tap, tap

As I was driving to my friend’s house to pick her up for a coffee date, I reminded myself out loud, “Don’t stay too long, she is still in pain and a long coffee date might not be beneficial”.  Well, something along those lines.

Basically, Don’t talk too much!

….famous last words.

You see, she is recovering slowly from two broken arms.  Yes, you read that correctly, TWO. I was anxious to see her, I just didn’t want to tucker her out.

Side note:  we are fortunate to have a brand new car.  Saturday, before our coffee date, I practiced driving, parking and changing lanes etc.  I wanted to make sure I could do a good job of taking my friend out for coffee. 

Thanks to Mr. Right, you KNOW the gas tank was full, the car spit spot clean, sparkling inside and out.  You already guessed he made sure I had extra spending loot and he told me to drive safe.

Their home overlooks a huge park where they hold summer festivities.  This time it wasfircrest park a ginormous car show with oodles of people everywhere and not a parking spot in sight.

My friend and her husband were out on their sidewalk waiting for me to pull over.

Anyway, we excitedly said hello, she got in and situated.  Her husband helped her and made sure she was comfortable.  I passed him some fresh eggs and we were set to go.  He told me to drive safe.  He closed the passenger door and tapped the roof two times.

tap, tap.

Off we went to the coffee shop.  Dang, I love that girl.  We have been friends for 44 years.  No, that is not a misprint.  Yes, we have been friends that long.  She has always been a beautiful blond who defies the traditional blond jokes.  There is no joke about how intelligent she is. That girl is wicked smart with a side of humor.  Oh yeah, I am lucky to have her in my tribe.

iced latteWe enjoyed coffee and shared a treat between talking and talking and talking.  At one time, I had a faint, fleeting thought, “keep it short this time”.  Then I asked how her daughter was and she mentioned they had set the date for their wedding…………….well, settle in folks.   I hadn’t seen a smile on my friends’ face like that in ages!

Happily, down the wedding rabbit hole, we went.

Okay, it really was time to wrap it up and get her home.

I was sad to hug goodbye.   Like we always do, we promised each other we would do it again soon.

I phoned Mr. Right to tell him I was headed home.

As I drove home, like a good ending to a Sherlock Holmes movie,  our coffee date replayed in my mind…. going over details, reliving the goodness.

In my mind, I heard it again.

tap, tap.

Earlier when I heard that, it didn’t register.

tap, tap.

That was her husband’s rough, huge, tough, capable hand on the top of our car.  He’s probably done that over a thousand times in his life.  He was a marine, in Vietnam.  He was a firefighter. He was a paramedic.  He has put so many people in helicopters, ambulances, and aid cars, that he most likely can’t remember the number of times.

I would venture to guess, he doesn’t even think about it.

tap, tap.

beach-sand-heart-wallpaper-3The other day, another friend mentioned that when she sees married couples who seem to be happy and thriving in their marriage she asks them, “What’s your secret?”

PSSSSSSST!          I know one of the secrets.

tap, tap.

You know that moment in a wedding ceremony when you promise to love, honor and cherish?

He cherishes her.

The word cherish is a verb and it means to protect and care for (someone) lovingly. 

When he taps the door or top of the car, he is letting the driver know that the passenger is safe, protected and ready to be transported.  ……….Take care of this woman because I cherish her and now I am entrusting that you will protect her while she is with you.

That man cherishes his wife.

You can see it.  You can feel it.

During this time of her having two broken wings, it is a little more noticeable to the rest of us.  He irons her clothes, cooks and cleans and wait for it……he washes her hair.  Swoon, is there anything more sensual, personal and wonderful than when your man washes your hair?  SWEET JUNIE MOON!

If you would like an excellent, well-written book on the topic, I highly recommend the book, “Cherish”.   The author is a childhood friend, Gary Thomas.  https://www.amazon.com/Cherish-Word-Changes-Everything-Marriage/dp/1531834256

So, to answer the question “what is the secret to a thriving, loving, happy marriage”? I am pretty sure one of the answers is to cherish your spouse.

How do I know?

I witness it through watching my friend and her husband.

I witness it through my brother in law and sister in law.

