Thursday, June 10, 2010
Marriage.......... Do the young ever really under-stand what marriage is about? I didn't have a clue, I have pretty much gone through my life a little clueless. I learned the things from my mother that I thought would prepare me for married life. I was aware of doing laundry, cooking meals, dusting the house and other homemaking skills. I probably learned things just from watching a stable marriage between my mother and dad. I just didn't realize I was learning those marriage skills. We may have studied Family Life in the Home Ec. classes in high school, but there was no depth in those studies. You only learn about marriage when you are married.
I remember when Richard and I talked of marriage, I told him that I wanted to grow old together. What did I know of growing old when I was in my twenties? I can tell you I knew NOTHING, I was clueless.
Growing old together was a somewhat romantic notion in my mind that we'd be sitting back, gazing into each others eyes, talking about important things and just slowing down, I didn't even consider I'd be sleeping with a Grandpa! I maybe thought we might be sharing our wisdom of being married for so many years with our children. Of course, I never envisioned gray hair, strange body shapes, Richard being unable to hear well.
I love it when a news person asks someone who has been married sixty years or more, "What is the secret to a long marriage?" Who can answer that question with a sentence? It is not one thing! It isn't that easy to sum up sixty years, it isn't easy to sum up the forty one years. I suspect as we continue our married life, it is going to continue to change and grow.
I will share that growing old together is not as romantic as I thought it might be. We have long ago stopped gazing into each others eyes. We squint to look at each other without our glasses. I think our Creator knew something when he deemed that our eyesight would fade as we age. Looking too closely at one anothers wrinkles is a little shocking. When did our faces change so much. Do we really look like one another as we have grown older? We know for sure that we don't look as old as some of our acquaintances! On the other hand, we aren't being carded when we order a drink, and we easily get the senior discount without being carded either.
One of my favorite stories happened a couple years ago. As I try to recall when, it was maybe four years ago now, another symptom of growing old, where does time go? Anyway, we were out west, going to a concert to hear our favorite "Indian rock group", Brule'. The directions (GPS) told us to turn right, we did and it seemed unlikely, this was a gated community where everything is neat and manicured, all the same color and little golf carts were used for cars. GPS must be wrong, we were in a retirement community! We couldn't imagine that Brule' would have a following in this age group of people. We saw a community center where people were gathering, so we went to see. To our amazement, we were with people our age, they just had a lot more money than we did. This was a reality check! We were getting older and didn't know it had happened!
As far as talking about the important events in our life, it is already obvious to each of us, we don't need to talk about it. He collects as many things as I do, they just happen to be different collections. He loves going long range shooting, tractor shows and old car shows are recently added to his list. I go to Native American Flute events and Fine art shows with my gourds. Important events are discussed over morning coffee and breakfast and then we are off to do our "jobs" for the day, we'll meet again at supper and discuss what happened that day and tomorrow it all begins again!
Slowing down is two sided coin, If you are talking about our ability to do the things we used to do, yes, that has begun to slow, we didn't know about aches and pains when we were twenty's! The other side of the coin, things never slow down. Getting together with family and friends requires an appointment calendar! In July, Richard and I will be passing one another on the sidewalk with our luggage being pulled behind. I'll be coming home and he'll be leaving. We have somehow managed to schedule our special interest travels so that someone is always home to take care of aging horses and dogs. We don't seem to have time to sit and rock and share our wisdom to anyone who wants to listen. I remember my Grandpa and Grandma sitting in the rockers on the porch. It may have been they only stopped just to visit with us or it was at the end of their busy day. When you are in your twenties you think maybe your grandparents spent the day in the rocker just relaxing. Let me tell you, our rockers are lonesome for us to sit in them!
Being married for over forty years has taught us much about the art of compromise, not letting the small stuff become big stuff, respect, honesty, caring and of course love. All else will work it's self out, somehow.
Having wonderful children and grandchildren are a bonus. Having friends fill our lives is a gift. I have no regrets, it has been a good marriage. We have been Blessed!
Photo: Taken of Richard and I on our anniversary 1989 at Donner Pass.