An Old Fashioned Love Story

Couple

The love story of TC, as I’ve come to call them, isn’t mine to tell. However, they aren’t inclined to call attention to themselves. So if I don’t tell you, how will you ever know what love looks like?

TC are their initials; wherever you saw one of them, the other was surely nearby. They belonged together as much as peanut butter and jelly.

I confess I don’t know their full story, just the good part.

There was 15 years difference in their age. What I don’t know is how they met. It could have been at church or maybe at a summer camp. Questions come to mind about what a 25 year old man would be doing with a girl so young. As a parent I confess to shudder, thinking all kinds of wrong in it.

That’s why when sixteen year old C asked her folks what they thought of her and T getting married, they were aghast.

“Absolutely not!” How could a young impressionable high school girl know her heart? It was unthinkable.

(Note: This is another part I don’t know. Did TC go behind her folks back? If so, it was a long distance relationship.)

Through the week T worked as a road surveyor in the north woods. He was most comfortable out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, natural beauty and peace it offered.

Weekends found him back downstate among the hustle and bustle of the suburbs where C lived. What TC shared was genuine.

Years passed. C graduated from high school. She went on to college, graduating after four years of studies. She got herself a job, saving enough money to eventually move out of her parents’ home into an apartment.

All the while love remained, grew actually. T waited all this time for one reason. Mind you, he and C never abandoned the dream of marriage.

But first T wanted C to experience what adulthood held. Independence, and the responsibilities of working for a living, purchasing a car along with the maintenance of it, housekeeping, cooking, you name it.

T didn’t ever want C to feel rushed into marriage, not having the chance to do things on her own. She got to experience it all.

Ten years later we were invited to their wedding. Here is the best part. T standing at the foot of the altar, his arm down at this side, but his hand very subtly urging C to come forward quickly down the aisle. Enough time had passed.

It was a day of joy like I had never witnessed before or since.

Besides the love they had for each other, together they shared a love for Jesus. He was the one that gave them the patience and the strength to do this thing right, with no regrets.

This is how I envision Jesus’ love for us. He lets us grow up and experience life both with and without him, all the while, his love never ending. Any mistakes we make along the way are opportunities to see him better and realize he has the best for us in the long run.

In The Navy Now

Dave at Navy Court in Milligton Tenn ©jb katke

The woman behind the counter leaned forward to better hear my husbands’ words.

“I beg your pardon, would you mind repeating what you just said?’

Dave patiently repeated the purpose of our visit, “I’ve just got out of boot camp and returned home to get my wife. I am to report for training classes tomorrow so we need to get housing.”

Eyes wide with amazement, the woman replied, “That’s what I thought you said.  Excuse me while I see what we can do.”

She disappeared behind an office door.  We glanced at each other, wondering why there was confusion over something the housing office does on a daily basis.  The woman returned along with the housing manager.

“It just so happens that yesterday we got an unexpected vacancy. We have a duplex available for rent.”  We signed the paperwork and promptly took possession.

We were into our marriage ten months and had missed each other terribly during the month long boot camp.  We were young and in love; separation was unthinkable to either of us.

Nevertheless, the Viet Nam War made some decisions for us. Dave realized his draft number was coming up.  He preferred the Navy so he had to take action or he would automatically be inducted into the Army.

Needless to say, our first year of marriage had not played out as I had anticipated.

Both of us were clueless to a thing called military protocol or a housing waiting list two years long.

Looking back, I see several miracles:

A couple moving unexpectedly. We walked into the military housing office at just the right time.

The people next in line on the waiting list hadn’t been notified yet,

The manager taking compassion on our situation.

Even now I can’t believe all that was a mere coincidence.  Stupidity yes, but Jesus had everything covered unbeknownst to us.

He didn’t have to provide for us the way he did.  At that time in our spiritual life, a relationship with God was nonexistent.  Both of us grew up in moral homes and went to church each week prior to our wedding.

But attendance doesn’t automatically make you a Christian any more than going to a fast food restaurant turns you into a hamburger.   Having any kind of friendship with Jesus wasn’t in our mindset at that time.

Fortunately Jesus doesn’t wait until we get life straightened out with him before he starts blessing us. Looking back I can see his love was already at work as he patiently waited for us to realize his presence.

Lessons Learned

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Family has handed me a fistful of mysteries. Grandma’s anger at her sister-in-law went unexplained.

Curiosity made me wonder why Aunt Jane refused marriage proposals from three men. In time she became comfortable with her singleness. How did she know marriage would be a mistake for her?

Learning has no age barrier, the longer I live the more I learn. Soon I expect to know everything.

Too Late Now

A neighber insisted her children spend equal time between the TV and reading. Likewise, learning a musical instrument to listening to the latest rock songs. Why didn’t I think of that in my child-raising years?

I wish I had seized the opportunity to teach my granddaughters to sew when they lived nearby. Regardless of my busyness, I realized too late that children don’t stay little.

How Can This Be?

Is this (practically) an instant replay? I was dragged into grandparenthood before my time. Now great-grandparenthood too. How can this be? My daughter a grandmother at thirty-eight years of age. Is she old enough to qualify for this? Doesn’t anyone get married and have children after the wedding?

I have made too many blunders to point fingers at anyone. 

My Circle

My circle of family and friends have taught me much, but I am a slow learner. Patience was won by raising forgetful, rebellious, talkative children. The bloodline has become my launching pad. Kin has been a priceless experience bringing me where I am today.

Tolerance came when I realized others with a different background than my own; their words and actions made sense…if only to themselves.

I’ve found forgiveness is best learned on the receiving end. Then pay it forward to another undeserving soul.

God is patient with me. Past events have shown I’m no longer the person I used to be. That’s a good thing,

Friendships can move on, but family should never be cast away. There is too much to be learned from them. I wonder what my family has learned from me.

I may not want to know.

Moonwalk Memories

Do you recall where you were on the 20th of July, 1969?

Thunder Moon July 2019

If you need some help, that day went down in the history of mankind for the American astronauts landing and walking on the moon. The news stations talked of nothing else it seems.

Turning downhill

My grandmother came over to see it with us. That’s when this momentous day took a turn downhill. We had two televisions, both tuned in, so whichever room we were in, nothing would be missed. Unfortunately, when the landing took place, Mom, Dad, and myself happened to be in one room, leaving Grandma in the other room by herself. It wasn’t deliberate by any means.

But Grandma was offended. Big time. She marched into the room we were in, tossing her words< “If I wanted to watch this alone, I would have stayed home!: With that she stormed out of the house, making a beeline down the path to her home next door.

Needless to say, Dad went scrambling after her. Completely ruining the moment in my eyes. Every once in awhile Grandma showed us her drama queen tendencies.

There Comes a Time

But I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on her. There comes a time when we all need a little companionship. Grandma had lost her husband, seemingly lost her daughter due to mental issues, and considered her son (my dad) gone too. There was another woman (my mom). Even though she lived next door and could keep tabs on him. She was good at that. She was lonely, as though she had no one to live for. That can be an empty feeling. We never know what is going on in another persons life. But we can exercise our patience and mercy muscle-just as God does with each of us.