Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How long ? At the Kalico Kitchen

We were down at the Kalico Kitchen, our favorite local eatery, the other day.  We were celebrating being home, as we had just arrived the night before at around 9:00 p.m., exhausted.

Certainly it had been a good trip; but we were, nevertheless, glad to be home.  Ahhhhhh..... yes, home again.  Comfort.

So there we sat, grinning, and ordering off our favorite menu.  We must have been looking pretty slappy-happy, because our young waitress came over and said, "Can I ask you something?"

The LOC*, always amenable to any conversation whatsoever, said, "Sure."
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Actually, once the conversation was underway, she had several questions after the first one.  
How long had we been married?  
Was it hard to stay married that long?
Did we ever argue?  (We both laughed pretty hard at that one.) How did we resolve a disagreement, when one arose?
Was it worth the effort?

She was young, beautiful (and I don't mean just kind of - but truly, drop-dead gorgeous) and clearly in a quandary.  She and her boyfriend had just been on a frustrating weekend trip, wherein very little had gone well; and upon arriving home, predictably (for those of us who have been around awhile) an argument ensued.

Thus, her questions.
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Our answers:  
- almost 27 years; 
- yes, it was hard; 
- yes - both of us laughing again - we definitely argued; 
- we talked the issue through (or as the LOC would say, "talked it to death"); 
- and yes, it was worth it.

There were almost no customers in the place, as it was the dead time of the afternoon, so she returned to our booth in the corner, again and again.
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She is a member of the "millennial" generation; and from what I have read and heard, commitment is not a concept with which they easily come to grips.  However, this young woman seemed genuinely interested in our views on "what it takes to stay in it for the long haul."  It was her hope to do that, too.
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So we spoke with her about our own mistakes; and the fact that we married in mid-life (a second marriage for each of us) and we were pretty set in our ways, which created considerable challenges. 

As I have said before, we didn't just have "baggage" - we had "his and hers" storage units full of issues.

We talked honestly about the hard work a long term relationship requires, the need for a sense of humor - especially when things go wrong - and finally a set of shared, and firmly held, values and a foundational faith. 

After a bit, she left to wait on another table.  And as we sat there ruminating, I could not help but be surprised that it was us - us - sitting there talking about twenty-six, almost twenty-seven, shared years.

Where did the time go? Was it over a quarter of a century since I awoke to a picture of John Wayne with a black eye patch in True Grit persona, hanging in the bedroom of my new husband's home into which I had just moved; oh, and one of a moose hanging in the bathroom?  I clearly remember not knowing whether to laugh or cry - and I did some of both.

Ours was a challenging beginning, and a sometimes difficult middle.  But here we are, looking back while enjoying a contented third act.  I truly cannot quite figure out how that happened; but I am grateful.  God's grace truly knows no bounds.
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How long has it been? Well, the days may seem long when troubles are piled high, but the years really do fly by.  And here we are, in safe harbor after all.  We didn't know how long it would take, but we are glad we made the journey.
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Hope you are in a safe and comforting place tonight.  If so, we can be grateful together.  Until next time, your grateful gardener ~ Marsha
(* Lovable Old Coot)


  1. We've been married almost 34 years and I would echo your answers. At least I didn't have to deal with John Wayne and a moose! :)

  2. Mari, Good for you. let me tell you, it isn't easy to ask a man to part with either one of them - but I did. :)

  3. What a great compliment, to have this young (and beautiful) lady stop and ask you several personal questions! It just goes to show you that sometimes words aren't needed to show the world the Joy we have.
    Way to go!

  4. I love how this young woman saw something in you two and took the time to ask and ...listen. Planting seeds is so important. Marriage isn't easy and it takes commitment and hard work. Greg and I will be married 31 years in November and it hasn't been perfect. But I love where we are now at this point in our lives. Tough times have drawn us closer to one another and I thank God for that.

    Blessings and love,