Tag Archives: Wedded bliss

Bicycle and Marriage Built for Two

“It won’t be a stylish marriage; I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”

According to writer Harry Dacre, his heroine, Daisy Bell, and her sweetheart seemed destined for marital bliss.

My husband and I? Not always.

Whatever a stylish marriage is, I don’t think ours qualifies. I don’t look sweet, either, red face sweating as Hubby and I climb hills on our tandem bike.

We’ve come a long way since our first tandem ride 19 years ago, when we bought the bike as both celebration and consolation for our empty nest.

Hubby explained this “togetherness” hobby would work for us. “It’s the perfect solution for riders of — er — unequal athletic levels.”

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay.

Let Hubby do most of the work? Sounded like a plan to me.

After 30 years, we didn’t expect our first ride would send us back to Marriage 101. That we would nearly take out our neighbor’s trash cans. Starting and stopping required the precision of our operating like bicycle gears. Hubby hadn’t realized navigating turns would be like driving a semi. Dragging an extra person up a hill would resemble hauling an oversize load.

I, taking the back seat, hadn’t realized I’d see nothing in front but Hubby’s back. Nor did I understand that without exception, I had to communicate my intention to procure my water bottle. Once, my shift in balance sent us careening toward a pickup.

Image by Simon Gatdula from Pixabay.

Hubby and I still disagree on how to deal with 4,371 dogs that guard roads throughout our county.

Canines always lunge for riders on the back seat. Ergo, my approach: “Pedal for your — I mean, my — life!”

Hubby’s: “We’ll never outrace them. Yell at the dogs to alert the owner.”

What if the owner commutes to Chicago?

Image by S Hermann and F. Richter from Pixabay.

Despite our differences, we enjoy aspects of the Indiana countryside many people miss — rustling cornfields, forested hills and flower-covered meadows. Cows and horses can’t make heads nor tails of this odd, two-headed creature passing their fields.

Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay.

Daisy and her man probably discovered that riding a tandem and achieving wedded bliss are work! Both are acquired tastes — especially puffing up those hills.

Though on that first ride, we hit speed bumps, Hubby and I have kept both tandem and marriage moving. They’re our favorite pastimes.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever ridden a tandem bicycle?

A Tale of Two Anniversary Hikes

It was the best of times. Set in the worst of times.

Amid COVID restrictions, how could we celebrate 46 years of wedded stress — er, bliss?

Normally, I offer suggestions way beyond our first anniversary, when Hubby’s parents paid for dinner at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant. Now, we pay for our own celebratory meals, sometimes in restaurants with daunting silverware and equally daunting prices. We no longer limit trips to exotic locales like Wabash, Indiana. Once, we even splurged on Hawaii.

But now, what to do?

Hubby enthused, “Let’s take a hike.”

But we hike so much, Hubby’s Fitbit thingy is exhausted.

“It’s cold,” I whined. Snuggling and drinking hot chocolate sounded saner.

“But I want to play in the snow.”

Snow? Okay! I donned cold-weather gear.

In a nearby forest, verdant pines and leafless oaks looked equally elegant. Outlined in white, scraggly weeds and thorny bushes proclaimed their Creator’s redemption. Though seemingly dormant, the forest teemed with animal tracks — with life.

Our decades together rested on us, light and joyous as snow.

It was the best of times.

Temperatures rose the next day, when we hiked at a nearly deserted park. Trees, having lost magical white clothing, shivered. We plowed through dark, sticky mud, attractive only when I imagined we were adventuring through brownie batter.

Soon, we navigated puddles, then streams flowing across trails. Images of Israelites crossing the Red Sea flooded my brain. Biblical thoughts, at least — more biblical than some eddying in my mind.

At a bison pen, big, shaggy animals barely blinked at our presence.

Bored bison are so romantic. Especially their smell.

Water inspires swoon-moon-June feelings, even in January. But the gray, half-frozen lake resembled an old black-and-white TV screen.

Skinny-dipping? For polar bears only.

Hubby asked, “Want to kayak?”

“Not enough ice and water for you on this trail?” I queried.

Fortunately, he was only half-serious. But he related how he and fellow Boy Scouts, during their winter paddle, chewed gum to mend their busted canoe.

“We had fun,” he insisted.

Despite challenges, we’d enjoyed our second hike, too. Together.

On January 4, 1975, I wouldn’t have anticipated fun on a mud hike. Then, we were all about storybook moments, white and sparkly like my wedding gown.

We still relive those moments, as on that incredible, snowy hike.

Still, mud-hike marriage moments happen, even in Hawaii. On a tropical trail, Hubby extracted me from sucky mud that stained us orange.

Thank God, we haven’t told each other to take a hike. Instead, we’ve taken a lifelong hike together, including the best of times and the worst of times.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What are magical and mud-hike moments in your marriage?