Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Renaissance Woman

When I was little I wanted to be a figure-skater like Nancy Kerrigan, spinning gracefully in bejeweled dresses.

I also wanted to be BA like Xena Warrior Princess and ride and wield a sword and do it all while still looking awesome!

I wanted to be the Yellow Ranger and magically morph into a karate master who helped save the world!

I wanted to be a Girl Scout, an astronaut, a journalist, a softball player, a professional pianist, and a marine biologist.

But a lot of times life gets in the way of dreams, doesn't it? Parents who worked hard just to keep bread on the table have no time or money for practices or recitals or uniforms. Parents who divorce have no energy left for struggling teens or for putting young people through yet more schooling.

So I find myself now, at 31 and with my own child, wanting to learn some of the things that I should have learned half a life-time ago. Like knitting, or gardening, or dance, or the guitar. I find myself scouring the internet for classes on beekeeping, and horseback riding, and kayaking. Call it a "third-life crisis" if you will, or a second chance, or finally coming into my own, but I'm liking this new era in my life.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lessons from a Jeep

My husband has been restoring an old Willy's jeep for the last couple years. It's a very slow, messy, and expensive process. But he loves it.

When this 70 year old Jeep and I first met, I couldn't believe my husband had actually spent money on the old thing. Then he asked me to join him for a ride in it. Are you crazy, honey?  I mean this thing rattled and shook and smoked and had some parts taped together. I was worried it'd fall apart in a very cartoon-esque style and leave us sitting on the bare road with Joe holding nothing but a steering wheel! 


At the moment the Jeep is not ride-able. It's sitting in various pieces in the garage while Joe painstakingly works on each individual one. I'm honestly a little awed at how much goes into this little Jeep. How many parts there are to something that I normally just turn a key for! I really have no idea sometimes just how intricately and creatively even the simplest machine is put together!

And then one day this week I pass one of the parts of the Jeep on my way to the laundry room and I realize...

Our marriage is like that Jeep!

Our marriage seems many times as tedious and expensive and frustrating as that Jeep has been for Joe. There have been entire weeks where our marriage has stood stagnant, seemingly going nowhere. There have been days when I have wondered whether this was ever a good idea to begin with. There are days when my hands are cut and bleeding from trying to fix something in my husband. All our various parts are being worked on (especially mine, it seems) and it's been a sometimes painful process.

But then there's those days when it seems like we flow and work together like never before. Days when I'm reminded what a beautiful thing is being created from all our rusty pieces. Days when I realize that marriage takes work but that the end result is a fun one! A lifetime of lessons and laughter. A legacy and example left for our children. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Skills

My husband came home early today and started working on changing out the water lines in our new place (it's an old house and they desperately needed it.) I watch him pull out the p-trap. I listen to the familiar buzzing of the reciprocating saw under the house. I smell the primer being brushed onto the PVC fittings. I can tell at what point in the process he'll need me to hold something and be ready for it. I've seen and heard it all dozens of times...and frankly I have started taking it for granted. 

I started thinking about how lucky I am that my husband knows exactly where to turn the water off and how, which tools and supplies he'll need, and about how long it will take him to finish. So out of curiosity, I asked him...

"Honey, how much would someone charge to come out and do this to a house?"

"Anywhere between $800 and $1200."

I was floored. I figured it would be a lot, but that was about twice as much as I was expecting him to say.

Then I realized the full worth of my husband's skill. Not only that, I realized the full worth of my husband. Day in and day out, he does this very thing and many more like it. And he doesn't do it in a vacuum. He does it while engaging his clients. He does it while keeping a cheery disposition. He does it and guarantees his work. He does it and leaves each place better than when he found it. 

My husband is priceless. What he does is priceless. And more importantly, how he does it. 

So maybe I should cut him a little more slack about leaving his tools laying around. Or hold my tongue when he walks through the house with his shoes on yet again. Maybe I should just let all that go and enjoy the process, mess and all.