The dictionary uses evocative terms to define and describe the unique properties of Gold (chemical symbol Au): durable, malleable, resistant to corrosion. It is a precious metal, connoting beauty and elegance as well as great value.
These definitions may be applied to a 50-year marriage: durable, malleable, resistant to corrosion. Likewise, the long-lived marriage is precious, signifying beauty and elegance in addition to great value. Continue reading “Striking Gold”→
My ninety-one year old mother lives about six hours away. Given her disabilities (she’s nearly blind and doesn’t hear well), she no longer drives – which means in order to spend time with her, I must first travel to her home. On those occasions when my Beloved makes the journey with me, the distance is the same but traveling together makes the trip both sweeter and (seemingly) shorter. Time alone on the road is generally more tedious.
During my last couple trips though, I’ve been accompanied by three young fellows (unbeknownst to my Beloved). These guys couldn’t be more chatty and when we travel together, I’m certain to be entertained as well as challenged to consider the world from a different point of view.
According to one wedding website, a mere 5% of married couples reach their 50th wedding anniversary. Given that about 2 million people marry every year in the United States, reaching the 50-year mark is an impressive achievement.
Today, my older brother and his wife are celebrating their 48th anniversary, and God willing, will arrive at the 50 year mark and celebrate that milestone together. I’ve been told siblings are the longest and dearest relationship people experience in their lives and I think that would apply to my kinship with my elder brother. Likewise with my sister-in-law, I’ve posted about our friendship and love here. Continue reading “E & T Celebrate 48”→
Now that 2015 commencement exercises are mostly completed around the country, the wedding season is definitely upon us. At least one source states April is when wedding season actually begins, while other sources consider May the beginning of the “season.” I’ve usually considered May the most common month among my friends and acquaintances.
We’ve already attended one wedding this month. It was a beautiful ceremony with the stunning bride dressed elegantly and the groom all smiles as she walked down the aisle toward him. Venue decorations were stylishly appointed and it was (in my estimation) every bit the fairy tale event a young woman imagines for her day. Continue reading “Two Lives . . . One Note”→
Twenty years ago, a television show called FRIENDS debuted. The series ran for ten seasons and chronicled the lives of six characters (3 guys, 3 girls), twenty-somethings living in New York City. Billed as a romantic-comedy series, the show aired to generally mixed reviews but quickly built an audience. In many respects, it was SEINFELD for younger adults. (Seinfeld’s primary characters also lived in NYC and were thirty-somethings.)Though I’ve occasionally caught a clip or two from Friends as I flip through channels, I’ve never actually watched an entire episode. During its initial run, I didn’t exactly fit the age demographic. Now that it’s in syndication, it’s even less appealing to me. But friendship … now that’s something I can get jazzed about! Continue reading “I’ll Be There For You”→
Utility knife. Utility tool-belt. Utility blanket. Utility bill. One of the foundational pillars of our culture is a focus on utility … on usefulness. We’re geared toward doing, making progress, accomplishing things. Take a look at the More Saving / More Doing folks of Home Depot commercials, some that employ the hashtag #LetsDoThis. They’ve captured the essence of our age. They understand we want the knowledge, the skills, the tools – sometimes even multi-purpose tools – to help us complete one task before moving onto the next.
There’s a downside to this focus on usefulness though. If an object isn’t perceived as useful, we’re trained to think of it as worthless. On an even more disturbing level, aging individuals are sometimes viewed as useless. Retirees may feel useless because they’re no longer doing the things they once did. They feel unproductive. Continue reading “Toothless and Useless?”→
In my family, there are several family history buffs. My cousin B. (and her husband) have gathered a storehouse of information on our forebears and I’m always amazed at their tenacity and stamina for the hunt. This couple has slogged through wastelands and cow pastures where cemeteries used to be located (and still are, but few know about them). A little mud (or cow dung) is trivial to this pair.
While B. and her husband have gathered family history information on the hoof, so to speak, my tendency is to shun the mud (or cow dung) and search for facts electronically. All the online resources that have become available over the last ten years are my gold mine. But guess which one of us has the better track record at snagging the real gold and gems?
In an earlier post, I referred to the film, The Sound of Music, which marks its fiftieth anniversary big screen release this month. Vanity Fair magazine‘s most recent issue notes the anniversary with an amusing interview of both Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). Having enjoyed friendship for these fifty years, the aging pair (she’s 79, he’s 85) reflect a genuine affection, exchanging what VF describes as the “well-worn patter of an old married couple.“
As someone who has watched the film multiple times, I found the VF feature enlightening. Never having delved any deeper into details about the film, I didn’t know Plummer’s antipathy for the film was so ingrained. Watching him on the screen in that film, I always assumed his general aloofness was the result of a director’s instructions for him to play the part that way. Reading the VF piece, I see now it was actually a reflection of Plummer’s overall distaste for the project! Continue reading “A Tale of Elsa and Fred”→
The obituary was glaringly spare … So-and-So was born in the community of Hither-and-Yon on Such-and-Such a date, beloved child of So-and-So-Mom and So-and-So-Dad, dear sibling of other So-and-So persons, several who predeceased So-and-So. Deceased leaves behind offspring and respective spouses plus more than a couple So-and-So grandchildren. The celebration of So-and-So’s life will occur under the direction of Here-and-There Funeral Services and in lieu of flowers, donations to This-and-That Charity will be gratefully received. (Names not used for privacy’s sake.)
Notice anything missing? Perhaps because we knew So-and-So, it was immediately clear So-and-So’s former spouse of four decades failed to make the cut. The spouse with whom So-and-So had produced offspring was never mentioned. The spouse with whom So-and-So had adored and nurtured said offspring in a shared, loving home was seemingly non-existent – insofar as public records were concerned.
After more than forty years of marriage, divorce split this union … one whole suddenly became two parts, pieces, uh, wholes? Contradicting the “Gone but not forgotten” sentiment in the above image, So-and-So’s ex-spouse has been effectively purged, similar to a Soviet commissar, from official accounts. Continue reading “A Measure of Life”→
A dear friend and I try to share lunch at a local restaurant at least every couple weeks. She and I have known each other for many years and our lives have traversed similar paths. Over the last year or so, both of her brothers have died so that now, only she and her 88 year old mother remain.
The privilege and joy of having siblings doesn’t end when we grow up and move away from our birth families. In my view, siblings become more precious in our lives as we age; they especially take on added importance after our parents’ deaths.
For my friend, this is certainly true. She’s facing the frightening prospect that once her mother is gone, she will be like an unmoored ship, bereft of the family connections she has enjoyed her entire life since she was brought into this world as the youngest among her siblings. Continue reading “Outside The Touch of Time”→