Steady Going

37 years ago today, Hubby gave me his high school ring and asked me to “go steady.”  I said, “Yes.”

We were already in an exclusive relationship (not dating anyone else) but wearing his ring signified to others that we were a couple.

Going Steady has become a thing of the past.  I date myself when I mention it but that’s okay. Back when I grew up, most romantic relationships followed certain steps (especially so in certain social circles).

You dated a while, then when you felt this was the one you thought you might want to spend the rest of your life with, you began going steady (usually the girl was offered the guy’s ring or jacket or something)  and closed the door to dating other people. Then, after a while, if things continued to look like marriage was in the future, he (or she) popped the question, gave a nicer ring and they became engaged.  And, then, of course, they got married and finally did what they’d been waiting all this time for.

Now, it seems, things are backwards with sex first and marriage later (if at all).  Oh, I’m not so naive as to think people didn’t jump into bed on the first date (or before it) way back when…. But, back then, it was frowned on for many reasons – and in my opinion for good reasons.

But, I won’t get into those right now – just suffice it to say that the general degradation of femininity has led many young (and older) women to give up what they should have saved for marriage in hope of finding love and acceptance (of themselves by another…not by themselves).

Okay…back on topic.

Hubby’s High School ring was HUGE.  His hands and fingers dwarfed my own. When I slipped the ring onto my left ring finger it felt heavy.  I’d seen other women wear their sweetheart’s ring and the extents they had gone to size the ring down to fit them.  But, none of my friends had been given such a ring.

I removed it from my ring finger and slipped it on my thumb.  It fit loosely and he wondered if I should, perhaps, just wear it from a chain around my neck.  No…I would find a way to wear it where it belonged – third finger on my left hand.

When we parted ways, I headed back to my dorm room.  A scented candle was tucked into a corner on my desk – I lit it and when the wax became warm, I removed enough to fashion a wax wedge under the back of his ring that would enable the ring to fit snugly on my finger.

As the wax cooled, it began to harden.  I slipped my finger into the ring and waited as the wax became hard.

When I next saw him, I offered him my left hand.  The smile on his face said it all.  I was his and now everyone knew it…even when we weren’t together it was obvious that I was no longer a free agent.

It’s been 37 years.

Has it truly been that long?

Yep!  We’ve been steady going for a long time.

Happy anniversary, Sweetheart!  I love you!  Thank you for asking me to be your steady girl!  Always!

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The Flintstones

On this day in 1960, the Flintstones premiered. It was the first prime time animation show.

The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that was broadcast from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966, on ABC. The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera. The Flintstones was about a working-classStone Age man’s life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend.

The show’s continuing popularity rested heavily on its juxtaposition of modern everyday concerns in the Stone Age setting.  The Flintstones was the most financially successful network animated franchise for three decades, until The Simpsons debuted. (Read more.)

Though I didn’t get in on things from the beginning (I was only 2 when the show premiered), I did watch every episode many times over as they were repeated.

And, repeated.

And, repeated.

I can’t imagine childhood (or that of my own children) without Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

I don’t know about you, but “Yabba dabba do” and “Willll-maaa!” were mainstays of my childhood that made a lasting influence on my life.

Fred and Wilma loved each other and stayed together no matter what. They fought and argued, disagreed, struggled with life and disappointments.  But, they never stopped loving each other and through it all they kept their focus.

It wasn’t about Fred.  And, it wasn’t about Wilma.  It was about the Flintstones.

And, after all these years, if you turn on the Flintstones cartoons you will find that they are still hanging in there, still together.

How many marriages can you name that have lasted 53 years and are still going strong?

Bent Blade

“Snake-bit.”

That’s what Mom called me when I shared with her that I’d managed to bend the lawnmower blade.

How? I’ve no idea.  Did I do other damage? Don’t know yet.

All I know is I was cutting the grass and all of a sudden the mower blade dug deeply into the ground – and I mean deeply – cutting out a swath a foot wide and throwing grass and dirt high and wide.

And, what a racket it made as it slowed to a stop.

And, oh, the silence when I tried to start it.

This mower and I have already had one run in…well more than one but the others haven’t been quite so noteworthy as to rate a blog post.

When the mower did its thing, I attempted to push it to the driveway so I could take a look at it.  It wouldn’t push.  I had to push down on the handle and lift the front wheels off the ground before it would move.

The blade was hanging up on the ground. That’s how twisted the blade was.

When I reached the paved driveway, I set the mower on all four wheels and started to push it, but the blade scraped the pavement.  I, again, lifted the front wheels and pushed it until I reached the carport.  There, I propped it and looked under it.

