Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where were you?

Fifty years.

What a mind-boggling thought. Half a century. And yet, I know where I was fifty years ago today.

I was flower-girl at my beautiful sister Rosie's wedding!

Oh, there are photos, really cool ones, but they have never been scanned onto facebook. I don't even have possession of them all, but let me tell you how it was.

Because the wedding was during Christmas week, the church was already decorated with evergreens and red and green and gold. Naturally, Rosie's colors were red and green. My grandmother made everything--all the dresses, the pillbox hats, my headband, Rosie's dress and even her headpiece and veil (a huge rose, of course, for Rose Anne). The maid of honor, her best friend, and I wore red velveteen, and the bridesmaids (my sister Janet and Auntie Marylin) wore green. I remember feeling deprived in a few areas, however. The maid of honor and bridesmaids carried white rabbit fur muffs decorated with a poinsettia instead of flowers. I think I carried a basket. (I angst-ed over not having a muff for forty-five years, till my sister Janet blessed me by giving me hers!) The other girls also wore dyed-to-match satin heels; I had to wear plain ol' black patent Mary Janes. My mother wore champagne satin, with a black velvet pillbox hat. (I was so impressed with her dress, I wanted to have one as close to it as possible, when my own daughter got married!) It was very, very exciting to be part of the wedding party!

There was a buffet supper at our house after the rehearsal, and all the grown-ups were dancing afterward to phonograph records. Daddy left early the morning of the wedding to get sweet rolls from the bakery--my first ever pecan roll....I can still taste it, I think. The reception was in the school cafeteria, or what you might call the "church hall." Potato chips were in paper bowls on the tables, and we had fountain pop--a real treat! Of course, we had cake, and husband and wife opened their gifts at the reception, a tradition that I wish had never become passe.

Unfortunately, Rosie's marriage lasted only twelve years, but produced two beautiful children. But the glamour of that day stays with me (as you can see).

I have been both mother-of the-groom and mother-of-the-bride. That last one just 'bout kilt me. I think I didn't leave the house for six weeks afterward. When I think of my  Mom that day in 1962--not only mother-of-the-bride, but with an 18-month old and a 2 1/2 year old (and four other children, as well)--now, SHE was a Super-Woman.

Rosie passed away in 2001. My mother, father, and Auntie Marylin are gone, as well. But I thank the Lord for memories, because I can remember that special day, today, fifty years later.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Shoes.

I was reading a magazine the other day. I read very few magazines, outside of doctor's offices. Just no time, I guess. And I was, in fact, at a doctor's office, or rather, the County Health Clinic. I had a nice selection from which to choose: Redbook, Ladies' Home Journal, People. Of course, they were all ancient: Will and Kate's Upcoming Wedding!! I don't even remember which magazine I chose, but I was interested in an article about Keeping Your Marriage Fresh. I kinda took offense when the article began by talking about being Comfortable as an Old Shoe, because that would keep you from Having New Adventures.
You understand the saying, don't you? Being married a number of years, you, as a couple, become "comfortable as an old shoe." You fall into the "comfort rut," whatever that means.
I had a pair of shoes in high school. They were brown oxfords, and were the most comfortable shoes I think I've ever had. I had them repaired a number of times. New shoelaces (of course), new soles, had them re-sewn a few times, where the stitching had ripped. Even when the grommets started coming out, I was still wearing them. Finally, the holes where the grommets were started ripping, and I couldn't fix them anymore. It went sore against me to throw them away. I might have even had a funeral for them, but I don't remember.
I have never forgotten those shoes, and have been "on the lookout" for some to replace them ever since. (Mind you, I graduated almost forty. years. ago.) I finally saw some about five years ago that sorta looked the same. They were:
["Ontario" oxford by Eastland]
Carnival Shoes carried them for four years. Every time I went in the store, I'd look, but they never had my size. I finally looked for them on Zappos, but they no longer carried them. I did find them this fall and snapped. them. up. They are NOT, however, the "same" as my favorite shoes. They are very, very comfortable, but the leather is more rigid (my fav's were supple) and the sole is much heavier. But these may be the closest I'll ever find.
But I digress.
I wanted to talk about New Adventures that, for some reason, the magazine article thinks can't be had in Old Shoes. My first image of a new adventure would be, maybe, a hiking trip. And why would anyone in their right mind want to take a hiking trip in brand-new shoes that have yet to give a blister? I think that my mind would be on my feet, 'way more than my new adventure. Any adventure would be more fun if I wouldn't have to give a thought to what was going on on the foot-end, right? Obviously!
So, back to the idea of long-time married couples being in the "rut" of being old shoes. The comforting thought here is that, we know each other so well, we don't have to worry about "what will he think?" We know, for the most part, what each of us will "think" about just about any situation we could imagine. Now, imagine a New Adventure of any sort--we are already ahead of the curve of any dating couple or newlywed couple on the planet. Yes, for them, many things they do are New Adventures. Us, not so much, with the "vicissitudes of life" happening every day.  But when New Adventures happen, we only have to slip on our old-shoe-ness and take off.
Charming and I are in a transition season before one of our greatest adventures--that of the Empty Nest. We've taken longer than many couples, having our last child at almost-forty. And I am so, so, so looking forward to the Things that are Coming Ahead.
And I already have my comfy-shoes partner. Fortunately, I'll never have to throw him away. He's a keeper.