We're driving 45 minutes down I-5 to celebrate the first birthday of the newest nephew. We're singing at the tops of our lungs- Bon Jovi, songs from The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Killers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pink, and then with a twinkle Roland hits play...
"Slow down, we've got time left to be lazy
All the kids are bloom from babies into flowers in our eyes
We've got fifty good years left to spend out in the garden
I don't care to beg your pardon, we should live until we die"
We sing loudly at each other, exactly one week before the 21st anniversary of the March 17th that he asked me to be his girlfriend. It's the year of our 20th wedding anniversary, and we're not waiting for July to start the giggling, the long dreamy look of '...forever with you...', the "Remember when we...", and slipping off to the bedroom.
"We were barely eighteen when we crossed collective hearts
It was cold, but it got warm when you barely crossed my eye
And you turned, put out your hand, and you asked me to dance
I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight"
I didn't make it easy for him. So May 1st he walked past the guard to the girls' dorm, yelling "Maintenance!" all the way to my room, set down a tiny little basket of flowers, knocked so hard it echoed in the room like a kettle drum, and he and his friend (the real 'Maintenance' there to cover) ran laughing down the hall. I opened the door to 7 girls gathered around cooing and giggling.
"I swear when I grow up I won't just buy you a rose
I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely
For even if the sun stops waking up over the fields
I will not leave, I will not leave 'til it's on time
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side"
"Oh nooooo," moans Betsey, 18, knowing how close she is to...
"It was the winter of '86, all the fields had frozen over
So we moved to Arizona to save our only son
And now he's turned into a man, though he thinks just like his mother
He believes we're all just lovers, he sees hope in everyone"
I hear a sniffle the backseat... I didn't look back, she hates how easily she cries...
"And even though she moved away, we always get calls from our daughter
She has eyes just like her father's, they are blue when skies are gray"
Broken sobs, so I reached out and held her knee.
"And just like him she never stops, never takes the day for granted
Works for everything that's handed to her, never once complained"
"God, you guys!!" Aspy and 17, Tori huffs at all of us.
"You think that I nearly lost you when the doctors tried to take you away
But like the night you took my hand beside the fire thirty years ago
'Til this day, you swore you'd be here 'til we decide that it's our time
But it's not time, you never quit in all your life
So just take my hand and know that I will never leave your side
You're the love of my life, you know that I will never leave your side"
Roland and I wipe our own tears, humming and singing a little brokenly.
Two separations throughout our marriage, once for a year. Papers were filed once, but when we didn't show up for the court appearance, we happily paid the $30 each for wasting the courts time and stayed married after fighting things out, some meanness, bitterness, then apologies, forgiveness and grace.
"You come home from work, and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dogs, you say that I should never feed them what is ours
So we move out to the garden, look at everything we've grown
And the kids are coming home so I'll set the table; you can make the fire"
Happy-silly contentment. And still apologies, forgiveness and grace.
He feeds the dog too much cheese, sigh...
The Gambler by fun. Live
They will be at Bumbershoot this year!