I could see the bent blade.  But, what I didn’t see was what caused it to bend.

I grabbed the hose and washed the underside of the mower deck. The blade had sprayed dirt and grass all underneath it when the blade dug into the dirt.  With that removed, it was clear to see…nothing unusual.

The spark plug was still attached to the wire thingie so I was careful not to turn the blade.  But, I did wiggle it a bit to see if the blade was loose – nope.  And, I looked at the shaft to see if it looked bent – nope again.

The bent blade was all I saw.

Back out into the yard I went, intent on finding the cause of the damage.

Not one thing did I see that would have caused the blade to bend like that or to dig into the ground.  I assume the blade bent first and then, because it was bent, dug into the ground and hung up there.

One second it was fine and the next it wasn’t.

Baffled and bewildered, I returned to the mower and peeked underneath it again.  Yep…the blade was bent.  I’d not imagined it.

There was only one thing to do – put the mower away.

I sighed as I did so.

Tearing up the lawnmower was not on my to-do list and not part of my plan. But, it quickly made itself right at home smack in the midst of it all and claimed precious time as its own. And, it will make its way onto my to-do list and into my plans over the next few days as I attempt to get the mower running again.

Bent blades have a way of doing that.

A bent blade comes with a price attached:

  • time lost
  • money spent
  • trouble
  • frustration
  • property damage
  • personal injury
  • delay
  • difficulty
  • increased workload
  • unexpected hardship

It is what it is.  All that’s left is what you do with it, about it and because of it. Sometimes, the best thing is to just put it up and walk away from it for a while.

What do you do when a bent blade knocks out your productivity?

How do you react when a bent blade slices into your plans?

How do you feel when a bent blade costs you precious resources?

Here’s an interesting thought:

Are you ever the bent blade?

  • in a relationship?
  • project?
  • church?
  • work?
  • family?
  • group gathering?
  • board meeting?
  • marriage?

If you are…what are you going to do about it?

35 Years Ago I became Mrs.

Hubby and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday. But, since Sunday is Father’s Day, and we were married on a Friday, I opted to post this piece today.

35  years ago, my life changed radically.

I said “I do” and went from being Miss to being Mrs. with the announcement “I now pronounce you Husband and Wife!”

It should have been a simple thing to drop “is” and add the “r”, but it wasn’t.

Don’t misunderstand – I loved being married and I loved Hubby.  What threw me was meshing the two identities into one.

Would I be Mrs. Hubby Hubby?  Or, would I be Mrs. S Hubby?  Or…Mrs. S Maiden-name Hubby?  Or, what about Mrs. Firstname S Hubby?

Mom’s official signature was “Mrs. Hubby Hubby” and she delighted in that title and felt she maintained her own identity without becoming lost in her hubby’s.  Of course, times were different when she married and many women took on their husband’s name.  Perhaps it served as a means of identity (I’m married), of security, of safety.

Before we married, I practiced my name.

  • S Hubby
  • Mrs. S Hubby
  • Mrs. Hubby Hubby
  • Mrs. S Maiden-name Hubby
  • Mrs. Firstname S Hubby
  • Mrs. Hubby

As much as I loved my soon to be husband, I wanted to retain my own identity after marriage even though I lived under the umbrella of his last name.

I wanted us to grow into who we would become as S/Hubby, Hubby/S and not slip into a prefabricated mold of Mr/Mrs. that defined position but negated individuality and person-hood.

I wanted to remain “me”…to retain who I was and blend that with who Hubby was.  I didn’t want to just become Mrs. Hubby.  I wanted us to become something new together.

And, I think we have.

The past 35 years have been a growing experience for us.  I am not the same person I was when I said “I do.”  And, neither is he.

We have grown individually, yet together.

On I-24 East bound, as the interstate descends Mont Eagle, there is a large tree that stands in a field to the right.  Every time we would travel home after visiting family we passed this tree.  Over the past 30+ years I have watched this tree grow and mature.

The first time I saw this tree I was amazed to discover that it was not ONE tree, but rather TWO.

The two trees had grown up side by side.  Their trunks touched only at the base – and there, just barely.  It was plain to see they were two separate trees.  The tree on the left had grown branches upward and outward to the front, rear and left.  The tree on the right had grown…upward, outward to the front, rear and right.  Each tree was whole.  Each tree was unique.  Yet, each tree had grown in such a way that it was only seen as “whole” when viewed with the other tree.

Over the years I have watched these two trees grow taller, larger, wider and the trunks grow closer together.  Where they once touched only at the base, their trunks now touch all the way up to the first branches.