I live a life of feeling cherished every single day and I cherish that man I call Mr. Right.

tap, tap

In this together, friends,

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pretend happy

Waiting rooms.  The very name explains the purpose.  Waiting.

I spent sometime in one this week.

If you have never been in one, let me explain:

waiting room.jpgUpon first glance, the furniture looks nice with enough padding.  After 2 hours, that is not the case.  I move, shift, cross and uncross my legs.  I try standing and walking (not far).  Everyone in that room has their spidey sense honed in on the door.  The door where a nurse comes through smiling calling your name.

The tension in the room is thick.  Sticky thick like 90% humidity on a late summer day in North Carolina.

When you first get there, you think everything is so opulent, well-appointed.  The longer you stay, the less you like the stupid lamp with the print.  The wooden safari giraffe looked so perfect when you first arrived, now 2 hours later, just sad and ridiculous.

I counted 17 sofas or love seats.  8 coffee tables.  A fireplace large enough for me and the two adults next to me to crawl in.

I pray and then get distracted, circle back to more praying.

I chew my fingers.  No, it is not lady like.  No, it is not appropriate.  I do it anyway.

I fidget.

I play with my hair.

I have a bag with books, magazines, my phone, snacks.  The coffee table in front of me has fanned out surprisingly up to date magazines.  Nothing keeps my interest.

While being surrounded by 7 other people, it feels lonely.Hydrangea-02.jpg

I wring my hands like a 72-year-old Jewish mother.  I am an excellent worrier.

Then I make a list in my mind of things I am good at.

I am polite and say good morning to everyone who walks near.

I am helpful.

Two people asked me the time and I gave it.

I am pretend happy.  I have a smile on my face.

I want to go home.  But of course, I stay and I don’t leave the area.

I am a much better “doer” than a “waiting room contestant”.  I can bring soup, I can tidy and fluff pillows.  I can keep things orderly and on track.  I can quickly change a bed or scrub a bathroom spotless in less time than it takes for someone to  eat their lunch.

Today, I have a friend on the other side of the country playing the waiting game.  Gosh, I have sent way too many texts and emails.  I want her to know there is someone in her corner.

As i type, I have two band-aides on my fingers.  drats.

….ps.  I did a great job at waiting.  Everything turned out wonderful.  I have convinced myself it is because I was a wonderful contestant.  I get to do it all over again in 10 days.

Bring it on.  I got this.

Here’s to all those wonderful souls that are sitting in waiting rooms reading this.

May you be bathed in Grace.  You are in the exact right spot at the right time.  To the person you are lifting up and supporting, you are making a difference.

in this together

 

 

 

 

 

$5.00 cup of lemonade

lemonade 1Every single day of my life, I find reasons to fall in love all over again with Mr. Right.

You know who I am talking about.   Keeps lists, pays taxes on time, budgets for everything, writes itineraries for vacation trips, keeps a very clean car, loves his dog, good listener, big on planning “spur of the moment things”?  Oh, I am sure you know the type?  His dress shirts for work are ironed and his shoes are polished.  He says hello to everyone, sings in the car and adores his Grands.  One of his favorite things is saving for and buying oodles and oodles of school supplies for kiddos.  Big by the way……………..looks great in a pair of Levi’s (my blog, my opinion). lemonade 2

What’s the reason this time?

Reason number 697.

Because on his way home from work last night, he stopped and paid $5.00 for a 25 cent cup of lemonade. (The young entrepreneur had to ask his mom if it was okay to take that much money as extra) The refreshing cup came with a nice wedge of lemon.  Certainly a nice touch.

ginger-lemonade-ay-1875815-xGosh, I love that guy.

rules

Within a year of being a newly wed, we moved from one side of the country to the other.   From Washington state to North Carolina.  To say it was a drastic change would be the understatement of the year.

New life, new baby, new husband, new roads to learn, new stores to learn……….and no friends, no mom, no mother in law, no funny Aunt’s living near by.  Back in the dark ages, no computers, no cell phones, basically no contact.  To make a phone call was extremely expensive and you had to wait until the weekend or after certain times.

We were alone.  period.  Two young kids and a baby.  Culture shock is the perfect way to describe it.

