Monday, May 23, 2011

Anybody Seen My Hard Hat?

Thought for the day:  The road to success is always under construction.   Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin was right. The truth is, we all have to put in a lot of manual labor and construction work to make a successful life. Years ago, a visitor addressed our Sunday school class, and though  I don't remember her name, I will never forget a short prayer she offered:  May I never be so blind that all I see is my own small world, nor so self-satisfied that all I am is all I ever hope to be.

Words to live by, aren't they? They apply to every walk of life, but are particularly well-suited for writers, I think, because writers not only seek to expand their own horizons, but also seek to open the world of possibilities for their readers, as well. And I dare say that few writers could be described as self-satisfied; as a matter of fact, no matter how successful, it's more likely that they harbor self-doubt, and secretly suspect that their work reeks. So writers are construction workers, consciously working at building their stories and  characters, and striving to improve their mastery of words and the craft.

 In countless other lines of work, people strive to build a career. Teachers and parents build and strengthen the character of our children and seek to give them the tools they need to start constructing their own lives. We build our homes, our families, our friendships, and our marriages.

And there we are, at the point of my meandering post: marriage. Tomorrow, my husband and I will be celebrating our forty-second anniversary. People frequently ask about the secret to our longevity. Let's call my husband Wind. (Honest, it has nothing to do with the burrito he ate last night; it's as in, what's beneath my wings.) Anyhow, Wind likes to claim, purely for comic effect,  that the secret lies in two words. He kids, "Say yes, dear ...  whether you mean it or not." Funny, but (ahem) full of hot air ...

Remember how easy it was when love was new? Life was all one long romantic kiss in the sunset, wasn't it?

If only it were this easy

Then real life happens. And we have to strap on those hard hats and get to work. Together. As a team. (On the same side.) And squeeze as much fun and laughter out of it as you possibly can.

Talking about fun and laughter, remember Red Skelton? He was a very sweet, very mild-mannered PG-rated comedian. Anyway, he and his wife were married for many, many years, and here's HIS Recipe for the Perfect Marriage: 

  • Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, and I go on Fridays.
  • We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in California, and mine is in Texas.
  • I take my wife everywhere ... but she keeps finding her way back.
  • I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. "Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said. So I suggested the kitchen.
  • We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.
  • She has an electric blender, electric toaster, and electric bread maker. She said, "There are too many gadgets and no place to sit down!" So I bought her an electric chair.
  • My wife told me the car wasn't running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was, and she told me, "In the lake."
  • She got a mud pack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.
  • She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?" The driver said, "No, jump in!"
  • Remember. Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.
  • I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.
  • I haven't spoken to my wife in eighteen months. I don't like to interrupt.
  • The last fight was my fault, though. My wife asked, "What's on TV?" and I said, "Dust!"
One of the things we're doing  to celebrate our big day tomorrow is go to the Atlanta Aquarium. Should be a lot of fun. We've never been there before, and we always enjoy taking on new adventures. Another nice plus from my point of view ...

Compared to a whale shark, I'm quite svelte.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. Always liked Red Skelton. He was my dads favourite as well. Remember Gertrude and Heathcliffe?

  2. You're blessed to have such a wonderful marriage. I've always been envious of women who've found their significant other.

    Happy Anniverary! Have fun at the aquarium.

  3. Aww. Happy Anniversary! Have a blast at the aquarium.

  4. Happy Anniversary lovely! That is something to be applauded! 42 years! Have a fabulous time [and bring back pics of you two! :) document!] giggle

  5. Hi, Ladies. Just taking a sec to tell you all thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them. (And you!)

  6. 42 years! Wow that's great! Congratulations!

    Had to delete a post you commented on and your comment went with it. So I finished the post and pasted and responded to in within the new and completed post. Thanks for being a loyal reader.

    Happy anniversary and have a blast at the aquarium!!!!

    Seem to be having troubles responding to this post from my pc. Had to write this from my phone so sorry for the errors: )

  7. Happy 42nd Anniversary! You quoted some great lines from Red Skelton who I finally can appreciate! Have a great time at the aquarium, and you look too young to be married so long!

  8. Hi, Danielle. Thanks. Hard to believe it's been so many years. I don't think the problem was with your PC; it was Blogger again, but it looks like they may have fixed the glitch.

    Hi, Julie. Red Skelton was one of a kind, but I'll bet there are videos of him on YouTube. No, I'm not all that young. My husband didn't just rob the cradle; he married a zygote! (riiiiiight!)