Tag: marriage


Rainbow Chasers


In 1935, a young couple in Armonk made a vow to chase rainbows together for the rest of their lives. Sixty years later, with many rainbows in their possession, they continue the chase.

Contrary to popular belief, not all rainbows have a pot of gold, but they contain other treasures. The first two pots were, undoubtedly, your two children, followed by two pots for your grandchildren.

Some other pots contained a sense of humor, the spirit of competition, loyalty, kindness, devotion, and that trait so hard to find, “trustworthiness”. 

I have only known this couple for a short time.

I wish it were longer.

I hope to find their secret for making a long-term relationship work so well, when so many forces are at work to destroy it.

There are many people that profess to know exactly what makes love survive.

They will give you a laundry list of things that have to exist for it to endure.

Yet, they cannot stay married for 20 years.

So, where do we go to answer the age-old question of, “How does love endure?”

I say, travel north to a home atop a hill in Armonk, New York, and talk to a couple that is living the answer.

22,000 days of chasing rainbows together makes them expert “rainbow chasers”.

It is my belief that at the end of your journey on this earth; we are judged by the way we conduct our lives and by the promises we made and kept.

I only wish that I could make a promise and keep it for 60 years. I have known no one else that has done so.

It is too late for me to do so now, but I know a couple on a hill in Armonk… 

Tommy Hale …written to his fiancé’s parents in 1995 as they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  They are both now deceased.


Not Everybody Has A Love Story


         Not Everybody Has A Love Story

⚽ It has been said that everybody does not have a love story. That is a pretty harsh, yet profound statement, because everyone should have at least one love story. Some, including me, have two love stories and some have many. Of course, there are many types of love, but the one I am referring to is the romantic type. I encountered my first experience with love when I was 16 years old. She was a classmate of mine, and her name is Joyce Weaver. Our romance lasted for three months and she was all I thought about for days on end. Turns out, what I thought was love, was called, “puppy love”. Later on, the term evolved into “a crush”. So, those two situations do not qualify as being in love since they are of a temporary, short term, nature. Being married twice has left me with many fond memories. My first wife and I split after 32 years of marriage and the time immediately after that was not happy for me. I knew that I did not want to spend the rest of my life alone, that I needed someone to share it with. Fortunately, a year after the split, I met my current wife and immediately my life got better. I was 52 at the time and felt as if a new chapter in my “Book of Life” had started. I wanted to make it meaningful, thoughtful, and exciting. The twenty prior years were filled with stress, little fun, and no way out. Now, all that was behind me and I was going to make life interesting. My current wife and I have been together for 28 years and during that time I do not have one single regret. We never go to bed mad at each other with kisses and “I love You’” exchanged on a daily basis. It never gets old. I have never been happier since her love became a way of life. “I love you” are the last three words we say to each other before going to sleep. I plan on it being the last words to her on my last day on this wonderful planet. Everyone should have a love story! Oscar Wilde said, “When you really want love you will find it waiting for you”. I believe a need for love, without the action required to find it, is just a wish.

⚽ Almost everything we know comes to us either through our eyes or ears. I think that is probably true for 75% of our knowledge, but the other 25% comes from, in my humble opinion, intuition, in which the heart plays a major role. Intuition could reasonably be influenced by knowledge, but I suspect what we do in response to what our heart tells us is not. For example, I believe love has no basis in knowledge. We suspect we fall in love with someone because of their beauty or personality, but it is much deeper than those two qualities. Although my wife has both of those qualities, the reason I love her has more to do with other aspects of her being. After my failed first marriage, I gave a lot of thought about what I was looking for in a mate. I was unable to determine what I was looking for, but I was able to decide what I did not want in the person with whom I wanted a romantic relationship. After about 4 months of living a solitary life, I started dating and I looked for those traits.  It was instrumental in helping me decide which relationships to pursue. I would like to say that I consciously made the decision to fall in love with my wife, but that would be untrue. My heart made that decision without consulting me, and my brain had absolutely nothing to do with it. As it turns out, my heart made the right decision and my brain felt abandoned. I tend to believe we place too much confidence in our ability to decide things based on our knowledge and a lot of times we try to be too practical. If we try to rationalize everything and ignore our heart, we will surely, over time, harden it so that it becomes unable to help us pursue happiness. When that happens, we tend to lose that vital part of our being call empathy and we all know that comes from the heart, not the brain. There are many times in my life when my heart told me what to do. It’s the heart talking anytime you say, “It just feels like the right thing to do”.  I am confident that any act of charity comes from the heart and that any act of cruelty is calculated and, therefore, generated by the brain.

