Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fifty Years Apart

Today is a very special Wednesday.
Two of the most important people in my life
celebrate another year of influence.  

This beautiful blonde, The Original Jean,  turns 85 

And this courageous cowboy, my husband,  turns 35

On March 11, fifty years apart, 
my destiny was shaped in a special way. 

Checking cows last night I wondered about the greatest lesson The Original Jean and Cody have taught me. 
Put grandkids with solid lung capacity in the trunk to avoid admission costs at the Preble County Fair? 
Hold on to things for ten years, then see if they really matter?

When I was young - I'm talking like six years ago - Grandma's kitchen table was the safest place. It was only there that I felt comfortable enough to tell her about the changes, disappointments and searching I faced in life. Though she married young, she didn't seem to judge, she just listened. Her advice was never gushy or deep or even Biblical. Her advice always referenced patience and was typically this:

"You don't have to marry the man. 
Just let him take you to dinner."

Yeah, thanks Grandma. Because of that advice I went through about 403 first dates and started a few fires that nearly burned me to the ground. I also ate a lot of really good meals. Hence the fat jeans/skinny jeans drawer in my dresser. 

I also sifted, because of The Original's advice. 
What I believed was real. 
What I selfishly prayed for. 
What I expected. 
All totally wrong, but silently I kept The Original Jean's advice in my back pocket. 

I don't have to marry him, 
just enjoy the company without expectations. 

Really shoddy long-term advice for a gal who grew up playing M.A.S.H.

Anyway, on March 11, 1980 there was a new kid on the block in Kansas. He looked like his Papa Laflin and had a restless spirit like his dad, Chris

Papa Laflin and Cody

And despite giving him the wrong phone number, he still treated me to the dinner that The Original Jean encouraged.
For the record, it was the Worst. Food. Ever. 
But the company sure made up for it. 

He is a passionate man. Made of grit and contemplation. 
He generally doesn't say much, asks plenty questions and his mind never shuts off. 
He constantly evaluates, processes and projects. 
I just typically repeat my question because he takes too long to answer. 

If these March 11 babies have taught me anything, it is patience. 
They've taught me that worrying does nothing. 
They've taught me to let go of expectations and see where life fearlessly leads. 
They've taught me that life happens when you put down the map
They've taught me to be careful what you pray for. 
They've taught me that yelling louder doesn't make someone understand what you just tried to explain. 
They've taught me that just because they think they did, doesn't necessarily mean someone remembered to latch the gate. 
They've taught me that sometimes it doesn't pay to to buy the cheap stuff
They've taught me that "expectations" is "get a life" spelled backwards. 
Just kidding. 
They've also taught me this:

The best things happen when you're not looking. 

So put away the grand plan and let life go where it will. 
I trust you'll learn that 
the best surprises are the ones 
that had nothing to do with all of your worry.


Happy Birthday, Grandma & Cody!

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