...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanks giving...two

My 20th birthday
In continuing to write throughout the month of November about things I am thankful for, I have to extend my thanks to my husband, Jim, who has lived with me and put up with my quirks for more than 30 years. How is it that when you are a teen you think life is going so slow and then you get to your later years and realize that you have been out of your parents home (hopefully) longer than you were in and the people around you now know you better than anyone you lived with those first 18 - 20+ years?

July 10, 1976
Jim and I met at his dad's automotive garage when a friend introduced us. As I got to know him, what I saw in him was stability. Jim was much more mature than most of the guys I had dated. He didn't drink, do drugs or sleep around. He was a homebody who respected his parents, held a steady job, saved his money and was very detail oriented. While he did not go to college, he had mechanical mind that could plan and complete anything he set out to build or fix. As a teen, he built his own race car and drag raced for several years. He helped his dad in the family business and did small engine repair. He remodeled his parent's home and helped with many maintenance repairs. He wasn't flighty or unsettled as most my male friends at the time. Eventually he worked for more than 25 years as a Mechanical Engineer.

We got to know each other through many long talks in his dad's or my car into the wee hours of the morning. At his father's urging he took me out to eat, the movies or camping. Eventually we moved in together and a short time later married and started our family.

We have raised three great sons and are now enjoying a renewed relationship with each as the kids have moved out of our home.

Christmas at Mom Muller's with Rick 1977
To some we appear to be polar opposites. While I like to be organized, I do put limits on it. Jim is more of a neatnik and kiddingly says he has had to lower his standard while living with me! I like to plan long range, he likes to tackle things closer to the date -- but not spontaneously. While I tend to jump into things, he tends to think things through and hold back until he has thoroughly researched them. These attributes of our personality, while causing some bones of contention through the years, have also helped give balance to our lives. Sure we struggled through some disagreements, but we have also come together when the time to be united was necessary.

I am luckier than most in that Jim has provided for us and given a firm foundation to build our family on, yet wings to fly off and do my own thing. If he didn't want to participate in projects or causes I was interested in, he never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. That's not to say he didn't suggest curbing some ideas when he thought I may not have considered all the consequences at times. I, on the other hand, helped him to try new things and go places he had never been before even though he may never have done them on his own.

Christmas 1982 with Baby Aaron
He has also been a great dad to our three sons.
Coaster car built by Jim & the boys.

Aaron's hernia surgery - Age 2
This was another area we balanced each other out. Because I was home with the boys more, I tended to be the disciplinarian. I was the main teacher when home schooling and I was the one who handled the bulk of the challenges that came along. But when I needed him he was there.

One of our last gatherings with boys at home.

Today we are working on being a couple once again. We greatly miss our kids since they have moved out of the home and out of the state! We try to make it a priority to spend our vacations with them as much as possible, but we have also learned that we do need respites with just the two of us.

Grandpa learning one of Elijah's new gizmos.

While we are both challenging to live with, we have hung in there through life's changes. It is said that marriage is work and we both would heartily agree. Marriage is also forgiveness and compromise. Some say marriage is the giving up of yourself for another. Personally I do not agree with that, nor do I believe marriage is 50/50. Marriage is more like an ocean current with some nice calm areas in it. If you do anything to bring something new into the relationship, you cause ripples, waves or unfortunately, crashing waves that create some hard knocks. Once you learn your way through the change, you have calm -- until the next pebble or rock is dropped in. So when you marry, purchase a home, get new job, have children, even bring a pet into the home or decide to follow a particular faith, you both have to work through the resulting ripples. This means bringing two personalities together to a place you can both live in harmony. That's the work of marriage. Not one losing oneself for the other. Or one compromising all they are to keep peace. It's more give and take. Currently, we have grandchildren in the picture, which is a very happy ripple for us to sail together on!

I am grateful for a husband who is willing to WORK through all the choices, changes and challenges our life together brings to us. Thank you, Jim, for sailing with me and keeping us on course. I look forward to many more years together sharing our past experiences and making new memories. 

Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. Proverbs 20:6-7

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful post! And I just love your pictures!! Thanks so much for sharing your family with us!! :D