Happy Anniversary Love

From Memphis with love . . .

You are in one state.

I am in another.

But look, in this picture we are together.

 

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My sister-in-law, Laura, tells me she took this picture 5 years ago.  We were so young, only married 21 years then, mere babies, what did we know?

It looks like we are sitting on the bank in our garden, the garden I’ve nagged you about for 8 years, the garden in which you bent your back to lay a brick wall, the garden from which you removed a lot of dirt at my request.  Then I changed my mind and asked you to bring the dirt back.  I don’t think you finished bringing dirt back.  Not that I’m nagging – oh, look at all those hearts – they signify your great love for me.

Though my love has been a bit rough around the edges, a sharp that bled you, sweated you, carved and scarred you, you stuck with me.  You have left me with cuts and bruises too, but you have been more gentle with me than I with you.

I know, I know, it isn’t about keeping a score card.  It is about how you try to be better than you are.  It pushes me to be better than I am, precisely because you love me as I am, never nagging me to change this or that.

Unheard of.

Absurd.

Unthinkable.

But you luuuv me___

wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, you’ve walked in the lion’s den

Twenty-six years together, Honey — together but untouchable today.  That is sad, I guess, but it is hard to feel too sad with years upon years of memories crowding my mind.

Happy Anniversary, Sid.

 

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A tub for Mama

It’s better than chocolate.

And Ben & Jerry’s.

But it can enhanced with a book or three.

Sid surprised me with a combined Mother’s Day – Birthday gift.  Our master bathroom was plumbed for a bathtub 8 years ago, but we never had one installed.  Oh, the luxury of not sharing one bathtub with 5 other people — positively decadent.

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When Sid suggested taking the tub in through the bathroom window —  our second story bathroom window —I suggested yard-bathing was the latest thing.  He reasoned our local bear and deer population couldn’t handle the latest thing.

I have my suspicions about that argument.

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Pausing in midair to text.   Because he is still running a business.  My admiration wars with my anxiety about this ability to multi-task.

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Here we are whistling while we work.  Yes, we are our Daddy’s sons — carrying a cast iron bathtub in through a second-story window is a perfectly normal thing for us to do.

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Putting weight on the tub to make sure the tractor doesn’t tip forward.  Really now, I am glad the man is cautious, but that was one worry that had NOT occurred to me.  *shudder*

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The critical point at which I try to focus on the mechanics of picture-taking and not about someone losing their balance while holding a cast iron tub on a hot day on a slanted roof.  And I wonder, did our contractor build our porch roof strong enough to withstand a cast iron tub and 3 men?

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My ears strain to hear the cracking of wood.  Sidney says there is a dip in the roof under the tub.

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Brilliant!  The man may scare me, but he is brilliant.

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He is also a cast-iron-lifting, roof-balancing contortionist — the things you don’t know about a person when you marry him.

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And he is good at teetering on rickety, wooden pallets while lifting a cast iron tub on a roof.

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A brief rest and a moment of brotherly communion . . .humor me while I imagine their dialogue . . .

“So, bro . . .is marriage really this much work?”

“I don’t know, man.  Maybe it’s just that our Dad is a little crazy on his love of hard labor.”

“Yeah, right, I mean surely there are easier ways.  Don’t women like flowers?”

“Might want to throw in some chocolate with the flowers to cover all our bases.”

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A perfect fit through our window.

 

Mama turned 80

Mama is the feisty one on the left.  Prairie, 70 years younger, is squeezed into the chair beside her Maw-Maw.

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Rachel honked her clarinet.  Lincoln plucked and bowed his cello.

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Prairie played her violin, Sidney strummed his ukelele, and I watched my mama eat ice cream.

I discovered that this woman, whom I’ve known for almost 45 years, eats her ice cream with a butter knife.  How did I miss this little idiosyncrasy all these years?  Mama and I have eaten a lot of ice cream together.  I must have been totally absorbed in my own ice cream and not looking at her.

I tell you, just when you think you know somebody and know yourself — it breaks upon you that she eats ice cream oddly and that you were too self-absorbed  with your own to even notice.