artist - musician - craftsman
and furniture maker
[July 18, 2021]
simply revland: matrimonial bliss (2005)
The Spring of 2005 has sprung ...
... our above-average winter snowmelt begins its annual God-granted gravitational pull to its nearest low spot, creating the sweet sound of water trickling through curbside sewer grates. Like a babbling brook, if you listen closely enough, a significantly small commodity becomes a now more perceptive necessity. I somehow missed sweet nothings like this for decades, and now, after 14 years of sobriety, activity like this is music to my ears. Chirping chickadees, buzzing bees, and copious cloud formations, all sights and sounds I perpetually took for granted.
Tonight, I have a date. Something in the 70s and 80s I had more than my share of, probably not deservedly so. I was a product of the 60s: Woodstock. Vietnam. Janis Joplin. Jimmy Hendrix. All of which had a profound effect on me, and perhaps some not providing the best role modeling for a late-blooming young lad with an abundance of hormonal tendencies. I played hard, too hard at times, scaring away many young ladies of virtue. Hearts were crushed, equally so, and I never seemed to cultivate solutions based on any reasonable interpretation.
Back to my date. Over the last 14 years, I can count on one hand how many I’ve had. Why? The reasons show their manifestations on two hands. No bars, new friends, and an independent streak a mile wide. It was April 1st. [The day fools are made of.] I wasn’t the superstitious type, but I may have suggested we delay the date a week or so. Mary’s brother, Bill, was a pastor and a good friend, and her protective family thought she was ready to date again after losing her husband in a tragic snowmobile accident a year or two earlier. She was shy but so was I.
We met at Bill and Pam's for conversation and Trivial Pursuit. But it didn’t take me long to formulate that my personal pursuit was anything but trivial. I couldn’t have been more serious. I had waited years for an opportunity to address itself in this way, and my fear of blowing it was, I think, showing up on my sleeve. I needed to slow down, as this obviously presented itself as a marathon, not a sprint. She was sweet, quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. Everything, after thoughtful speculation, I failed at that night. What a doofus. I necessitated some diligence when it came to my social dexterity, and could only wish for another bite at the apple.
She was sweet, quiet, reserved, and thoughtful...
It is now late May 2005, and I just acknowledged another birthday, number 52, with my new female friend.
"I really like this gal."
I really like this gal, and hope she feels the same. I have consistently reminded her that being very low maintenance, all I needed was a litter box and a dish. I knew we were on solid ground when she laughed at my substantially silly pleasantries, that being one of them.
A few weeks back, around Mother’s Day, we shopped for annuals at our local nurseries, and equally harmonized the dirt-under-our-nails cavalcade, knowing that within weeks we could enjoy the fruits of our labor, as we quietly sipped coffee in the courtyard. Perennial plantings interred in the Fall were also now making their debut ... shrubs, native grasses, ground covers ... all eye candy for those intrigued by such. Gardening and landscaping are now part of my repertoire, and I was digging it, literally, as was Mary.
Now, I would never evaluate a romance based on how substantial my tomatoes are. But Mary’s plant food endorsement has pretty much tipped the scales. But let’s be clear, tomato plants reaching 5 feet tall in 2 months could also be some sort of subliminal divine intervention. Not only can she increase the size of my tomatoes, she is kind, thoughtful, calm, loving, and attractive to boot. I have waited 52 years to get married. Perhaps I have met my match?
I have been having a formidable time balancing work and pleasure lately, adding new digs, gardening, and romance to my carte du jour. If only there were 30 hours in a day. I proposed to Mary last night ... with her four children in the room. I’m quite confident they are not all that thrilled with me, as a 3-month courtship may not be a sufficient amount of time to secure a future with their mother. Also, filling the loafers of their successful late father could also require utilizing an industrial strength shoe horn. But I must be up to the task. Including my own biological son, I now have 5 children on my imaginary magical mystery tour.
Mary and I set a date for our celebration of marriage: December 28.
But my father (Cletis) had grown quite ill and we wanted him to be there, so we moved the date up to September 24.
I am so blessed to have met her, and have graciously asked her to “grow old with me."
In honoring that vow, I recorded this John Lennon song to be played at our wedding.