Monday, June 20, 2011


Today was a gathering to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of two dear friends. Amidst the salads, sandwiches, cheese, crackers and cans of seltzer we chatted with those we hadn’t seen in quite some time and were introduced to others we hadn’t yet met. It was a lively, festive affair, made more perfect by the beautiful weather.

As a surprise, the feted couple came out wearing their attire from that beloved day decades earlier. Though the pants were updated, the shirt, belt, dress and veil were all original and making an appearance after years of being tucked away. When the couple began to dance there was a look that passed between them, one that said “This moment is the one we’ve been working towards. How happy I am to share it with you.” And that’s true of all of us. All of the tragedies, dire health issues, moments of anger and betrayal are included in what we stand upon to gaze at the future. Reaching out to hold on to that hand when the tsunami of heartbreak hits is what makes it possible for us to go on. And every day that we last as a couple or a family is a testament to the love that we have for each other.

As the evening progressed there was bocci to be played, bubbles to be blown and extreme jungle crochet for the brave and daring in the crowd. After a bit a friend decided it was time for her to be heading home. Though the fire had yet to be lit, she insisted she wouldn’t miss it.  “S’mores,” she said “are overrated.” I told her she might have to taste my s’more whoopie pies someday--with graham cookies, marshmallow icing and a pile of hot fudge hidden between. “In the south,” she said “they call them Moon Pies and I had one once.” Then she emphatically pronounced, “It was a bitter disappointment.” Fortunately the day with our friends was anything but.

Finally the three of us made our way home on the tiny dirt roads, and a feeling of summer enveloped us. We stopped for deer crossing our path and marveled at their beauty; fireflies greeted us when we
reached our driveway, as if welcoming us back.  Though the afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect, I look forward to tomorrow. M and I will be celebrating 17 years since the day we met. If we can just hold each other tight enough through good times and the bad, it will be our 40th before you know it.

This is not a good day to write about "bitter." The sun, it shines. The breeze, it plays with hair and keeps bugs from landing long enough to bite or sting. The garden, it reveals a tomato blossom. The grass, it gets cut. The children, oh the children - they play together for HOURS with minimal argument about which super powers are displayed by which boy. The weeds, they get whacked. The groceries, they do not get shopped for; the day is too sweet for me to travel to the store for an extended period of air conditioning. The husband, he has been mine for twelve years. My world, it is pretty damn close to perfect.

Even this is a relief: it's the last day Carly the horse needs her pills. Have you ever tried feeding pills to a smart horse? Geesh. But she ingested enough medicine over the week that her leg is no longer twice its usual size and now Molly the pony no longer needs to be tied to a tree during meal time to keep her away from Carly's tainted bucket. Molly is a hoover - no worries when she needs meds in her food, she'll eat them because they're there, no matter the bitter taste.

Life is tidal - the joy of one weekend is not likely to last the entire month. Storm clouds will return, both inside and outside. Tempers will flare. Children will resort to physical violence, mild only because of their smallish size. But for today the boys are all on the same side fighting a battle I can only catch quick glimpses of. Animals are healthy. The air is sweet.

Next Week's Word: Hammer

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