Like two trees planted side by side, we have grown up together – neither overshadowing,  crowding out, or growing into the other.  From a distance we look like one tree –  huge, with spreading limbs that reach out in all directions.

From up close it’s easy to see we are separate – individual.  Our trunks, though growing together, are separate.  Our branches, though intermingled, are not blended.  Our roots, though entwined, are not codependent.

Two trees became one. The branches of each reach upward and outward away from the trunk…away from the heart…away from the other….

The effect is perfection.

The sight is beautiful to behold.

Two become one.

That’s what marriage is all about.  It’s two growing together.

Two individuals pooling their identities, abilities, and resources toward creating something bigger than what they could do on their own.  Two trees growing side by side, stretching, reaching, becoming all God intended for them as individuals, yet becoming much more together as we grow together as one.

30 Years Together

If memory serves me correctly, today is Brother and Sister-in-love’s 30th wedding anniversary.

A completion of 30 years together as husband and wife – WOW!

That’s a lot of

  • good mornings
  • goodnights
  • shared meals
  • disagreements
  • groceries bought
  • meals prepared
  • miles driven
  • tears shed (and shared)
  • laughter
  • I love you’s
  • I’m sorry’s
  • kisses
  • hugs
  • trash taken out
  • thank you’s
  • worrying
  • money saved
  • money spent
  • games watched
  • shopping
  • time together

How much time together? (Calculated from June 10, 1983 to, but not including today)

  • 10,958 days
  • 1565 weeks (rounded down)
  • 262,992 hours
  • 15,779,520 minutes
  • 946,771,200 seconds

WOW!

Happy 30th Anniversary to Brother and Sis!  Congratulations on a marriage well done!

Will You Marry Me?

1977 – that’s 36 years ago.  Much has changed in those 36 years.

Most of the change occurred because of a question a young man asked me and the answer I gave him.

I was 19 years, one month, and 7 days old when I made a decision and uttered a word that would change the course of my life forever.

The word was, “Yes.”

The question the young man asked me was, “Will you marry me?”

Of course, it didn’t happen that quickly.  There was a little more to it that the quick question and immediate answer.

We attended the same college and were in several classes together.  We became friends and that friendship eventually led to a dating relationship, which led to the question he asked me 36 years ago.

It was a Saturday. Our ministry group had completed the service at a local nursing home. He and I were the first to arrive at the college service van and we claimed the back seat.

Before the others arrived, he took my hand and turned to me.

“What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” he asked.

I teasingly responded, “Why don’t you ask and find out?”

And, so he did ask.

“Will you marry me?”

And, I said, “Yes!”

We attended a private college with rules that prohibited hand holding, hugs, kisses and other physical demonstrations of affection between dating students. We weren’t even supposed to be alone together.

So, all he could do was quickly squeeze my hand, offer a smile and “thank you!” as the others joined us for the ride back to campus.

We kept our engagement secret for several weeks.  He wanted me to have a ring before we went public. The semester was winding down and activities there on campus were as well as we drew near to exams. It was hard to focus on studies when my mind preferred to focus elsewhere.

And, my hand developed this odd twitch that encouraged it to write his last name after my first name, instead of my own.

A simple question and a one word answer opened up a world I could only slightly imagine and opened doors to opportunities and growth that I never imagined possible.

Thank you, Sweetheart, for gathering the courage, for taking the risk, for asking me to spend the rest of my life as your wife.

I love you!  Happy Anniversary!

Going Stead vs Steady Going

36 years ago today Hubby, who at the time wasn’t yet, asked me to “go steady” with him.

(Back then a couple dated, went steady, got engaged and then married.  To “go steady” meant you didn’t date other people.)

We had been dating for a couple of weeks and it was apparent that neither of us had interest in any other so it made sense for me to say “yes” when he asked.

Of course, that meant I got to wear his High School ring, which was kinda cool.  Problem was my hands were small and my fingers tiny.  His were huge and his fingers long and thick.  The ring he offered me was large…too large for even my thumb.  I accepted it and set about finding a solution.

I’d seen girls wrap yarn around the band of their guy’s ring to bring it closer to their size but that looked bulky and uncomfortable to me.  I opted for scented wax and went to work in the privacy of my dorm room, melting, dripping, and shaping wax onto the backside of the ring.

The ring graced my finger until another took its place a few months later.

We began going steady 36 years ago and have been steady going ever since.

And, that’s the key – steady movement forward, together.

(On a personal note – this post marks my 100th blog post here and my 81st consecutive.)