me.  With words, actions and prayers he fought for me.

I still have moments or even days of blue and black moods. I am confident to state I feel mostly healed. There are scars. But, the wounds don’t seem to be open.

He is strong. He is tough. He is brave. He is my champion.  He is my rock. Did I mention he is tough?

He does have a tender heart. It is way down under all that gruff exterior. He melts over babies and children.  He adores old folks.  His love and compassionate concern for our children is overwhelming at times. He loves our Father and His Son beyond measure.

He seems to like me most of the time. He puts up with me and my goofy self. He isn’t as hard on me as he used to be.  I don’t know if it is because he is mellowing or because I am becoming one of those old folks he adores.

I completely appreciate who he is, good and bad, tough and tender. I completely appreciate our long life together.  How precious it is to have such a friend.  Thirty two years since we vowed ourselves to each other before Him.

Two years since our vow renewal. We didn’t really need it, but our daughter wanted me to have a “wedding ceremony”.  I completely appreciate her and the rest of the crew making such a marvelous event happen!

We have special things going on in our lives right now. Still too precious to write about.  I get overwhelmed with emotion.  Today, California is a million miles away.

But, he will be home shortly. Just having him at home makes everything better.  I am so glad we are both so hard headed.  I love him beyond measure. #happyanniversary#rock

 to crop

A Lifetime

On June 30th, we will be married 30 years. A lifetime of growing together and alongside each other. A lifetime of figuring out how to keep in the same boat paddling the same direction.
Some things we have worked out:
When we don’t like each other much, we remember how crazy about each other we were in the beginning when things were really tough and hang on till we do like each other again. This doesn’t happen much anymore. For my part, I am crazier about him now than ever before. Love is a choice. Love requires feeding and pruning, grooming and tending.
We don’t argue anymore. This is difficult for me because I like to argue. But our rule is that if it is important enough to argue about, it is too important to argue about. Secondly, we don’t try to resolve any thing in the evening or near bedtime. Go to sleep mad, if needed, and if it was important, it can be discussed in the clear light of day. Most likely, it is one of those “Mama, he’s looking at me” things anyway and we won’t recall what the issue was.
I learned a long time ago the real meaning behind “Let the wife submit to her own husband.” Not to all men, but to him alone. And it is the wife’s choice. He submits to Christ, so this is not as difficult as it may sound. In such a situation, the blessings are immeasurable. He assumes full responsibility for our household and all our business. I do my part under his authority and consent. When something goes awry he takes care of it. I don’t have to fuss with anyone or anything. I am expected to keep up my end, but I am not left to keep up both ends. By my willing submission to his authority without exception, he protects, nurtures, encourages and loves me.
My only concern is that I am not doing enough for him. I want my part to be done better. He never complains outright about things, so it is not easy to determine if I am getting it right. I suppose if I mess up royally he would explain it to me.
I spoil him all I can, deferring to him and his plans. I want to be with him and do things with him. I don’t want a separate life only spending a few hours a month on a date or something. I want to be in the truck, on the buggy, on the tractor, on the boat right alongside him. It takes extra time and effort to take me along and help me with my gear. I guess he wants me there. He always expects me to load up.
He is my best friend. He knows me better than I know myself most of the time. He makes me tell him what I am worrying about. He catches my tears. He advises me and prays for me. He refuses to let me wallow in my depression. He checks me when I don’t check my own attitude.
He has no clue about shopping for gifts for me sometimes. But, then, one of our two greatest accomplishments helps her Daddy figure out just what it is I was wanting. That is fine, too. One of the things that makes him so precious to me is the father his is to our children. Though they are both nearer thirty than I care to recall, he is still fathering them in a marvelous fashion.

 

IMAG1017-1-1

Not that there are thorns on rose bushes, but that there are roses on thorn bushes.

Surveying the beautiful life we have and are sharing, it has not and is not always a rose petal laden path.

But, the roses on the thorn bush grow lovelier and more fragrant with each passing year.

Love grows richer and deeper with each passing year.

Not settled and ordinary, but robust and flamboyant, with deep roots and sturdy canes.

Yielding blooms in all seasons and all weather.

Not blown to pieces by the storms, but sparkling with raindrops caught in the ever returning sunlight.