O Lord, Thank You for my love of more than 50 years. Even more — OMG, thank You for a valentine who does laundry.
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: No-Temptation Birthday Cake. O Lord, thank You that this pineapple upside-down cake turned out well for my husband’s birthday. And OMG, thank You that though it is his favorite, I can walk away from this cake without a pang.
But if it were chocolate. …
O Lord, don’t You think going directly from Christmas decorations to Valentine’s Day hearts makes sense? After all, both holidays are rooted in Your love. (And, OMG, maybe You could help Hubby take the hint about chocolates?)
Nobody feels neutral about autumn’s advent. Mention fall, and you trigger one of two reactions:
“No-o-o-o-o (weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth)!”
Or, “Ye-e-s-s-s (double fist pump)!”
The first response typifies skinny beach bums and bunnies who evolved without sweat glands. They play tennis on boiling blacktop and Frisbee on 500-degree sand. My scientific theory: summer people originally lived on the sun, but inexplicably migrated to the Midwest a million years ago. They’ve complained about fall ever since.
Perhaps you’ve deduced that I support the second view? Below, I’ve listed my Top 10 reasons for loving the harvest season:
- Steve – At a Labor Day picnic 67 years ago, my husband’s 20-year-old mother wondered if the holiday would prove prophetic — she thought she was going into labor. However, the excitement was traced to a mole digging holes under her blanket. Hubby, who still takes his good old sweet time, appeared two weeks later. I’m glad he did.
- Layers – No more bathing suits! Hurrah!
- Cozy reading – Sure, beach books introduce us to new imaginary friends and take us to faraway places. But during fall, I can roll up in a throw like a giant burrito and read with equal enjoyment — with no sand in my pants.
- Apple everything – Orchard apples taste as if they grew in fruit heaven. They bless us with bubbling apple pie, chunky homemade applesauce and hot, cinnamon-y cider. Mmm.
- Comfort food – During summer, Congress should declare cooking illegal. But fall brings urges to fill the house with delicious fragrances: chili and cornbread on cold Saturday nights. Chicken and noodles for Sunday dinner. Golden loaves of bread that smell like love as they bake. Even hot coffee tastes better during fall. (I never could embrace iced coffee. Some things are just wrong.)
- Squirrels – I like to watch them work. I like to watch anybody work but me.
- Sports – I like to watch football and playoff baseball. I like to watch anybody exercise but me.
- Weather – A fall day’s air smells fresh as if God just invented it. Often, autumn brings the only true-blue blue skies we see in Indiana. Even the most addicted summer junkie can’t deny that fall offers great snuggle weather.
- Nature – Trees, clad in their best fall-rainbow finery, leave me breathless. Other scene-stealers: morning glories swathe fences with royal blue and ruby blossoms. Chrysanthemums bloom in jewel colors. Cornstalks rustle with gentle gossip about weather changes. Orange pumpkins like harvest moons nestle among brown vines. Ugly brown milkweed pods erupt with white, airy adventures.
- Besides all this, we don’t have to weed or mow the grass this weekend.
What’s not to love?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What is one of your Top 10 reasons for loving the harvest season?
We became engaged at the ripe old age of 19. When we married, Steve had completed exactly one semester of medical school. I was unemployed, due to a recession with double-digit inflation. We planned an Indiana wedding in blizzard-prone January — with his mother in charge, because I happened to live in Oregon. I flew in two whole weeks before our date. Plenty of time for Steve and me to work out wedding details, right? And get reacquainted after not having seen each other for five months.
We made promises to God and each other on a snow-white, blue-sky winter day. Finally liberated from to-do lists, we escaped to beautiful downtown Indianapolis, famous during that era for crumbling architecture and parking lot shootings. A coal truck had demolished Steve’s car earlier, so we drove a borrowed car that died only at left turns.
After our honeymoon, we arrived at university married student housing and hauled meager belongings up three flights of stairs. After months 2,300 miles apart, rationed phone calls and yearning letters, we finally could stay together forever in our $97.50-per-month furnished heaven on earth.
The first night in our new home, roaches welcomed us like long-lost relatives. The tiny refrigerator froze lettuce and melted ice cream. The bathroom was located in the back of a large closet. Our bed consisted of a worn, drop-dead-ugly fold-out sofa.
Undaunted, I pulled it out and spread our prettiest wedding sheets: a pink and white striped floral set. We snuggled in, but before turning off the light, I observed a disturbing phenomena not described in helpful marriage manuals I’d read. Steve’s ears were turning fire-engine red, deepening to purple. Would they explode?
“Is something wrong?” I stammered.
He muttered, “I’ve never slept on lacy pink sheets in my life.”
We changed to plain sheets. I resolved to go to sleep.
Except that my feet hung off the bed.
Half my new husband dangled into thin air.
He bent himself into a Z. I formed a lower-case z beside him.
During the night, the bed’s middle sagged almost to the floor, entangling us like skeins of yarn. I awoke with Steve’s elbow in my armpit. He choked on my left foot.
We had wanted togetherness, but, ahem . …
Decades later, I marvel how we, our children and their spouses have survived and thrived while practicing married love, student style.
But I am convinced that a couple with faith, love and commitment can survive anything.
Even lacy pink sheets.
Do you and your spouse tell we’ve-only-just-begun stories that bring you fresh grins, no matter how many times you repeat them?