Rules of being newly married, um?  I was clueless.  Honest.  In no way am I putting myself down.  I just didn’t have a clue.  I was the person that could barely remember “my turn” to clean the bathroom once a week while in college.  I kind of don’t even remember if we had a vacuum?

Back in the day, we stumbled upon a little book, not too expensive, and was a whole lot easier to read and remember than a 5 pound Emily Post Etiquette book I had.

I needed help.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I left home with oodles of knowledge.  How to set a table for a formal tea.  How to send a proper thank you note, sympathy note (what color ink to use), what to say in a get well card and house-warming card.  How to send a proper invitation to a dinner party.  How to set the table with good china and crystal.  What to wear to a funeral.  When to wear gloves or not to wear gloves to any occasion.  The proper title and how to address any envelope.  I know the proper direction to pass food at a dining room table.   The proper shoes to wear with the proper purse.   If you had an etiquette or good manners question, I had the proper answer.

By all means, good manners have gotten me through many a situations.  I lived in a very structured and proper world.

Real life, um, not so much.  I needed, I craved a list of rules.  What to do, how to do it.  I just wanted a list that would help me live my life.   Yes, I had/have several etiquette books, we have several Bibles, Mr. Right had volumes of books on proper behavior for an Army guy.  Heck, we even had a copy of Dr. Spock’s book on how to raise a child.

Big thick books that really are a bit overwhelming at times.

I/we needed help.  Fast, quick, black & white rules to live by.

Oh yes, I came armed with oodles of etiquette and proper behavior knowledge.   I just didn’t know about “life rules”.

20150129_084948The book that helped us over the rough spots was written by a Dad .

H. Jackson Brown Jr.  is the author and his son Adam was leaving home for his freshman year in college.   He wrote the book for his son.  He wanted to send him off into the world with a little help.

It is really a collection of advise, rules, observations and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life.  They totaled 511.

Our book’s spine is broken.  That is how much we used it.

Learn CPR.

Keep a tight rein on your temper.

Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

Over tip breakfast waitresses.

Give thanks before every meal.

Take a brisk 30 minutes walk each day.

Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.

Plant flowers every spring.

NEVER criticize the person who signs your paycheck.  If you are unhappy with your job, resign.

Every day look for some small way to improve your marriage.

Lie on your back and look at the stars.

Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.

Learn your representatives in Washington DC.

Let your children overhear you saying complementary things about them to other adults.

Learn 3 clean jokes.

Don’t postpone joy.

Plant a tree on your birthday.

Be forgiving of yourself and others.

The list goes on and on.

You would be amazed at how many of the 511 things we do every single day of our lives.  They were/are our rules.  We read them and we memorized them and we put them into practice.

Give little surprise  WRAPPED gifts to your spouse for no apparent reason.  Not a birthday, or anniversary, just because.  Make sure you take the time to wrap them.

20150128_135710Last night when Mr. Right pulled out his chair to sit down to dinner, there was a wrapped surprise gift just for him.

 

 

he loves me, he loves me not

Some mornings, after a rough night,   I roll out of bed all jumbled and grumpy, my hair is wild and joyful, my pajamas are all tangled and twisted, then I remember it’s Sunday.  Almost every Sunday of my life, there are delightful flowers to greet me.  Most certainly the flowers help ease me into the day.  Not quite as easy to be grumpy and cross when cheerful blooms are right smack in front of your face.   The petals are open, sassy,  happy and gently remind me, someone in the universe loves me.  Mr. Right graciously brings me fresh flowers once a week.  The genus depends on the season or time of year.  This morning daisies were the star attraction.  Jaunty  in spirit and color, yellow also intense rose  color with a happy yellow center were waiting to be arranged into some sort of fun fashion.

Sometimes, the flowers or colors  tickle my creative bone and off I go.  Today, was one of those days.

mason jar lidsRecently, I stumbled upon a new product at the craft store.  I have been itchin’ to give it a try.  A package of four cost less than $5.00 and I used a 40% off coupon, so I was a happy camper.  (Thank you Joann Craft and Fabric)  You set the metal mesh atop a Ball canning jar, then screw on the ring.  Add water, then start poking in your flower stems.  I added a sassy country look by tying some jute around the top.  Quick easy and adorable.

