Looking back, there’s this overwhelming realization of how young we were … he was 21, I was five days shy. We were fresh-faced, dazzled by the idea of joining our lives together, and fearless about the unknowns our future held for us. Here’s a picture on our wedding day. (Did I mention fresh-faced? Ha! How d’ya like that bow?) We were heart-and-soul smitten and (using today’s parlance) in luuvv. (Say it with a deep voice.)
What in heavens did we know about love? That’s a reasonable question! The best answer, I suppose, is that both of us were stubborn enough – once we’d said our vows – we were going to stick together no matter what. We’ve had our share of both laughter and tears, and how we’ve been blessed!
Forty-five years is more than twice the years we’d lived prior to marriage. But in the annals of anniversary history, 45 isn’t particularly significant … it’s just one of those milestones on the road to 50. As I thought about it, I realized there are a few other things uniquely related to 45 and I offer my observations on those. Continue reading “Is This The Fairy Tale?”→
Earlier this week, I posted my comments related to enduring marriage. Given that my Beloved and I will celebrate our 45th year of marriage tomorrow, I’ve been contemplating my current perceptions of marriage and comparing those views with what I recall from my much younger self.
As if bidden to the surface by my subconscious, three unique recent posts on marriage came to my attention. The first (written by The Boston Globe‘s Billy Baker) features a brief sketch about 75 couples, all of whom have been married more than 50 years, who were invited to a gathering where their unions would be celebrated.
Sponsored by an organization with the official-sounding name, Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly, this gathering brought the couples together in one room with the stated purpose of answering a simple question: What’s the secret to a long marriage? This wondrously exclusive group offered their views, providing opinions that were at times similar and occasionally unique. Continue reading “The Golden Brigade”→
As actors Seth Rogen and James Franco prepared to plug their new movie, The Interview, for its release on Christmas Day, they probably didn’t expect Sony studios to pull the plug on them. But that’s exactly what happened.
The film, billed as an “action-comedy,” is described by reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes as a “guilty pleasure,” “fast and buoyant,” a collision of “the profane with the profound,” and an “admirable” film that “deserves to be seen.” When my grandson arrived home from work this afternoon, he was genuinely miffed that Sony announced it had scrapped the completed project. Continue reading “Plugging A Movie”→
When Barack Obama was elected to the presidency in 2008, the words post-racial America became a common utterance. Numerous broadcasts and print pieces expressed their optimism that the country – finally! – would move beyond the racist and racial attitudes that have long plagued our public (as well as private) discourse.
An August 17th Washington Post piece titled, Obama’s Vision of a Post-Racial America Looks Even More Distant Than Before, written by political reporter Chris Cillizza makes the point (following the events in Ferguson MO) that the President’s “… words have done little to heal the racial wounds in the country.” I suppose that point can be vigorously debated. Continue reading “Race To The Top Shelf”→
On occasion, I need to be talked down from the ledge. Today was one of those days. It looked to be a good day for putting up Christmas decorations. (What’s the rush, you ask? I felt the same way, but the house was empty for once and I had an hour to spare.) I turned on the Christmas music and started carrying things out of the attic.
The pre-lit Christmas tree I purchased a couple years back comes in three pieces plus a stand. In order to store this decoration in the attic, it must be taken apart. Against my better judgment, I disassembled it for storing. Now, the various plugs connecting the three pieces that lead to one main plug are a dreadful, impossible muddle.
On his syndicated radio show Paul Harvey News and Comments, broadcaster Paul Harvey (1918-2009) used to celebrate the long marriages of audience members. Everyday at noon, he’d begin with his distinctive opening, “Hello, Americans! Stand by for news!” Then he’d go through various news stories of the day, usually the stories he most cared to report, and toward the end of the 15-minute broadcast, he’d mention one or another 50-years married couple and wish them his warm congratulations.
The eminent radio personality would have known something about enduring marriage. He and his wife had been married more than 65 years before her death in 2008. With his broadcasts now consigned to the history of radio, it seems there’s no one else to offer a salute to today’s couples who’ve grown old together. I think that’s unfortunate.Continue reading “Saluting Real Success”→
When I was younger, I remember one of the memory cues related to the Book of Job came in the form of a question: who was the shortest man named in the Bible? The answer was Bildad the Shuhite (shoe height). Our introduction to this “friend” and “comforter” of Job comes in the eighth chapter of the book.
The exact meaning of Bildad’s name is uncertain, but there is a connotation Bel has loved. Bel (or Baal) was an ancient Babylonian deity and Bildad’s initial speech urges Job to consult the ancient (possibly religious) authorities in order to understand his current suffering. Continue reading “Shoe Height”→
A message in this morning’s Inbox caught my eye. (The email is actually dated yesterday, but I hadn’t read it until today.) I didn’t immediately recognize the author’s name, but the title, Stop Sending Cheery Christmas Cards, definitely piqued my interest. I clicked the link. ￼ The post is written by Kay Warren, wife of evangelical pastor Rick Warren, author of (among others) the 2002 book The Purpose-Driven Life. In April 2013, their family was rocked by the suicide of their youngest son Matthew, age 27. The young man struggled with mental illness.
The familiar Christmas carol, O, Little Town of Bethlehem, was written by Episcopal bishop and poet Phillips Brooks (1835-1893, whose birthday was this week). In the first verse of this poem, Brooks wrote:
This carol is a familiar one. Phillips Brooks is probably less familiar to most people. He was born to a Boston family in 1835, graduated Harvard twenty years later, attended seminary, received honorary degrees from Harvard, Columbia and Oxford, and eventually became Bishop of Massachusetts. A large man at six-foot-four, he became a large presence in the Episcopal church but he was also highly regarded by the leaders of other denominations. This man of great moral stature delivered an eloquent and memorable sermon following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Continue reading “Every Day More Real”→
As a follow-up to my post from two days ago, I thought it would be appropriate to note here that the special election deciding whether or not to repeal the vaguely-worded nondiscrimination policy (adopted by the local city council in August) resulted in the ordinance being repealed. Speaking for myself, I’m relieved. The sweeping ramifications of this ordinance would have changed this diverse community in ways no one could accurately predict.
As one might imagine, some individuals who supported the ordinance are angry and have aired their bitter views in social media. They’re suggesting boycotts of businesses that supported repeal. They’re also anxious to bring the ordinance back again and again, whatever it takes to have it be permanently ensconced in city regulations. When I read comments written by people who supported the ordinance, I find a deep resentment toward people who voted for repeal, people who voted from heartfelt conviction but whose votes (the supporters argue) prove they’re “against progress.” Continue reading “Iron Fist of Progress”→