Yesterday the rainy weather held off long enough for us to get in a few outdoor projects. My husband winterized the pool. I dug up the dead green bean plants, the wilty lemon cucumber plants and mountains of weeds that had taken residence all around our yard. I filled our composter. I filled our yard debris can. I gloried in the clean and trim flower beds. I went inside. I washed my hands. I had a panic attack. One of my rings was not on my finger. It was dark outside and my ring was somewhere out in the yard. Or in the composter. Or in the yard debris can.
This ring is 42 years old. My father bought it in New Mexico as a gift for my mother on their 1st anniversary. My mother wore it for years. I remember what her hand looked like with this ring. About ten years ago she gave it to me. My hand looks the same. I wear it because I love my parents, and long marriages, and my husband, and my daughters. I wear it because people ask about it all the time and I love to tell a good love story. I always said that someday, I’d pass the ring on to one of my girls. Now its out in the mud somewhere.
Last night I called my mom and I told her I lost her ring. She said “Oh honey, I’m so glad it wasn’t your wedding ring. I have another ring you can have. Don’t worry. It’s just a ring”. The fact that she is so gracious makes me want to find it more. I know this band of silver and turquoise is just a thing. But it does happen to be one of my favorite things. Lesson from my mama though is simple. People matter. Things don’t.
I spent an hour today in the rain wandering around my yard. I dug through the compost bin. (Ewwww). I emptied and sorted through the yard debris bin. (Twice). I got wet. and muddy. and a tad sad. So I gave up. I grabbed a few green tomatoes off my plants and went and found my eldest daughter. She’s always up for cooking something. Frequently she saves me from great disaster. The resident chef is training her well.
This time though I had a plan. I followed a recipe and I didn’t try to substitute any ingredients. We chopped and dipped and chatted and took pictures. She liked how messy our fingers were.
I liked the smell of the egg and corn meal frying. She liked the little tomatoes. I like the taste of the biggest circles. Fried Green Tomatoes are some pretty amazing rings. The first time I had Fried Green Tomatoes I was in Atlanta, Georgia. Great little cafe. Good ribs. Good tomatoes. The second time I had Fried Green Tomatoes was at book club. Enough said. Anything at book club is divine.
These turned out nicely. Crispy on the outside, tart and juicy on the inside. My daughter and I plan on making them every year. My baby will be old enough to help next year. I love how food entertwines us and circles the year.
I’m not giving up on my mama’s ring. A friend promises to bring his metal detector over and he’s going to comb through my grass. I hope we find it. If not, its okay. I have lots of rings. My life is circled by love.
My husband and I celebrate our thirteenth wedding anniversary today. He’s a great guy. I’m blessed. I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage lately. About marriages that fail and marriages that succeed; why I got married and why I stay married. What I didn’t know and what I still don’t understand. About what I hope my kids’ marriages look like. About grace and commitment and friendship and passion and comfort.
For our tenth anniversary we went to Ireland. Everything in Ireland was fierce. Blustery weather, dark clouds, brilliant rainbows, the heady scent of burning peet, rough wool sweaters, spray painted sheep.
Scalding hot food and blistering cold showers. Hot tea, homemade butter, oatmeal, cream and vegetable soup and blood pudding. Churches, cemeteries and castles. Guinness and dancing.
One day we took a ferry out to Inish Mor. Its an island off the coast of the Connemara region. The island is home to the 2000 year old fort Dun Aengus and to my absolute favorite place on earth.
The cliffs of Inish Mor.
It occurred to me as we stood by those cliffs that in the USA this would never happen. We’d have warning signs and fences and legal disclaimers and nets. We have too many rules. Maybe its too many attorney’s. I think in Ireland they figure if you fall off the edge of the cliff its your own fault. Why wreck the view for everyone else?
Standing on the edge of the cliff with my spouse might be the most alive I’ve ever felt. Terrified but exhilarated. It was so worth the risk for the view.
Ireland is a beautiful, dramatic, heartbreaking and soul-searching country. Its cheerful and playful and majestic. It is not a place for the weak at heart. It’s a little like a good marriage.
I love you Aaron. Happy Anniversary. Wanna go back to Ireland with me?
My husband and I had our twelfth anniversary on Sunday. We almost skipped celebrating. He spent the whole weekend as a Roman Soldier and I had enough of chasing after child actors. We were exhausted and crashing on the couch and ignoring the event seemed reasonable.
Tempting but against the rules.
My husband and I are both first-born, type A people. We get a lot done. We forget sometimes to have fun. So we have a guideline to remind us. Don’t skip holidays and go on frequent dates.
One of the things I love the most about being married to my spouse is that he knows how to throw a party, plan a feast, buy gifts that please and generally make a huge fuss over any success.
I forgot this recently. I was out-of-town on St. Patrick’s Day so I missed the annual Corned Beef and Cabbage and Soda Bread. Then on Dr.Suess’ birthday I was at work and didn’t partake in Green Eggs and Ham. I can’t believe I almost talked him into skipping anniversary dinner.
Dinner Sunday night was at a great little Italian restaurant. Somewhere after mozzarella, tomato and basil I felt revived. After salad and some conversation with the guy I spend my life with I was smiling. By the time we’d worked our way through Spaghetti, Cheesecake and Apple crisp we’d covered just about every neglected topic of conversation. The food was wonderful. The company was better.
In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced. ~ Robert Sexton
I tend to take for granted things of great value simply because I have them in abundance. Do you?
Filed under Faith, Family