Master Gardener

Plowing through another separation
the paragon of letting go
grows into some
silent master gardener
farming good-byes.
So
the dog and I walk
around the lake
thinking a tick might attach itself
and maybe want to stay.

Paragon

Poem In Your Pocket Morning

Put this poem in your pocket, I say
He looks at me
patient
tolerant
amused
Like you would look at some docile crazy person

My husband analyzes profit statements
not poems
My husband writes spreadsheets
not essays
My husband attends conferences
not readings

But, oh, he reads me
and slides the poem in his briefcase

You Gave Them To Me

It’s better to descend than ascend.

So first you must reach the top and claim victory.

Nope, victory is overrated.
Besides, who says victory is at the summit?

I agree “summit” is a state of mind; however, the high road provides the best view.

The high road is windy and cold.  Stay below for the bright forsythia and green moss.

There is great comfort in closeness and confined quarters, but it is the horizon that provides direction and is best viewed from an apex position.

The sun rises just over the deck.  No reason to worry about that pesky horizon.

Some see the horizon nearer than others.  The sun rises and starts new each day, climbing high in the sky and only setting when it is time to rest; until rising again.  Climb, Sun.

I see the sunrise on the deck.
The moon, too.
You know why?
Because you gave them to me.
All of them.
Sun, clouds, wind, stars…
All mine.
From you.
Time to climb in bed…

Climbing

Santa Claus Knows Best

Do you know what I wrote on Sunday?  I wrote how my husband makes me smile and feel beautiful.  You know how long I have been married?  29 years.  My husband is kind, sweet, caring, and, yeah, he makes me feel mushy inside.  Do you think our 29 years together have been complete bliss?  Ha!  You bet, but every year right after Thanksgiving an insidious tune slithers into my otherwise delightful existence.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas I am married to 2 men– my legal spouse and Maurice Chevalier.  My otherwise sensible, responsible, trustworthy and analytical man loses his mind over a song about Johnny wanting a pair of skates.

Ron sings, in the worst French accent, with Mr. Chevalier.  “Lean your ear this way.”  Ron sings, in the worst French accent, without Mr. Chevalier.  “Susie wants a sleigh.”  Ron sent me a YouTube video of  “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”, so I would not forget my second, albeit temporary husband, Mr. Chevalier.

To maintain a marriage for the long term, well, you kinda, hafta, need to overlook your partner’s idiosyncrasies.  Now, Ron got lucky.  I have no ill manners or quirky, irritating peculiarities.  But to preserve my stable, loving union, I tolerate Ron’s perpetual allegiance to “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”  My advice to you, dear reader, is if your partner begins singing in an awful French accent, beware, because Maurice Chevalier may soon follow.  It is not so bad if you want skates, a sleigh or a book with yellow, blue and red, because dear Santa Claus knows best.

Record

There Is No Pattern

 

 

 

 

Do you know what the pattern is?  No, you do not, because there is no pattern.

You graduate from college a semester late.  Your mother angrily advises you not to marry him, but you get married anyway.

The promotions come.  Melbourne, Richmond, Bartlesville, Jackson, Memphis.  Until the closures come.

You never really wanted a baby (gasp), but there she was, all puffy and pink and amazing.

You quit work and threw yourself into motherhood with conviction and desperation to craft every detail perfect, sublime and well groomed.

But here’s the thing.  Your hair is turning white.  That man you should not have married still makes you smile and feel all beautiful inside.  And that amazing baby is a way more awesome young woman.

When you think it is Spring
It snows
Big, beautiful, sparkly flakes float down from Heaven
There is no pattern
All we really get is love.

 

 

Pattern

Early Flight

Something comfortable
About
Old friends in a long marriage

Stay
You say
We can do anything

There is nothing
In that anything
I want

Everything turns
To no-thing
When your plane leaves at 6 am

At Kroger

The store was full of shiny balloons, decadent chocolates and lush bouquets in advance of Valentine’s Day.                           

My pocketbook was flush enough that I bought a plane ticket to visit my crush…of 29 years.

Honestly, it never gets old.


Love is all around
Under the helium
Standing resolutely in a pot
Hoping, expecting, to be chosen

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lush
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buttons and Birthdays

If I read (and believe) correctly, Ron and I have an exceptionally low risk for divorce.  We did not live together before marriage.  We are white.  We are very close in age.  We are college educated.  Our parents were never divorced.  Our child was born after we were married (way after, 7 years), and our income is over $50,000 per year.

Good for us.

Forty to fifty percent of marriages will end in divorce.  I read it on the internet, so it must be true.  This percentage has hung around for at least 28.75 years, which is the length of time I began thinking about sustaining a marriage.

My brother, Dan, married us.  “Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love does not count wrongs,” I heard Dan say.

And, in a blink, we were married.

And I would really be tested on the patient and counting wrongs part.

Now, I am not kidding, when a family member marries you, it will often be in the back of your mind that you owe them a success, too.  If my marriage was failing, I feel I would owe my brother an explanation.  To me this seems like it would be an uncomfortable conversation, best to be avoided, if at all possible.

So, I have worked hard on being patient, kind and not counting things.  And, while I am sure I am practically perfect in every way, I am fairly certain Ron has worked hard, too.

Ron and I have developed an on-going saying:  “Anything for you, dear.”  We laugh as we say it.  Some times we are more sincere than other times.  It is a twenty-eight year old  tongue-in-cheek nod to compromise and understanding.

“Anything for you, dear,” because we are better together.

Arguments about Christmas lights are better.
Jokes about how awful you speak French are better.
Movies about time travel are better.
Dog walks in the dark are better.
$700 car repairs are (almost) better.
Breakfasts watching the cardinals and chickadees on the deck are better.

“Anything for you, dear,” because surely I will sew that teeny tiny button on the collar of your favorite dress shirt at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Because surely you will text and call me at least 5 times before I board that plane by myself.

Because surely I will bake you a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for your birthday every July.

Because surely you possess, and probably always will, the ability to admit you were wrong much easier than I ever will.

“Anything for you, dear,” because I often still see you as 23, not 53.  You are strong and vulnerable, devoted and optimistic, and still way too responsible.

Good for us.

 

Keurig and Santa

Wednesday night I dreamt that when I pushed the handle down on the Keurig coffee machine to poke holes in the pod, a podcast would start.

This was either a Divine message to stop drinking so much coffee or to start listening to more podcasts.

*   *   *   *   *

In 1988 I was a bank teller.  One of my customers was Santa.  Really.  When he walked up to my window, he gave me his business card and was proud to be Santa at Thalhimer’s Department Store in Richmond, VA.

Santa ate breakfast at Perkins this morning.  Really.  I should have taken a pic. of his red Jeep in the parking lot, but I was too busy telling my husband to “be good,” because Santa would be watching.

From our booth,  I observed that everyone who walked by Santa (he was wearing Levis and a blue shirt, by the way) said “good morning” and shook his hand.  “See,” I earnestly said to Ron, “everyone wants to stay on the Nice List.”

I believe in Santa.

I believe in magic cards, too.  Even though both my husband and the guy selling them firmly told me “no, it’s not real magic,” I still believe.

I believe in puppies and love and happily ever after (but not in unicorns).

I believe in rainbows and dreams (maybe not the Keurig/podcast one) and in that electricity when you hold hands.

I believe in tenderness and hope and “when you wish upon a star.”

I believe in the patient, tolerant smile my husband gives me when I tell him I believe in all this stuff.  Puppies and love and rainbows and tenderness and dreams and electricity and the Keurig– Ron is the reason I believe in all those things.

So, he better be good.  Santa is watching.