Randolph Bourne said, “The logic of the heart is usually better than the logic of the head, and the consistency of sympathy is superior, as a rule for life, to the consistency of the intellect.”  See, it didn’t take me long to find someone that agreed 😊.
 

⚽ It has been 2 months since I’ve had a haircut due to COVID-19, and I was beginning to look a shaggy dog.  I picked up the phone and called my barber, Renee’, and asked her when her shop would reopen.  She replied that it was still closed, but she would come to our home and make me handsome again.  She said it would be ok if I invited friends over that needed her services.  We set the time of her arrival (2 hours) and, after hanging up, I started calling some of my male friends. Only one accepted my invitation (Don) and he arrived within an hour.  I setup a place in our garage for her to do her work and Don and I sat and chatted while the rain tried to erase all footprints in our area from the face of the earth.  In a short while Renee’ and her friend (Karen) pulled into our driveway, jumped out into the rain and dashed for the garage.  I had set up two lawn chairs and a stool, so everyone had a seat that needed one.  I sat on the stool as she calmly placed her tools in a neat row on my workbench and commenced her work.  I gazed in amazement as gray hair fell in all directions. Was my hair really that long and that gray?  After finishing, she trimmed my eyebrows and cut the hair in my ears.  As you age it seems like hair grows in places you wouldn’t expect it to.  I paid her, including a healthy tip, got out of the chair and Don sat down in my place and she began her work anew. 

A barber is sorta like a bartender, and their customers chat with them as they perform their magic.  Turns out her husband died a mere 4 days earlier at the age of 51 and as she spoke of him, there was so much sadness in her voice.  She quickly turned our conversation away from that and we attempted to help her push aside her grief.  In about an hour she was finished, Don & I were satisfied with the results, and as she repacked her tools, I commented that she sure brought a lot of them with her.  She replied, “Since you couldn’t come to the barbershop, I brought the barbershop to you.”  She smiled, tapped me on the shoulder, and she and Karen, her security for house calls, bravely hurled themselves into the downpour of rain and dashed for the car.  Don & I were glad that our wives would no longer complain about our hair being too long and equally glad that we could help someone during this terrible time of job loss due to COVID.  I concluded that getting a haircut every month has become a habit and not a rule, and as Dr. Frank Crane said, “Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them.  And you don’t have to keep them either, they keep you.”  That is probably truer than I want to believe.        


My Life & Sliced Bread


I sometimes imagine my life as a loaf of sliced bread.  Looking down on that loaf, I pull up the slice at the far end and there I am, 10 years old and squabbling with my younger brother over who’s washing or drying the dishes after dinner (drying was the easiest).

 I gently place the slice back in its place and jump forward a few slices and there I am, 20 something years old with a wife and two young children (boy & girl), I am on the patio of our home, laying on a blanket as my 1-year-old daughter sits on my chest playing with her daddy’s long nose.  My three-year-old son is in the background playing with a small, metal Tonka dump truck. 

I place that slice back in its slot and jump forward a few more slices and pull one out and there I am, fifty something, divorced, and looking distraught and confused.  I remember that guy and what he was going thru and I kinda feel sorry for him. 

Quickly, I return that slice to the empty spot and moved towards the front of the loaf and retrieve another, and there I am, happily re-married and living a good and satisfying life. 

I glance down at the loaf and see quite a few slices left, and yet, I’m holding the slice that is my current life! 

I must admit I was tempted to return that slice and pick up the ones that would tell me what was yet to come.  As my hand nervously reached for the next slice of bread, I drew it back, knowing that I should never see what was in my future.

I believe that most of us worry about things that will never happen, but because of insecurities, we are pessimistic and are always waiting for something bad to happen.  I am confident that if I retrieved that last piece of bread and it revealed my end-of-life struggle, I would spend my remaining days on this wonderful planet worried about it. 

