How Do You Measure Marital Bliss?
I remember that day so long ago when she walked down the aisle with her father, who handed her off to me to begin a wonderful life together.
LIFE AS SKIPPING ROCKS
I count the number of relocations my sweet wife and I have made during our marriage - 5 - but all those took place in the first 7 years of our marriage as we zigzagged across the country coast to coast, north to south and back again like a couple of gypsies, following my career and loving every second of it!
I count the number of cities in which we worked - 7 - all in those same 7 years.
ME, TOO - NO, ME, TOO
I'd like to measure it by the number of times she's told me she loves me, but that number spun the dial right off the meter many years ago. I don't count them, I just smile when she says it. In that regard, it's like a little "I love you" tennis match we play, batting that phrase back and forth and meaning it more every time we say it.
A GREAT HOME
I measure it by the lovely home we've built together - a place where family and friends feel welcome and we can sit and watch the birds and squirrels fight over feeding rights in our bird feeder and hummingbirds strafe us if we get too close to their feeder.
DECADES OF CHUGGING...
I measure it by recalling the more than 20 years and thousands of miles we spent chugging across desert roads in our dune buggy with groups of friends, sleeping in an Indian cave that had not been occupied for 700 years, or camping at Murphy Hogback on Utah's White Rim Trail, eating steaks while looking down the Colorado River at the San Francisco Peaks almost 200 miles away. Or sitting on Hunt Mesa looking north into Monument Valley on a brisk, glorious, cloudless Thanksgiving Day when the overnight temperature had been 10 degrees below zero and we had to scrape both sides of our windshield to see to drive.
WET AND WONDERFUL
I measure it by the hundreds of miles of water we covered in our boats for more than 15 years, shuttling back and forth to Catalina Island, cruising along the coast and touring the lakes of the Colorado River. I measure it by the hundreds of smiles on her face as she hooked a turn on her water ski, throwing spray 50 feet in the air.
TENDING MY PAIN
I measure it in the aches in my legs from having driven a jet ski 150 miles in one day on Lake Powell, barely able to climb the stairs to our room that night, with her patiently massaging those aches away, knowing full well that we had to return the next day.
I measure it by seeing the little-girl-thrill in her eyes as we search the beaches and tide pools of our favorite Central Coast getaway for treasures - shells, bits of stone and other flotsam - to be hoarded away in a special place.
I measure it by the love she shares with our flock of nieces and nephews at family gatherings or those special one-on-one times she manages to carve out with each of them.
BRACES AND DANCE LESSONS
I measure it by recalling her decision, after 40 years of marriage, to get braces on her teeth and take ballroom dance lessons - it was like being married to a teenager! I measure it by watching her even more radiant smile as she spins and twirls around the dance floor like a vision from "Dancing With The Stars".
MY PATIENT EDITOR
And, I measure it by the countless hours she patiently reads the stuff that appears here and encourages me to keep on writing. I guess she figures I may finally get it right one of these days.
Those are just some of the ways I measure my marriage...
MY "TROPHY WIFE"
I love it when folks think I'm just another old geezer who went out and snagged himself a trophy wife. Of course, I did - 43 years ago today!