Besides breathing and eating, you know, basically existing, there is only one other significant event that has taken up any significant portion of my 50 years of existence on this rotating orb we call Earth.
Marriage, and the joys and pains that go with it.
Saturday, February 14th, my Honey Buns, my Lucy, and I will celebrate 24 years together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I never knew what happiness was until I got married… and now it’s too late.
Okay, when I say that she gives me the look. But she gives ME the look! And I think she’s beginning to realize that I’m in it for the long run. I believe that we have a chance of going all the way and that’s saying something. In our families divorce has been the light at the end of the tunnel.
First marriage for me, second for her, but she’s sweet and says that I’m the one that counts. She divorced the first guy because of a sleeping disorder... he was always sleeping with someone else. She brought two great kids to the party and I don’t think of them as stepkids, just my kids. Two more, the clones, joined us in the first 3 years. Later, 7 grandkids, the 8th is due this March.
The memories…. Here are some in no particular order.
· Driving to Disneyland, the two of us, June 1986, Seattle to Anaheim, 1982 Ford Escort, no a/c. San Joquin Valley. Spraying each other with spray bottles to battle the heat.
· Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2005, climbing Diamond Head together. I nearly die on this climb because I’m out of shape, looking forward to the stairs at the top. I think I did die doing those stairs.
· May 1987, hanging a stuffed rabbit from the chandeler at our apartment in Tualitin, Oregon, our visual message to friends Matthew & Kerry Peterson, that number 4 child was on the way. (The rabbitt had died.)
· November 1986, Everett, Washington, me the big strong guy and my petite little wife, carrying couches and mattresses together in the pouring rain when we moved into our new rental because the local congregation of our church knew we weren’t going to stay long and didn’t want to help a transient family.
· June 1993, Disneyland again, this time in a rented Chevy Astro, all four kids. Might have been the best family vacation ever for us. Down and up the West Coast.
· Westport, Washington, the in-laws own a one bedroom cabin there. Besides being the honeymoon suite (or as a friend calls it “the stabbin’ cabin”), it has been the Spring Vacation Getaway for the family, numerous summer visits, the place where the crab is cheap and plenty. We all do the Walton’s goodnight thing when we stay there.
· Date unknown, the family home evening where we learned to spit grapes across the room at the house on 14th Street. Almost invited Guiness Book of World Records.
· September 27, 1987, the Seattle Temple for the LDS Church. We got rid of the “til death do ye part” and replaced it with “for time and all eternity”. Three kids sealed, the fourth was 5 months away.
· March 1991, Disney World for four days, the weekend cruise to the Bahamas. Oh yeah, it was sooooo worth it. No kids.
· February 14, 1986 – Our first anniversary, new baby and burnt brocolli.
· February 13, 1994 to July 1, 1994 – Temporary assignment for me in Denver, home every other weekend. She had the kids, the daughter turning 13, three boys in baseball. It was hell, for her. But it did everything for my career.
· November 1986, I was demoted in a job. Came home to tell her, ex-husband there to see the kids. Not a great memory but it sticks in my mind because it’s was so great that someone that day still believed in me, and she always has.
· March 2008, Lucy has major surgery, supposed to take only an hour, at hour two I wondering, hour three I’m spending the insurance money mentally, hour four I’m a basket case.
· Everytime we’re intimate, well… she doesn’t laugh at me naked. Surely she gets points for that, and “stop calling me Shirley”.
· Name Calling – We have them for everything, My Ricky to her Lucy, Shirley, as in "Surely you don’t mean that. Stop calling me Shirley." Buns, Honey Buns, and when she’s mad, HOT CROSS BUNS. And let’s not forget our old standbys, “Dream Killer!” “Hope Smasher!”
There’s more about us, some personal, some general. We’ve had our disagreements, our make ups, challenges financially, with the kids, with each other. But over the years we’ve been a team. We finish sentences for each other, we start them, we still get frustrated at each other, but we’re together 24 years later.
A young man once taught me (just before he got divorced from some wacko), the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. Well Buns, Lucy, Honey Buns, Shirley, let’s turn on the sprinkler and get the grass greener for another 24 years.