Having the will to resist that temptation brought a smile to my face as I slowly inched the loaf back into the cupboard, vowing that I would never be tempted to revisit that decision. 

John Green said, “One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life,”.  That describes my life very well!

The custom of giving a woman an engagement ring began in 1200AD, when medieval Italians believed diamonds were created in the Flames of Love.  That custom has continued and flourished over time, and now men go to elaborate lengths to make their proposal unique.  Planes write it in the sky, men get down on one knee onstage at concerts, ice skating rinks and many other odd and interesting places. 

When I proposed to my wife, I had the waiter, in a nice restaurant, drop her ring in a glass of Champagne and serve it to her while we sat across from her mother and father.  I was fearful that she may swallow it but that fine beverage is for sipping and I was confident she would discover it easily.  Still, there was some concern on my part. 

To my knowledge, I know of no one that was spurned when the question was popped, but I am confident it has happened.  I think we should use the same theory a courtroom lawyer uses, “Don’t ask a question if you don’t already know the answer”. 

Everyone loves a good wedding and thousands of dollars are spent on that festive occasion and yet, half of all marriages end in divorce.  That’s sorta like buying a car and there’s a 50% chance it will fail you before the warranty expires. 

So, what’s the solution to this dilemma?  First, the courtship should last at least two years and second, never spend more than one month’s salary on the wedding.  If a Dad is paying, it’s just as important.  My wife and I were invited to a wedding, and we barely knew the couple, but they wanted a lot of people there (Dad was paying), so we went.  I was so uncomfortable and resolved never to do that again.

I think marriage is a wonderful thing.  Nothing seems more special than seeing a couple wrapped-up in the excitement of each other.  In my view, to make a marriage last, you need to approach it with the idea that there are two people in the boat, and both need to be rowing.  If only one rows, trouble is not too far away.

“Love makes life meaningful and the world more beautiful; if it makes your life more miserable, then it isn’t love,”…. Peter Saysomphane

Scientists note that employees should keep working until the age of 80, but that they should only work 25 hours a week to be productive.  I believe it’s an excellent plan.  That means our children would only go to school 3 days a week, the grocery stores would only open that many days (I don’t think they would double their staff and leave prices the same), and hospitals would only work 3 days. 

Our lives would change dramatically.  Many years ago, my state (Virginia) had the “Sunday Blue Law”, and only a few business’ could open on that day.  In addition, you couldn’t purchase alcohol on that day.  Just about everyone I knew disliked that law.  I think the alcohol thing had a lot to do with it 😊.

I have a close relative that only works 3 days each week, and she is a very happy person.  So, yea, it might be a good idea to work that long each week and continue until you’re 80.  I don’t know the logistics of that yet. The average age of death in the USA is 79, meaning that half of us pass on before that age and a half afterwards.  But it means you can enjoy part of your retirement before you die.  Three days on and four days off each week sorta has a nice ring to it. 

Would it make us a lazier society?  There is that possibility.  I think we would be happier, given the extra time to pursue our personal goals and spend more time with those we love.  Instead of working more than 97,000 hours in our lifetime, we would work slightly over 80,000.  I would never have guessed that working two days less each week would result in saving 17,000 working hours in my lifetime.

If that plan had been put in place back when George Washington was our president, how would our lives had been changed?  Probably a lot of the inventions we enjoy so much today wouldn’t exist.  I do know that when I have a serious problem to resolve, if I pursue it long enough, I will almost always find the solution.  If I took four days off, I would never get it solved. 

It takes about five hours for sunlight to reach Pluto. It takes eight minutes to reach Earth. It’s gonna take more than five hours for sunlight to reach my brain, allowing me to figure out if this thing could work.

 So, after all this discussion, am I for it or against it (shorter work week & working until age 80)?  Well, I don’t think it would work as well as I wanted it to, but I’m willing to give it a try 😊

T. S. Eliot said, “Only those who will risk going too far can find out how far one can possibly go,”.  Lots of truth in that quote.

Wherever you are in this world, I hope your family loves you as much as mine loves me.  I know you will return their love abundantly.  That is my intent as well.