Christmas Lights and Marital Bliss

Today we finally got the lights on the tree.  We’ve had a time of trying to find time to actually go tree hunting, what with the Fella being gone, and Aub having finals and papers and all the things due this week, and all the things the littles do. And once we got the tree up, we had a time finding our lights we had stored away.  But today.   We got it done.

As I was wrapping the tree in light, listening to the best Christmas music, I found myself smiling.  Growing up, once I was old enough, it was my job to put the lights on the tree.  Every year. I suppose my parents weren’t as OCD about it as I am or maybe they didn’t enjoy being poked and scratched by those cedar trees.  Whatever the reason, it was my job, and I became pretty good at it, if I do say so myself as shouldn’t.

After the Fella and I married, he was the one who put the tree in the stand and got the lights on it, and I supervised the hanging of the ornaments with the littles.

It wasn’t easy, y’all.  I’d find myself going back and tucking a strand here or there, trying to rearrange it without anyone noticing, much like my Mama used to go behind us in loading the dishwasher.  Just a little thing here or there.  Nothing major.

Then came the year of the LED lights. I don’t know if y’all will recall this, but those things are the bane of my existence this time of year.  The blue-white ones hurt my eyes and the yellow-white ones just don’t look quite right to me.  Now if you like ’em, I’m happy for you, really I am, but for me, I just can’t.  Give me the old-fashioned yellow-white twinkle lights and let me load a tree up.  The year of the LED lights, I’d just about had enough.  I can’t recall, ahem, all what happened, but I do remember that the next year the Fella went out and bought me those twinkle lights I love, and I was the one to put them on the tree.  The LED lights we have are put on the bushes and trees outside, and all is well.

In just a couple of days, my Fella and I will celebrate thirteen years since we stood around the fountain at my alma mater and said our “I do’s.” While Christmas lights weren’t in the list, I’m pretty sure they could fall under our promise to love each other in good times and bad, in sickness (ahem) and health.  In fact, I’m fairly certain, that in 37 years, when we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary, when folks ask us, “So what’s the secret?  How’d you manage to make it this long?” my answer will be the same as it is now.

“Christmas lights. He buys the ones I like. I string ’em up.”

I mean, it’s brought us marital bliss this far.

May the lights in your life bring you all the joy today and everyday.

Love to all.

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Hmmmm, now that I look at it, it might could use another strand around that spot on the bottom…..good thing the Fella got an extra.  

 

 

 

The Bag of Chips I Didn’t Throw At the Wall

A couple of weeks ago, I took the littles to a class about fifteen minutes from home.  I knew they would be going in alone, and I knew I could wait for them in the lobby area outside of the classroom.  What I hadn’t done was prepare for what I would do during that time.

Rookie mistake.  (And one I won’t be making again anytime soon–once a month, I get a block of two hours?  YES.  That.)

I pulled out my device and opened up the “Kindle” app, hoping I had something worth reading that would suit my mood.  I’m old school and much prefer real, hold ’em in your hands books, but if there’s a bargain for a Kindle book, I’m all over that too.

I looked and several I was interested in had not been downloaded, and I had no wifi service there.  Finally I found one that I could read.  I was surprised, because I didn’t remember downloading it.

It was A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet:  Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon by Sophie Hudson.  I remember the title jumping out at me, because that’s what my Mama always liked to have after a meal and dessert.  At the pizza buffet, she’d have her pizza, then a small bit of the dessert cinnamon treats Daddy would pick out for them, and then she’d need “a little salty to cut the sweet,” which was usually a skinny slice of their buffalo wing pizza.  The perfect ending, she said.

In one chapter, Sophie Hudson, also known as BooMama, writes about marriage and the challenges of learning to live with another person.  She mentions a time when her husband threw a bag of chips at the kitchen wall because he didn’t want to share them with her.

I laughed at that one.  That just seemed silly.  Why would anyone throw a bag of chips against the wall?

Ahem.

It was a night or two later, and I was in the kitchen cooking up some supper in my very favorite cast iron skillet.  The Fella was in there too, and we were talking about some serious stuff like old married folks do.  The reason I point out that it was “serious” is because that’s the only way to explain what happened next.

He must’ve been stress eating.

For health reasons, I’ve changed up how I eat, and sugars and starches of certain varieties are not my friends.  Occasionally I will find something that I can enjoy with little to no guilt.  When I do, I tuck them off to one side to keep little fingers and non-discriminating tastes from devouring them in one sitting.

Recently I found some sweet potato chips.  While I realize that chips are not the greatest of foods, I haven’t been able to eat any in so long that when I found the sweet potato ones (an approved food), I was thrilled.  That they are also tasty is a huge plus.

I guess you might can see where this is going.  We were talking.  The Fella stopped right in front of where my bag of chips were sitting, waiting to be a tasty bednight snack later on, and he dug in.  And I mean dug.  No one or two chips, but a handful.  And then…..right in front of my eyes WHILE I WAS WATCHING HIM, he grabbed another handful.

Like he had no idea what he was doing.

And like I wasn’t shooting him with the freeze ray and darts contained in my eyes.

Because I totally was.

But I guess the conversation was so serious, he had no idea.  He was about to go in again and decimate the bag, when I *ahem* gently reminded him that there were lots of other chips at his disposal over THERE, and that I kind of liked the chips he was snacking on, and that was the LAST of them.

He stopped.

He’s a smart man.

And a kind one.

Which is why the next day I found myself feeling pretty low.  First of all, I asked Sophie Hudson’s husband for forgiveness.  (okay, figuratively speaking) I now understand why someone would throw a bag of chips at the wall.  I mean, I get it.  Chips can be a deal breaker sometimes, y’all.  The struggle is real.  Secondly, the Fella.  He works hard so we can do what we do, and so I can stay home and work hard here.  Yes.  When I realized I hadn’t let him enjoy something he was apparently REALLY, REALLY enjoying, I felt pretty bad.

So on our way home that afternoon from our day to dailies, I asked him to stop at the grocery store and let me run in.  I wanted to surprise him with a bag of chips.

I got three.

We came home, and I put his name on one of them with a big ol’ heart I drew with a Sharpie.  I held them out as a peace offering, hoping he’d forgive me.

He laughed.

After all these years, he gets me.  And I’m pretty sure he loves me too, the way he puts up with the hot mess that I am.

But I don’t think he knows I kept two bags for me.  But it was really the only fair thing to do, considering.  I mean, for the sake of the marriage and all.

Right?

Tonight I’m thankful for good stories like Sophie Hudson’s that have a life of their own.  I’m thankful for my home, my family, and the Fella and his laughter.  And I’m especially thankful for those sweet potato chips–and that there’s a whole ‘nother bag YET UNOPENED.

And that makes me very, very happy.

Love and your own bag of chips to all.

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