Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Socks on the Floor Kind of Love

"There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?" 

That, my friends, is one of my favorite quotes from the 2nd great love story ever told.  I'm a sucker for a good love story. Give me a strong hero who can make a girl laugh, blush, and challenge her and I'm sunk...hook, line, and sinker. I'm old school...I like a man who is a man, chivalrous, masculine, stubborn, challenging and totally, madly in love with his heroine. A man like Jamie Fraser. Don't know him? Well then you haven't read the book. He could fight a battle, win a war, be a man's man, and then melt in Claire's arms reciting poetry and saying the perfect words. His strong facade disappeared with Claire. And when she made him angry, he grabbed her, kissed her, said something utterly wonderful, and then let it go. To say I have a small crush on Jamie would be an understatement. Besides, he's scottish and do you have any idea what an accent does to a girl??

Obviously, I've got enough experience to know that this is schoolgirl and foolish. So let me tell you the
1st greatest love story ever told:

Many of us at Thanksgiving last year on
Grandma and Grandpa's porch
My grandparents recently celebrated 65 years of marriage. I didn't use the term celebrated on accident. It wasn't that they "made it to 65 years" or that they "hung in there" for 65 was a celebration! 3 children, 6 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren - all because two people fell in love.

Me with my grandparents three years ago at hunting camp
My grandparents are the most wonderful people. I used to spend a month with them every summer. Grandma would drive down and pick me up, bring me back to Oregon, and we'd have picnics, movie dates, shopping trips, and my favorite...a trip to the mill where my grandpa was foreman. I've watched over the years as my grandpa helps lifelong friends brand cattle, rope calves, and mend fences. My grandma feeds everyone - weddings, funerals, births, celebrations, mournings - my grandma cooks for them all. They are really good people.

Our family hunts together, drinks together, eats together, laughs and cries together, and are all pretty dang close. Like most great families, we fight sometimes but at the end of the day, don't mess with one of ours:)

My handsome grandpa
But this is a love story. I have a favorite picture of my grandparents when they weren't married yet. It's of course black and white. They're on the ranch. Grandma sits behind grandpa on the horse, her arms wrapped around him with the cutest, mischievous, young girl in love smile on her face. She's glowing - even in black and white you can see the flush of her cheeks and the glow that comes from a girl in love. Grandpa looks handsome, strong, and a little like a show off. Dang, I wish I had the picture to show you!!

My grandma is beautiful. Her warm heart shows through her smile. I remember Marcus telling me one time when he was about five that grandma was beautiful because of the "crinkles at her eyes" - I know it's from a lifetime of smiling. I hope when I'm 80, I look as good as my grandma.

Me and Grandma
My grandpa is one of the most handsome men I know. I know from stories that he had brown hair at one time but it's been completely white as long as I can remember. And it's always in a crew cut.

Ok, back to the love story. I remember about 20 years ago, all of us grandkids were getting married in the same year (I'm the only one that hasn't lasted). Grandma was excited to get four new dresses that year. As the final wedding of the year came around, Grandpa couldn't help but tell us all excitedly how beautiful grandma was and how this last dress "showed a little leg." It was like he was a teenager as he spoke about it. Grandma arrived at the wedding in a blue dress that showed her ankles. Grandpa beamed as he lead her around the dance floor. It's not uncommon for all of us to be together and look over to find grandma sitting on grandpa's lap. They laugh together and smile often.

So at their recent wedding anniversary, I asked grandma how they did it. Two divorces and I have to admit I don't know how anyone makes it work. I'm cynical and don't have a lot of faith in forever. Except when you look at Grandma and Grandpa - you could blame it on their generation. But only if you didn't know them. If you know them, you'll understand they're still in love 65 years later.

Grandma looked at me and said, "It's all about perspective." Then she told me that she used to get so frustrated with Grandpa. He'd get home and take his shoes and socks off in the living room, usually tracking in mud or dirt. And he'd sit down to watch tv while she made dinner, usually falling asleep for a minute in his recliner with the tv turned up too loud. And she'd get mad or frustrated. And then she'd put it in perspective.
Grandma and Grandpa at their 60th anniversary

She told me that if socks on the floor were the worst thing she ever had to deal with, she'd take it every day for the rest of her life. She said while her friends had been cheated on, while their friends drank too much, while other husbands couldn't keep a job, her man was home at night, not out drinking, and always had a job. He supported his family, loved her wholeheartedly, accepted her faults, loved their kids, was a wonderful dad, a fantastic husband and just all around a good man.

She pointed out they had their struggles. Recessions, tough times, growing pains - but they had made a commitment to eachother and loved eachother more than they could bear the thought of being apart.

She said they've yelled at eachother. Fought. And loved. Often.

She said she lucked out...handsome, intelligent, caring, and everything she could have asked for.

She said after she put it in perspective, she picked up the socks, gave him a kiss, and smiled inside.

That, my friends, is what it's all about.

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