Friday, April 6, 2012

Neat little rows

We have been working on the flower beds this week.  My wife has wanted an English garden so now we have two of them.  Neither of us like planting flowers in neat little rows so the beautiful chaos of an English garden is fine.  

I went to the garden center twice this week, filling up the truck with Salvia, Delphinium, Lavender, Cleome, yarrow, Dianthus, Gaillardia, and others.  We have grown our own marigolds and zinnias from seeds that were planted in the greenhouse.  It's tough on plants in the heat and humidity of the deep coastal South.  But for now, on this cool morning, the gardens look wonderful. 

This morning we are getting a bouquet ready for the parents who celebrate their 70 years together.  I know those years weren't necessarily all happy.  But today, I'm choosing to look on the positive side.  I see the photos from their cruises together--both look happy. I look at the Christmas photos of them hugging each other.  And I remember that my mother-in-law told me only a few months ago that "I really love that man".  Seventy years--more than a lifetime for some.  I know that there were some good times during that stretch of years.  

Marriage is such a complicated thing, not only from a legal standpoint but from the hype that we buy into about spending time together, having meaningful discussions, sharing finances, staying in sickness and in health.  So many expectations that no wonder people freak out when they discover that the person they married isn't all that they had hoped for.  Do we ever find anyone who is all that we hoped for?  I don't think so.  I think that we just accept what we can,  and if we can't find anything acceptable then we part.  

Not as many people are making the commitment to marry as in years past.  I understand the reasoning.  With divorce rates being so high, it's a leap of faith to think that you will still love the same person that you married after 20, 50 or 70 years.  I can't imagine my life without my wife today, but there have been days when I could easily imagine it.  Marriage isn't like the neat little rows in a garden, but has its share of chaos too.  If you string together enough good days though, then the occasional bad one or two isn't so hard.   We have strung together some good days this week and over our years together.  I'm a lucky fellow. 


  1. I doubt there is any marriage lasting 70 years that every year was great. That's like saying even living for 70 years every year was great. Just impossible. The key is hopefully there were more good years than bad, or the good outweighs the bad.

  2. marriage def is an interesting animal at times...and it is def not without its work and the gardens it can be that beautiful cool you can share your own flowers with the fam on their anniversary as well...

  3. I LOVE being married. I know it wasn't always like this. My husband always tell people the first 25 years are the most difficult. It's so sad to hear of long marrieds that are not happy. LOVE the idea of an English Garden, don't love the work of gardening. ;)

  4. So true Syd. During rough patches that my hubs and I have hit, we would look at each other and feel so done and so frustrated...but we both knew we had all of this history with each other. We have trust and we know each other. Its a core to the relationship that is not easily swayed when times get hard....because times always get good again too if we give them a chance to.
    Flowers are beautiful....and I hope your day with the parents is filled with love and good humor.

  5. All I can say is that I'm so thankful I'm not trying to find a life mate on the internet today....

  6. I think marriage is easier when we come to accept that just as with the ocean sometimes the tide is in and sometimes the tide is out.
    Each in its own time and be patient.

  7. I loved this. You're a wise man, Syd.

    Also love chaotic gardens full of flowers, we have one and it is so peaceful and lovely.

  8. You say that you are a lucky fellow. The "lucky" people I know are the ones who have chosen to work hard, love well, and care about stuff that matters :)

  9. I enjoy gardening it brings me alot of serenity and pleasure to watch plants grow and change.

  10. This is a terrific post (and I still keep thinking about your fabulous post on sex).

    My husband and I reached our 15th wedding anniversary this March. We've been together for just shy of 20 years. Just yesterday, I kind of flipped out on him because his behavior towards me can often remind me of how my narcissistic mother treated me. It reached a boiling point for me. But we talked things out for awhile, and I hope we've come to a better understanding.

    Marriage isn't easy, although lots about it does make life more bearable. Days like yesterday, I can easily imagine a different life for myself, but honestly, it would be a bad decision on my part. While tomorrow may bring changes to either one of us that might make us better off apart, right now that isn't true. I hope we hrow together rather than in other directions.

  11. I love this post, and your comparison to that of an english garden...

    WHile most of our neighbors in ou perfect little Mayberry-like town keep everything clipped, symmetrical and altogether too perfect, I crave drifts of daffodils blooming and waving in the breeze. I love splotches of color that appear at varying times during the season from clumps of echinaecea, day lillies and black-eyed susans. I ripped out our boxwoods, barberries and yews. There is not a single clipped juniper on my property. Ok, you get the point.

    Our marriage is challenging. There are days when I just want to fill a bag with some stuff and go. Of course AA taught me not to make decisions dduring times of emotional unrest and thank God neither of us had or we'd been done long ago. We have some amazing, poignant moments that only we two could share and so we cling to those when things get crazy.

    Great post Syd!

    1. Beautiful flowers...can't wait for flower season up here in Minnesota! Our tulips are just now blooming, though :) Spring reminds me of the blessings in marriage. Their are many seasons of harsh winter in marriage, as there is in life. We sometimes feel trapped in the dark with all of our feelings of resentment, anger, & hurts. It takes a lot of faith to believe that new growth can & will come, in time. My husband & I have worked hard to fight for what we have today. It took marriage retreat & lots of counseling, but we made it out on the other side stronger & better than before! I guess that is like all that annoying weeding & care to keep a beautiful garden. It's never easy...but oh, the "fruits" are so worth it!


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