Ode to a late-life marriage

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There’s the Social Security donut hole…the Medicare gap…

But have you heard about the late-life marriage strap?

It’s an institution that really yokes us together

Like workhorses in all of its good and bad weather.

Yes, we seem to go awfully well with each other.

We’re partners and friends, like a good sister and brother.

It’s only been two years now, but both of us have found

We’re on such solid footing and have much common ground

That we already manage to take each other for granted.

We’re actually blessed because our lives are slanted

Straight into the winds that could buffet and haunt.

We’ve truly found late-life marriage something to flaunt.

I was 69 and he just four months younger

Yet we had to satisfy our mutual hunger.

For companionship we rushed without falter

When we took that clandestine trip to the altar.

Friends told us, after we’d each lost our spouses,

That we were too young to just take a bye

And sit out the rest of our lives being too shy.

Go ahead, take a risk, combine your two houses.

Though set in our ways, each carrying baggage,

We get along fine, just like carrots and cabbage.

He fixes breakfast and lets me follow my passion

For writing and reading and social media fashion.

In turn I don’t complain when he heads out to help

A neighbor or friend who calls with a yelp

And a project that consumes his time and expertise

While honey-dos at home stop short of my “please!”

I’ve learned that my hubby strives to be of service,

Even though he’s retired, without work he gets nervous.

We’re learning to make allowances, each for the other,

Me for his hoarding and him for my late husband’s stepmother.

Even through the new challenge of social isolation

Who better to share the platform of our pandemic station?

We’ve truly found a kinship and a love so mature

That it promises to treat old age with a sure cure.

Thank God being old did not prevent us from exchanging vows and rings two years ago!

Snowpocalypse: We’re only in prison if we think we are

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White houses on white snow with brown stick people pushing it around in futility. 

 

That’s what our neighborhood looks like right now. Because it hasn’t stopped snowing and the weather girl says we can look for another round on Friday. 

 

The same weather girl, and more of her ilk on other stations, were the cause of a supermarket frenzy Monday. We fell for it too, crowding the aisles and throwing into our carts totally irrational items like crab wraps and hot chocolate mix. It wasn’t even the bread and milk and toilet paper that satirists depict in pre-storm parodies.

 

The weather girls aren’t the only guilty parties here. The state transportation departments and the highway patrol told us to stay home too so they could do their jobs. They’re out there somewhere eating donuts and drinking coffee because we made their jobs so easy. Entire multi-floor corporation headquarters shut their doors today. 

 

And what did most of us do with the precious gift of a snow day? My sister-in-law paced from room to room eating a box of chocolates. My husband wanted to work on taxes but took a nap instead. I wanted to build a fire in the fireplace and write a blog and read three books and watch movies, but also took a nap. And got depressed.

 

We are reluctant shut-ins, internally raging against our powerlessness in the face of raw elements. We can’t handle enforced idleness because our culture hasn’t taught us how. We are educated, over-achieving baby boomers programmed with our auto-pilots constantly set to “Full Speed Ahead.” We’re not content unless we’re doing something, making our mark somewhere, anywhere, even if it’s wrong or inappropriate.

 

We don’t have a clue how to just be . . . how to listen to that still, small voice. How do we face ourselves long enough to know just who the heck we are?

 

In doing this morning’s journaling, I happened to notice an entry from February 20 of last year.  I needed this fresh perspective:

 

 Snowstorm

 

The world stops, stands still

 

Hushed and in awe of the power 

 

and majesty of God.

 

A gift.

 

The chance for rare, sustained contemplation

 

In the quiet of a blanket of white.

 

Our attention draws inward,

 

Our thoughts dwell on the holy,

 

But are poised, if necessary

 

To turn to survival and to sustenance

 

For those unable to provide it for themselves.

 

 A snowstorm reminds us

 

Of what is elemental

 

And truly important,

 

Gives us perspective,

 

Covers us with purity,

 

Cleansing and blessing us

 

With hope.

So now I look out my window at the 2014 version of Snowpocalypse, and what once seemed like prison bars turns back into a mere frame for a photo. For now it’s a harmless one, mentally and physically. But let’s not let it last more than three days or a desperate plea will go out to borrow someone else’s rose-tinted glasses.