We have had a recent wedding among our children and another a little over a year ago. It reminds one of ‘the early days’. When we were married I was still 18 and Joel 21. I moved far from my home and all I knew so he could be part of his family’s greenhouse business. They always treated me like family, so that wasn’t an issue, ever. I had so much to discover of what was common and every day to them. Yesterday we read the passage in church from Isaiah 55 “Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, instead of briers the myrtle will grow…” I had memorized that in the 5th grade and wondered what a myrtle was. One day as Joel and I were rounding a bend in Buck Schoolhouse road I said, “What is that?” “A Myrtle tree” “OHHHHhhhh!!” It’s a beauty! I’ve been asking that question quite a bit since then and he rarely says he doesn’t know. If he does, I wonder what is wrong with him!
He thought I would cook like his grandmother. I got a letter from my grandma reminiscing about her early cooking days. His family ate that , Hers ate this, and on and on. It was a comfort to hear. If there was a weekly activity, there was a weekly “debate” about it. Like grocery shopping. I learned to drive after I got married. In Baltimore. I paid for lessons. My mom told me not to let him teach me how to drive. I think she had driving lesson scars from my dad!!
My mother had a green thumb and loved to garden, so plants were not new to me. We had lived in the country most of my growing up years, but the greenhouses were an entirely different level of anything I had known before.
One day one of his cousins gave us a goose that he had shot, a Canada goose. I am pretty sure it was dressed (or undressed!) , so I invited someone over and cooked goose for the first (and only) time. Everything was for the first time. I’d never eaten wild bird before!
After we had been married about a month, we went to the beach and then stayed overnight at a motel. We went to a little restaurant for breakfast in the morning and all the waiters were men. And they served fresh-squeezed orange juice. Another first for me, but not for my Florida boy! I remember that as a quiet time. Either it was what we expected it to be , or we set aside our expectations. I really don’t remember the ocean then. I just remember that lovely little restaurant.
We lived in the downstairs apartment of a house on the greenhouse property that had once belonged to a great aunt and uncle. The next generation had taken their turns in that house and we heard about it. It was a big square house and we had three big rooms, a small room at the front door, an ample kitchen, and a bathroom of course. It had a ‘gas fireplace’ which we scorned. It was a fake log with a pipe coming through it and a brick facade. And stained glass windows on either side. I put the monkey fern in there and it promptly died! Well…
We had a baby while we were living there, too. Like I say, everything was for the first time. I was visiting a young friend recently and was noting with astonishment she and her husband have been married 5 years already. We have known them since they were engaged. She replied, “I know! It went by in a blink!” I sort of feel that way about the 40 years I’ve been married. It might be just a blink, but a lot if living happens in those blinks!
At fireworks on our 40th wedding anniversary with a grandson.