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The Quilt

I met my husband when I was a teenager, and married him before I  twenty. He had a southern accent, very attractive  beard and long curly hair and I tell you, he was hot!  Thirty-six years, a daughter, three moves and a grandson later, I am the hot one, but unfortunately, it comes in flashes.   His hair is much shorter and grayer now, but he still has the beard.  Every marriage has its ups and downs, and ours has thankfully been mostly up, and even though I often write true stories about HIM, he good-naturedly accepts it. I used to complain that he didn’t LISTEN, and now I complain that he doesn’t HEAR. You might think that both would have the same outcome, but they don’t.  Here is a recent example of something that is happening more frequently:  Me:  ” I fixed you a glass of ice for your tea.”  HIM:  “Humph. Well,  I just bought ice cream, too!”  I fear that this decrease in hearing could really become a problem in our later years, as perhaps the following could happen:  Me:  “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  HIM:  “Coffee? No thanks, I don’t need another cup!” Me: “(sigh).”  Once upon a time, we would dance the night away.  These days, we would be afraid that a revival of break dancing might cause us to break something while dancing so we stick to an occasional slow one.  We can still be party animals, though, as long as we are home by nine  o’clock, ten at the latest.  If you would have told me 36 years ago that I would someday be married to a grandpa, I would have laughed out loud. All joking aside, a marriage of many years is very comfortable. It is the kind of comfort you get by wrapping a soft old quilt around your shoulders on a chilly Minnesota evening.  The patchwork of years and memories and events are sewn together with threads of love and respect and friendship.  The threads must be strong as well as forgiving.  You can rub your fingers along the repairs, where perhaps at times the cloth wore thin. If you make the time and take the effort, the quilt can be as strong and comforting as ever.  I’d better stop with the romantic quilt analogy before HE thinks I have a terrible disease or something.  (With apologies to the poet Robert Browning)  Me:  “Grow old with me, Sweetheart, the best is yet to be.”  HIM:  ” What do you mean the guest has lost her key? We don’t have any guests. If we did, the house would be cleaner!”  Me:  “(sigh)”.

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