Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easter Bonnet

Do you remember when it was a big deal to have and wear an Easter bonnet? I certainly do. When I was growing up, every woman that I knew or was related to looked forward to buying a new Easter hat every spring. Two weeks ago today on Easter Sunday, I looked around at church and realized that I was the only one wearing a hat! It was not new but it still looked very nice. Later when we went out to eat with our son and his family, I told our grandaughter the story about the hat I was wearing. It is black straw and has a beautiful black rose in the center of the brim in the back. A very stylish hat if I do say so myself. I told our grandaughter that the first time I wore this hat was to her christening. She is now fifteen so that was some time ago. I also told her that a hat can be a lifetime investment. All that is needed is a good hat box for storage. I remember all of the beautiful hats I saw ladies wearing in my childhood. I think we have lost so much when we have, for the most part, not continued this tradition. Department stores even eliminated hat departments for some years after the hippie period in the 60's. Today a lady may find a lovely hat in the right store and can add fun, beauty and a little spice to her life by buying one. seem to always notice and admire a lady wearing a hat. So add something special to your relationship with your husband or favorite beau by adding a new hat to your wardrobe very soon. Another way to spuce up a happy relationship/marriage.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


My husband always keeps a book in our car so he can read while I go into a store that does not interest him. I should add that I do not drive. I could go into a long explanation about this, but I will not at this time. Just accept it. So we go on any and all errands together. We both enjoy this. Anyway, when I returned to our car yesterday, he wanted to read a passage to me from his book. And this is how I discovered this new phrase. Appreciate...deliberatly. I think it sums up something we have been doing in our marriage, but had not expressed it in this way. I think it makes any relationship better when those involved, not only appreciate each other, but take the time to tell each other. Even in retirement, days can become busy and there is the tendency to get caught up in the tasks of the day. However, when we make a concerted effort to slow down we will see how helpful the little things are that we daily do for each other. We have a pretty paper towel holder in our kitchen. It is deep red and has a rooster on top of it. Recently I had noticed that we were getting pretty low on the roll of paper, but just ignored it. Later in the day, I noticed that my husband had taken the time to get another roll of paper out and had put it on the spindle. Take my word for it, it may be a pretty holder but it is a pain to change. I went immediately and found him and told him how much I had appreciated what he had done. So slow down and take the time to start appreciating ...deliberately. I think it will improve even the best of relationships.

Monday, March 29, 2010

LCC Wins!

Last Saturday something hugh happened. Lima Central Catholic High School won the state championship in basketball for their division!! This is the first state title ever for a school in Lima. One grandson graduated from this school and we now have two grandchildren there. One is a senior and the other one is a freshman. Basketball, and especially the March tournaments, are very important here in Indiana and Ohio. It is difficult to try to explain to those who do not live in this area just how very important basketball is to everyone. It has long been called Hoosier Hysteria in Indiana. Since I was born in Indiana and now live in Ohio, this has always been a special part of my life. I have been told that my father taught me to say "Rah Yea South Side" when I was two years old. He would have been listening to the game on our radio while helping me do the cheer leading. When I was 17, I would graduate from South Side High School. My husband and I sat in our living room last Saturday and watched as the fourteen point lead our team had was narrowed down to only one point with forty seconds to go in the game. Most of the players attend our church. One is the grandson of a friend who lives here in our building. Another player is the son of the wonderful photographer who took our photos for our 50th wedding anniversary. Finally, with 15 seconds to go, one of the best players on our team made two free throws and the final score was 60 to 57. We both sat there with happy tears in our eyes. We were so thrilled that they had won. Our son and family were at the game in Columbus. He called on the way home to share the joy of this great moment. The coach has been at the school for 32 years. At the post game press conference, he announced that he will retire at the end of this year. Sometimes the good guys really do win. He has been a great coach, teacher and counselor at the school. He has helped so many young people and certainly has helped our granchildren. It is a story book ending to his career. A writer would have had a fun time creating a story about a coach who celebrated his 500th win last fall and ends his career with a state championship! My husband and I have attended and watched many sporting events since we began dating in 1955, but we will never forget the thrill of watching this state championship game. Even though yesterday was Palm Sunday, at the end of mass, the priest congratulated the team and coach on the win. The players who were there and the coach stood up as everyone applauded for a long time. A perfect salute to a great team and their terrific coach. And these moments of shared joy are now a part of the tapestry of a long and happy marriage.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2009