I sure am glad he loves me.  I am super grateful he shows me he loves me by bringing me posies.   I am one lucky girl.

Here’s to a happy week ahead!

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.  It was not my lips you kissed but my soul.”

DSCN4333

 

 

 

 

may I borrow your handkercheif?

sprinkle bottleMy mother would be watching “As the World Turns” and I could smell her ironing.  She had a sprinkle bottle.  It was full of water and she would sprinkle the item and then iron out all the wrinkles.  Her iron, in the “olden days” had no steam feature.  She had to make her own steam.  I was a young girl and it was hard to have “quiet time” and not talk while she watched her one television show a day.

I would wait and wait some more.  I knew at the end of her ironing for the day, she would sometimes say, okay, you can iron.  Weird, how she made it so I WANTED to iron?  Pretty smart thinking.  There was a basket with 10-15 of my father’s handkerchiefs.  Some were pure white, others had his initials on the corner.  D A B  On others there would just be a single letter B.  Then there was a couple with a very thin line of blue running across one edge.  My father wore a suit and tie every single day to work.  Every single day he carried a handkerchief.   Each was to be pressed flat, then folded over, then folded again and once more.  Then stacked neatly.  She would put them away in a very tall wardrobe closet that had all of his clothing and socks etc.  handkerchiefs

Mr. Right carries a handkerchief every single day of his life.  I can’t count the number of times while marrying a young couple, the bride’s tears are spilling over and I see Mr. Right reach for his pocket.  It is bittersweet for me.  I LOVE that exact moment when I see his hand start to reach for his pocket.  Also, I am very sad that NO ONE has taught the groom to be, he needs to carry a handkerchief.  More than one bride has walked back down the aisle without a fancy, lacy, sentimental, lady like hankie, but in its place was a plain, white, cotton, man’s classic, simple, ironed handkerchief.

Yes, even while he served in the US Army.  Every day, tucked in his pocket was a handkerchief.  With his Class A uniform or Dress Blues, he carried a white one.  With his BDU’s he always carried a neatly pressed Olive drab-colored one.  I mean that, every single day.  If he has on cargo shorts and flip-flops, I can guarantee somewhere in those cargo pockets there is a neatly pressed handkerchief.

Okay, maybe it is a “daddy issue” throwback.  I love, adore, melt when a man exhibits those gentleman characteristics.  One of the reasons my heart was aflutter when I met Mr. Right was because of his polished manners.  One of the things I LOVE about him.   We spent countless hours teaching our boys, good manners.  Because IT MATTERS!

Good manners go hand in hand with being kind.  Offering help if need be.

“Etiquette – a fancy word for simple kindness.”  Elsa Maxwell

iron dayI have been offered a neatly pressed white handkerchief in church, at funerals, during  weddings.  I have been silently handed one in a hospital.  I have chewed a hang nail in a very unlady like fashion, while bored riding in a car and have been handed a handkerchief.  I have asked for his handkerchief to clean off something on my glasses.

“How to be a Gentleman” by John Bridges      This is a book we have read, taught from and given over and over and over.  Yes, as a gift,  I have included a package of, you guessed it handkerchiefs.   It is a rather slender book, and if I may….the last page reads:

“A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention.  His goal is to make life easier, not just for himself but for his friends, his acquaintances, and the world at large.  Because he is a gentleman, he does not see this as a burden.  Instead, it is a challenge he faces eagerly every day. “

Yes, I am well aware that many make fun of good polished manners. Some less educated, thinking they are “old-fashioned”.    I am guessing it is because they wish someone had taught them.  Just by observing, I see a need to polish the apple so to speak.  It is time to bring back some good “old-fashioned” manners.  We are in need of kindness in the form of good manners in the work place, the home, the movies, the grocery store.  The time has come folks.

Just ask our daughter in-laws if good manners matter.  🙂  I am guessing they would not have gone on a second date, if said gentleman wasn’t…..a gentleman.

Yesterday, while ironing & smiling (because I was done ironing for the day and because luckily I have steam built-in) I ended with a stack of handkerchiefs.  Folded & pressed over and then over again.