Next Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring, Steve and I will celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. It would be easy to just skip over this one and start planning for the Big 5-0, but I’ve watched my friends long enough now to realize that no anniversary can be taken for granted, and, instead, each one should be savored.
You’ve read about past anniversaries here and here. In the second link, Steve chimed in with an excerpt from his book that was finally published last week. I am SO proud of him. Feel free to check it out through this link to Amazon. And, your positive reviews would be most welcome.
This past year has brought some blessings, some surprises and some challenges, but aren’t most years like that?
Under the category of Blessings, we added another beautiful grandchild (Enoch Jonathan Rodgers), we took a fabulous trip to Alaska and Washington State, and we spent some precious times with friends and family. Under Surprises, we sold our house in Athens and moved back to Hartselle. And under Challenges, we started building what we hope will be our final earthly home. For the past 7 months, we have basically been camping out in a little rental house with most of our worldly goods in storage. Laura hosted Thanksgiving. Julie hosted Christmas. And we have been “making do” with a skeleton stash of stuff while every delay imaginable (most of them weather-related) has seemed to impede our progress. They say that building a house is a harsh test for the durability of a marriage, and that’s true. Frustrations mount while dollars diminish, and you have plenty of tense moments. We bicker, negotiate, disagree and compromise, but the one constant is that we love each other, so all decisions are made with that underlying theme of commitment and security.
I was thinking about our marriage recently, and desserts popped into my mind. Yes. Desserts. We each have our own preferences when we’re choosing for ourselves. Steve will always name blackberry cobbler as his favorite followed by yellow cake with chocolate icing and coconut or chocolate pie from Bob Gibson’s. I tend to lean toward lemon icebox pie or strawberry pretzel salad. But, when we’re in a great restaurant together and see Key Lime Pie or Bread Pudding under desserts, we can easily agree to share one or the other.
It’s kind of the same way with seafood. He loves salmon, and I love scallops, but we BOTH love raw oysters.
After all of these years, we are still very distinct individuals, and yet we can agree to share some very delicious foods and incredible experiences. We delight together in our children and grandchildren. Their accomplishments and antics fill us with pride and bring us joy and laughter. We love worshiping God together. When a praise song causes him to respond by lifting his hands, I am likely to shed tears — happy, God-loves-me tears. We love traveling together — he drives, I navigate, but we both explore new places and meet interesting people. Even though we probably have a pretty good idea what the other one is thinking and about to say, we still listen and do our best to understand.
So, here we are. We’ve agreed on the house plan and location. We’ve found paint colors, flooring, countertops and plumbing fixtures we both like. We’re probably still about 2 months away from making our new nest, and once again, everything will feel unfamiliar for a while. We’re so eager to share our new place with family and friends that our patience often wears pretty thin. But that “one constant” is still present. We love each other.
Happy Anniversary to my Silver Fox.
Our marching orders for the coming years? — Ephesians 4:2-3 – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”