Well it has been a very long time since I wrote on the blog. Alicia and Liz have given me an opportunity to start writing again. I love the idea that we can share these blogs as a family. So my blog will not be strictly about "How to have a happy marriage", but perhaps the seeds for one will be found in what I record about our daily lives. Today we helped with a mass at a local nursing home. We do this twice a month. I handle the small details with the candles, books and anything the priest needs. We have a new priest from Africa who does not have a drivers license yet. He was supposed to arrive last summer and could easily have received one. Because of lots of red tape, he did not arrive until November. That is also when the snow and ice arrived. This was all new to him and must have seemed insurmountable. So we are happy to pick him up for the masses. It also gives us a chance to get to know him better. At these masses, Bill always does the scripture readings. He is also on a regular schedule to do this at mass on Sundays. I am so very proud of him for doing this. I can give book reviews and conduct meetings, but the thought of standing at the pulpit and reading in church really scares me. I know that Eleanor Roosevelt said we should do the things we fear. I only follow that advice some of the time! When I finish here, I am going to bake some biscuits. Actually I will turn on the oven and then break open the container and put the biscuits on the sheet pan. I still like to call this baking biscuits. Then Bill will select a CD. He likes to surprise me with the music he selects. Then we will sit down in the formal part of our living room and have tea, music and biscuits. We just recently started doing this again and we find it makes our lives a bit more civilized and it is just fun to spend the time together.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Flower

Many years ago when we were married for only a few years, we lived in San Francisco. One of the many advantages of living in that fantastic city is the easy access to flowers. There are many flower stands on the street corners downtown and flower shops are in every neighborhood. A gift of flowers always helps a marriage. One just needs to take the time to stop and buy some or make the telephone call to order a bouquet for the one you love.

My husband worked downtown in the financial district. I was at home, near Golden Gate Park, taking care of our small children. I soon learned that, if he was holding one of his hands behind his back when he arrived home, he had a surprise for me. Usually a precious small bunch of violets. What a loving and romantic gesture. I loved it...and him!

Later we moved back to the Midwest and flowers were not as easy to obtain. That made it extra special when he sent flowers to me. Sometimes I surprised him and sent a rose in a bud vase to his office. He also appreciated my thoughtfulness.

Then years later we moved back to San Francisco and there was a florist shop on the first floor of our building! That is when we discovered the joy of the gift of just one flower. Since they were so easy to obtain, my husband began to be more selective and would try to find just one perfect flower. We soon found that we loved the charm of just one rose, one calla lily or one gladiola. We found the buds on the latter open gradually from the bottom to the top. It was such fun to watch the whole flower unfold.

A young man, who is a family friend, lived with us for a couple of months and was impressed that sometimes Bill brought home a bunch of daffodills from the grocery store to surprise me. Since then when we have visited this man in his own home, he always tries to have daffodills there to greet us. It is a symbol to him of the love he saw us share and the good times we enjoyed together.

So to put some extra fun into your relationship, try bringing home a bouquet or get into the habit of surprising your loved one with one very special flower. This kind of thoughtfulness leads to long and happy marriages.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Holding Hands

Some people do not like to show affection in public. That is fine, if that is their choice. However, my husband and I have been holding hands in public since we were dating. That was over fifty years ago. It is a very comfortable thing for us to do.

You may have seen our new president and his wife holding hands as they walked down the street after the inauguration. The media continues to comment on the special relationship they share. It is perhaps a more contemporary partnership than the one Ronald Regan and his wife, Nancy, had. However, the Regan's also held hands in public. I always thought it set a good example for our nation.

The important thing for the marriage/relationship is not showing affection in public, it is that you do frequently show affection to each other. And let me say here, this has nothing to do with sex. Holding hands, giving a hug, touching a shoulder as you pass, these are all ways to remind your husband or wife that you love them and that they are very special to you.

