Fifty-one years ago today my husband and I (ages 18-20, almost) exchanged marriage vows at the Methodist Church in Hernando, Mississippi. My mother had planned to accompany us since I actually lacked four weeks being 18, but my sister became ill so we asked our Sunday School teacher (the late Alberta Underwood Stoker) at 1 a.m. no less, to accompany us.
Talk about starting married life on a shoestring -- we started on $50 of borrowed money that his grandfather loaned us. I think my parents liked my husband better than the future in-laws liked me, but did we listen to anyone? Noooooo. And do we listen today? Nooooo.
Like most young couples we had our ups and downs, more ups than downs and had the joy of raising a child, going back to college in later years and the usual tight budgets that early marriages (and some later years as well) endure.
I don't know where the years have gone, but my better half tells me I am as stubborn as I was then and just as bull headed. And you know what? He's right. He used to (and still does at times) tell me I have tunnel vision but I like to think that over the years I have learned to listen a little better and to realize there is more than one side to any story.
One thing I remained adamant about and probably said it dozens of times. And that was "When we get old we are not going to wear clothes with food spilled down the front." Well, you don't think much about spilled food when you are raising children and working everyday. I guess the hand to mouth coordination is a little better.
Now, however, I have found that hand starts to mouth and dribbles on blouse. I think I am going to have to give up chocolate ice cream completely. There is just something about chocolate ice cream that always lands on my clothes. One day last week I had on a white pullover top and was enjoying a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream --ummmmmgood. Anyway, I looked down and there was a small blob of what was once a bit of ice cream that was now a circle of melted chocolate.
I commented on that and said something about being more careful. I was careful alright. About two bites later another blob hit the blouse.
"I don't believe this," I muttered to myself. "I'll never get this top clean again." And you know what? Before that bowl of ice cream disappeared, I had dropped a third bite!
My husband was having a field day. He thought it was very funny that I had that bowl right under my chin and still couldn't hit my mouth. Sometimes he is just so heartless.
But did I remain the sweet little thing he married and keep my mouth shut? Heck no. I went back 20 years at least and reminded him of everything from the good tie he ruined to the jacket he nearly wore a hole in trying to erase a drop of food.
I, however, am not heartless. There are just some things you don't ever want to forget.
But did I learn from the white blouse incident? Nope. Was in the middle of a piano lesson last Monday, looked down and sure enough, right on the lapel of the blouse was another telltale chocolate stain. I am sure the three preceding students noticed it even if the blouse was a brown and white swirly design. It's hard to miss a chocolate ice cream stain. Oh, well …
I did learn, as our daughter was growing up, not to say "Oh, she won't eat that". Because just as sure as I did, she would eat that particular food at Grandma's house and go back for seconds.On second thought, perhaps it was the way I cooked it.
We don't have anything special planned for today, but soon we will take a trip to the western part of the state to see the latest great niece, as well as the five month old one and the two and a half little boy.
Since I am eight years old than my brother and 14 years old than my sister, my grandchildren are in their twenties. My brother and sister-in-law are just now enjoying grandchildren.
There is a saying that "Children keep you young." That they do. They also make you realize that in retirement years you could never keep up with their busy hands and feet.
We are now looking forward to great-grandchildren.
And the life cycle continues.
Barbara Hill retired last year as publisher of the Daily Statesman after 40 years in the newspaper business.