Milestones

How do we define milestones in life? What makes one event more noteworthy than another?  I was recently looking on that famous greeting card website for an anniversary year designation, and noticed that there comes a time, after about 15 years, that the designation is rather ho hum.  As if those years don’t really deserve much mention.  Seriously- it said for year 23, the “theme” is air.  Air?  Am I to assume, then,  that I can put a lid on a mason jar and hand it over, for a gift of air?

I have been pondering this because today is my 24th anniversary.  A rather ho hum year according to that famous card company web site.  This years theme is stone.  I wonder, how did we go from a Diamond at year 10 to stone at year 24? Have these past 14 years not amounted to more than a rock?

Let me tell you – 24 years is nothing to sneeze at.  Marriage is so much more than the ceremony and reception.  It is all those small things, those ho hum days and events that never get the recognition they deserve.

The  day he clips a rose from the garden and puts it on the table because it’s pretty.

When she brings him Vernors because he’s been sick, and she knows it will make him feel better.

It’s laughing at your silly jokes, a hug just because, dancing in the kitchen to annoy the children.  Being able to disagree, but know, no matter what, you love them.  It’s laundry and shopping and cooking and cleaning.  Dealing with being sick, aging family and bills.

Marriage is hard, it’s fraught with pitfalls that devour many and  leave many more with bruises unseen.   It’s messy, and stressful and there are three sides to it-his, hers and the truth.

So when I look at that greeting card website that says year 24 is stone- and the big milestone of  year 25 is silver, I can’t help but shake my head and disagree.  Each of these 24 years has been a milestone to celebrate, to shout to all that those ho hum events and days have had as much meaning as that year 25.

So today, on this day of stone for my husband I , I want to publicly shout out to all, that we have persevered through all those ho hum moments.  We have fought and made up, laughed and cried, supported and cheered, and most of all loved each other as we promised we would.  You see, we made a choice, those many years ago, and though it’s been hard at times, I can’t imagine another I would have loved the way I love him.

Happy 24th anniversary my dear love.

Liquid Gold

It’s no secret that I LOVE coffee.  When I was younger I tried it and thought it tasted awful, bitter and just not something I would ever have again.  One night, in my early 20’s , friends and I had spent the evening having dinner and visiting, when the host asked ” who would like some coffee”?  I guess my eye roll was evident that I was a non coffee drinker and the outcast of the evening.  Being the good host, my friend assured me that he made the best coffee and I should have some.  Reluctantly I agreed; he was right, and I was hooked.

After that night I found that a really good cup of coffee is an art. I proceeded to try new blends, grind my own beans, and experiment with different types of brewing styles.  I enjoyed my time learning all things coffee, and then life got busy. Getting married and having kids, the fancy coffee gave way to name brand, regular old run of the mill stuff. No longer having the luxury of time or money to fritter on lavish fanciness.

Over the years, I have consumed mass amounts of coffee.  The large cup as I headed out at 2 a.m. for a work related trouble. The first cup in the morning as I began the long day getting kids to school and me to work.  My favorite – the large gas station cup, too hot to drink at first, then after 5 miles down the road you take a sip and realize it’s the WORST coffee ever, but you have 300 miles to go and you drink it anyway.

Last summer, while on vacation, I was surprised by an old high school friend. We were spending time on the Oregon coast and he lives nearby. Not only did he take the time to come say hello, he brought coffee mugs that he made!  The most thoughtful gesture and so unexpected.

I use one of these mugs now every day. I love it. Funny thing is, it’s big!  The first time I poured coffee into it and returned the carafe to the coffee maker I thought I spilled it- it was about 1/3 empty.  I can read my paper, or a good book, and not worry about being interrupted because my cup is empty.

So, thank you Randy for one of the little things that bring a smile to me. The gift of your mug and the time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. img_3345

Decisions

Decisions are made every day by each one of us.  Big decisions, little ones, trivial ones and major ones, each with their own pros and cons.  Choices we decide today may not seem to  have any immediate repercussion, but there is always something. Always.

I don’t always have an easy time with decisions.  It can be scary to make some decisions, and I tend to stress over many of mine. Lately I have had to make some very big decisions. The latest one was whether to retire or not. What a life changing choice that was!  At one time retirement was an event far off in the distance, something to work toward, but elusive.  Many what if’s and unknowns.  It took many nights of talking and planning. contingencies and lists.  Now that I am retired, though it’s still new, I think it was the right choice, the right time.

Several years ago, my husband came to me and said we should buy an RV and drive across the country to his family’s  home in Michigan.  With an autistic son, traveling can be a challenge, so the theory was, an Rv could be a better way to travel. For 5 years we used that Rv for all of our trips. We had some great adventures and I can honestly say, my husband was right- it’s the best way to travel.

So now we are looking to purchase another RV. A big one, an expensive one, and the decisions are difficult and stressful.  New, used, gas, diesel how long. All things to consider, but the biggest decision is, are we ready to make such a large investment?   The investment isn’t only money, although that is huge, it’s an investment of time and commitment, family.

When we planned for retirement, buying a new Rv was one of the pieces of our plan.  Like making that step into retirement, buying a new Rv is not something one just jumps into.  With this new purchase, we make a statement about how we want our life to be.  We want to travel, see the country, have adventures, explore what is out there.  It’s exciting and intimidating and downright scary, but I think we are ready.

It’s funny how we make some of the decisions in our lives.    Do we flip a coin, write a list of pro’s and con’s, take a poll among our friends and family?  Some decisions are even made for us, by others. Whatever the manner, we all are faced with choices every day, and hope that in the end we choose correctly.