The One That Will Never Get Away

10 Years. Ten of them – IN A ROW. It’s not a little mind boggling when I really stop to think about it. Other than exist, I’ve never done anything for 10 years straight. Well, all right; I’ve brushed my teeth and shaved my legs, but only to avoid the unfortunate consequences caused by not doing those things. Which are, of course, wookie legs and gingivitis.

On May 22nd of this year my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. He came home with a bouquet roses, a juicy fillet and asparagus, and a bottle of champagne I sucked on until the very last drop slithered down my gullet. He also got me a little something, which turned out to be a lottle something, because I am easily delighted and slightly manic and tend to get excited and make a VERY BIG deal about little things. Done well, they’re better than big things, I think.

He bought a dozen bags of Skittles, in a variety of flavors, then separated them – one by one – into mason jars, creating his own “special blends.”

I’m not going to lie. He knocked this one outta the friggin’ park. Not only are they pretty to look at, a confection of color, jars of art, but — SKITTLES. Yum.

skittles

We celebrated the day by staying home, drinking the whole bottle of champagne, and watching Jimmy Fallon clips on YouTube. It was fabulous. We will do BIG celebrating this summer when we road-trip-it to San Francisco for TEN days! One for every year. That wasn’t intentional, but I rather like it; it’s fitting and feels right.

But to be honest, a decade ago, as I waited for the pastor come collect me and my entourage, Canon in D Minor wafting up the staircase, I wasn’t sure I would ever see ten years. Most brides are blushing and glowing and flicking scepters are their poor indentured bridesmaids doing everything from blotting spackled lips to waving thuribles to ward off evil spirits. I was calm, serene even. Frigid as my feet were, I knew I would say “I do.” It’s true I love a good spectacle every now and again, but my wedding, a 15k affair, wasn’t the time for one. I would marry my husband because I told him I would, and because he was a good man that would love me and take care of me. And I would do the same. For how long – that was the question. My heart was a mess and there were tears in my eyes; tears my guests mistook for tears of joy, as I glided down the staircase, smiling on cue, aware of the camera capturing what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I dutifully took my place beside my fiancé. A broken girl in a stunning white dress, I took his hands.

“We are gathered here today . . .”

The next thing I knew, ten years had passed. I decided to write my husband, Michael, a letter.

 

10th

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Caine’s Arcade

When I was a little girl, I loved to play office. My parents operated their own business, and as result there was always a surplus of paper, pens, clips, envelopes, folders — you name it, they had it — around the house. My father even had this stamp with his name and our home address on it. At eight years-old, I basically thought it was the coolest thing ever.

As for my office, I preferred to set up shop in my room; naturally, as that’s where I was in charge. There I would bring my clients in to discuss our handlings, and summon my employees for office-chats; for some reason I routinely found myself “forced” to penalize them for missing their deadlines. I’ll tell you now, it hurt me more than it hurt them. I considered myself to be a fair boss, but capable of laying down the law when necessary. I even had a badge. Okay, it was a name-tag, but it was pret-ty official looking.

When I wasn’t reprimanding my staff, I would organize everything into piles, or neatly in drawers. I would also make labels, and occasionally I found reason to tear things up; I did not have my own reason for doing so, but witnessed my father in this act many times, and I think I figured better safe than sorry. But what I remember most about playing office was the feeling of productivity, which in turn brought me joy, and still does to this day. Of course, in the end — or, I suppose I should say, the interim — I did not end up working in an office, but perhaps those skills aid me in my endeavor to write books. I like to think so, anyway. And I suspect it’s why, right now, all across the globe, there are tiny bakers and florists and homemakers and dentists and nurses all hard at work, doing what they love – maybe one day they’ll even get paid for it.

And there’s also this little guy, Caine, and his arcade. Ah, I am tempted to go into detail, expounding the awesomeness of what this young man has done. Instead, I’ll shut my mouth – er, my fingers. If you have not seen this video, I hope you’ll watch it now. In return you’ll find yourself smiling for a while, perhaps even the rest of the day, and who doesn’t need a nice, long smile. I did, and I’m still wearing it!

Happy Tuesday to you, my friends.

Zach

Zach-Sobiech-20130520195033

This is Zach Sobiech. Maybe you have heard his story. If not, you aren’t going to want to miss it. It’s one of those really, really, really special stories that gets you Uh! right there. You’ll likely be thinking about him the … Continue reading

An Effort Well Worth It

This morning I opened my inbox, and a post from “A Winsome Journey” was there to greet me. Maybe you know Jess? Like myself, she’s an animal lover, and not just your run-of-the-mill animal lover; I’m talking llamas, chickens, goats, lambs — you name it, she probably owns one. It’s a regular barnyard fiesta o’er yonder. Jess is very generous with her photos, capturing heart-melting shots and humorous expressions stamped across her furry family’s faces. This morning, however, the post was solely dedicated to her sweet dogs, Seamus, Finnegan, and Lexi. Go on over and have a read. It’s short and sure to brighten your day.

http://awinsomejourney.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/the-constant-factor/

So there I was reading her post, all misty-eyed, when I realized my own sweet furry baby, light of my life, sparkle in my eye, was sleeping not more than a couple feet from me, all coiled up like a teeny-tiny snail. And there was this instant rush to my heart; you know, like when you enter a drug-store and that overhead fan blasts you in the face with warm air — like that, but in a good way.

I must admit that, Continue reading

A Treasure of Incomparable Worth: Father

Shoulders and calves. Oily scalp and big teeth. Sense of humor and charisma. Eloquence and fetching smile. Temper. Sweet tooth. Optimism and open mind. Intelligence and sophistication. Impatience and obstinacy. Cynosural wit.

My father gave these things to me. Some I didn’t want. Many I will always be grateful for. All of them make me his daughter.

***

She will start out small. Small hands. Small feet. Small smiles in the thick of sleep. She will not stay that way, however. She will grow. And you must grow with her.

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