If you have children, it is especially important for them to see you show affection in your home. They know that you hug and kiss them and so they will feel it is the normal thing for their parents to hug and kiss. And you will be good role models for them to use as they grow up and have a relationship of their own. When they see evidence of your love for each other, it will definitely make them feel more secure. I always knew whenever one of our children had heard about a divorce at school. They never came home and just stated that "Johnny's parents are getting divorced. " Instead, they would come and find me, usually as I was preparing supper, and ask "Mommy, are you and Daddy ever going to get a divorce?" They left happily to go back to playing after I had assured them that we were not going to get a divorce. It also helped to reinforce this when their Dad walked in that evening and I met him at the door with a kiss.

I was reminded about holding hands while at church last Sunday. Our priest had commented about Valentine's Day. He said he knew that it was over, but he hoped that all of the couples there, would hold hands as they left the church. He said, by doing that, we would be showing honor for the sacrament of marriage. I had never thought of it in that way, my husband and I just knew it was one way we expressed our love for each other. Holding hands and showing your love definitely helps one to have a long and happy marriage.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Our Valentine gift surprises turned out to be much more fun than we had anticipated. I am delighted with mine and my husband is very, very pleased with my choices for him. I received a utility lighter to be used for candles, a wonderful bath mitt and an adorable little plush bear. I chose a package of three Joe Boxer undershorts and a paperback crossword puzzle book for him. Now let me explain a little because you are probably saying why are these people delighted with these gifts. Well, when we discussed this idea, I said that I did not care if my gifts were practical in order to give him some guidance. I had noticed some nice kitchen items in the Valentine's Day ad and wanted to let him know that a practical gift would be O.K. Here comes the communication part of this post. I mentioned the word "practical" so he would know that I would not be disappointed if the gift was not "personal". Through the years many men have gotten themselves into quite a bit of trouble by choosing the wrong gift for some special occasion. Even my sainted father. I will never forget the Christmas when his gift to my mother was an electric popcorn popper. I can still understand his thinking. We all loved popcorn. An electric one was a new invention and would make the popping easier for my mother. She however, saw a gift the whole family could use and it was not just for her. It did not make her feel special and it did not, in her eyes, validate his love for her. After that, I started finding a minute alone with my Dad before special days, so I could whisper to him that "Mommy wants something personal". At age nine, I was not taking any more chances. Of course their marriage survived, but it had been an uncomfortable time for all of us. The lesson to be learned, is that in all relationships, it is important to tell the other person what you want. Whether it is a relationship with your husband, boyfriend, parent, coworker or boss. You have a very slim chance of getting what you want in this life if you do not say what you want. Do not make the other person guess what you would like. Many years ago wives were known to say, "if he doesn't know what I want then I'm certainly not going to tell him". I guess the message was that, if the husband really loved her enough, he would know what she wanted. Wrong. Tell people what you want. It is a short cut to improving all relationships. Now back to our gifts. I love candles and he has seen me struggle for years with matches. I wanted a lighter, but would just never have purchased one for myself. It was not a need and I was fine with the matches. So to finally own one of my own is a real thrill for me. It even has a bendable front to reach candles in deep glass containers. I immediately lit the five votive candles on the coffee table and we opened the rest of our gifts with ambiance! I love baths and so the mitt was easy to buy and I love stuffed bears. I do not have a large collection, but there are seven or eight around that remind me of special times. I name all of them with names beginning with the letter "B". So the new one, that is now sitting on the vanity in my bathroom, is named Beauregard or Beau for my husband will always be my beau. My husband did have to admit that he had gone over our ten dollar limit by a dollar or so. He was very impressed that my gifts for him totaled $8.67. So we decided that it all evened out. The bargain price on the shorts was the reason I knew he would be thrilled with them. Three pair for under five dollars is the best. He loves a bargain in socks and underwear. And after all, they are Joe Boxer. The reason they had been marked down from $19.99 was that they were supposed to be a Christmas item. Every box contained one plaid, one striped and one with Christmas design...tree lights or reindeer. But, I was able to find a package in his size with the seasonal design being a deep blue pair with faint snowflakes on them. And blue is his favorite color! We laughed and had a grand time with our treats. But always remember that you need to tell people what you want in order to have any relationship be long and happy.