Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sound of a Happy Heart

The Sound of a Happy Heart
Why is it that some relationships can go the distance, while others crumble along the path and dissolve?  Or even worse, why do people stay together, when there is no affection left between them?  For two people to make it ten, fifteen, or twenty or more years, and then go separate ways, defies logic.  What is it that is present in successful relationships that is missing in the rest?
I can only speak for me and Annie, and it starts with liking one another.  She is not a glamour girl, eschewing makeup much of the time, which works fine for me, because I prefer all things natural.  I know she feels the same, or else she would never have dated a man who drove a calico-colored VW bus, which had to be push-started the first night I first took her out to dinner, at Lou’s Village, on January 21, 1981.  She makes her own dresses, preferring to use the material she likes and a style with which she is comfortable.
  
We have been walking daily together on Bell Springs Road since 1985, and that has given us a spell each day, to touch base and find out how the other half thinks.  She is comfortable with her body, and does not wish to look like a twenty-something person.  That works for me, because I wouldn’t know what to say to her, if she were twenty-something.

We both spent careers working in the school district, and we now collaborate to keep the financial picture focused, so that the bills get paid, including health insurance. She spends much of her time grappling with quilts that are either out-of-square, or have issues with the backing, but she always gits ‘er done.  We like to play cribbage in the evening, maybe shoot a game of nine-ball, or watch a film, or even fiddle with our respective laptops, and rarely do either of us see nine o’clock.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t had difficulties.  It just means that we have managed to overcome the problems by staying focused on the game at hand.  I have experienced some profound changes in my emotional makeup this past year, based on ridding myself of my panic attacks, and the accompanying anxiety issues.  Annie feels I still need to work out a few wrinkles, and that’s fine.  I’m good at talking, and I want things to keep going on our current path.
We have been together 31 years, come the middle of January, and she still makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Whereas fluttering hearts can be problematic, not so when it comes to love.  For many couples sex can be a real deal breaker in so many ways, and we are lucky to have found what works for us.  As with much of life, timing enters into the picture a lot.  As long as we keep things in perspective, namely our ages, we seem to be able to make a go of it.  
I have a lot of respect for Annie as a mother, as a teacher of special needs kids, who learned critical life skills with her, and of her as an artist.  You can go a long way with respect as a cornerstone of your foundation, and you don’t need any cement to keep it firm, just affection.

12 comments:

  1. What I like about this love letter to Annie is in the details. It's clear to me why Annie "still makes your heart go pitter-patter." I bet you do the same for her.

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  2. This was a beautiful post. Your wife is a lucky woman!

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  3. Really enjoyed this post-- it puzzles me too when couples split up after decades together. Sad.
    You two are lucky to have each other, but something tells me you know that!

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  4. Sweet Mark and Annie - Annie is a beautiful, talented, and patient woman - putting up with Mark all these years and being a wonderful parent to their three sons. Mark, for his part, is also talented, hardworking, and compassionate. No wonder those young men are the good guys that they are.
    As for long term marriages falling apart, I have seen it happen too often. I have my ideas about why that happens and I think, these days, it often involves people who grow apart. It is easy to get lost in the frenetic pace of contemporary life - the "shoulds" of work, parenting, cultural mandates, personal interests. Perhaps I need to write a post on this....hmmmmm

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  5. JT, you are infinitely more plugged into the "frenetic pace of contemporary life" than I am. I go a couple of weeks routinely, without leaving the mountain; therefore, I look forward with interest to your perspective. Happy new Year.

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  6. And yes, I'll go with luck, I'll go with knowledge, I'll go with the mop bucket in my hand-whatever it takes. I think I got the better end of the deal.

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  7. What a tribute to your wife. Sometimes I wonder if all the world is falling apart, but it is a refreshing reminder that there are people out there quietly loving each other and making things work.

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  8. Thank-you, but JT went and let the birdie out of the cage; Annie is a patient woman to have put up with me all these years. I do three things to perfection, that she seemingly cannot do without: I make coffee that she loves (Note, I did not say I make great coffee), I make excellent buttered popcorn, and I trim her within-hailing-distance-of-her-waist hair. That's my secret-make myself indispensable to the boss.

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  9. "Love is patient..." I think there's a reason that's the first quality listed in that particular verse. I also think that the things you mention: coffee, popcorn, haircuts - those are the things that make up real life. Those are the things that make up real love. There are far more cups of coffee and haircuts in life than there are sonnets or wildly romantic getaways. The ability to "make [yourself] indispensable" in those endeavors is the stuff that really tough and resilient fabric of life is made of.

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  10. This is so lovely! My husband and I have been together 21 years this January, and I agree: it starts with liking each other! We also won't buy a car or a couch unless it is perfect for us to hold hands.

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  11. Yes, a very delicious post......thanks for reminding me that the simple things in life are the ones that really matter. Hope you have many more years together!

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  12. We celebrated our 24th anniversary this past summer--as I've posted elsewhere, we've definitely had our share of rough spots and some days it's a mystery why it still works, but for the most part it does work.

    This was a beautiful glimpse into your relationship. Thanks for sharing it.

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