March 06, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #36

Thank you to Cathy Messecar for today's writing in Marriage on Lent. We are in the home stretch, enjoy these last couple of days of Lent as we lift those around us in prayer.

By Cathy Messecar

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fatted calf where there is hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we paid our first rent in Junction City, Kansas, near Fort Riley. The apartment was in an old house, divided into seven units. Seven oversized closets. Standing still, David could touch the kitchen walls in every direction. In the hall near the bathroom, the refrigerator hummed its frosty tune. Not the perfect floor plan. Because we’d spent little married time together, our first home seemed a palace to us.
      David had mailed me many letters from Louisiana, Georgia and Vietnam during the first 18 months of our long distance marriage. We were together less than 60 days after we said, “I do.” After too few wedded-bliss days, but plenty of wedded-miss months, we were delighted with our apartment. Turning a corner in our cubbyhole and bumping into each other was pleasant, but wedding cake doesn't last forever, and we had a few newlywed misunderstandings.
     The greatest miscommunication came after five months of shared quarters. Scheduled for only a half day of guard duty at the army base, David said as he left the apartment, "I thought we'd eat out for lunch."
      I responded positively to his suggestion. By mid-morning, I put on a clean outfit, teased my hair into an appropriate height for the late 60s, and awaited his arrival. About noon he came home, and I noticed a quick look of puzzlement cross his face that he didn’t explain.  As he changed out of his fatigues, we chatted cheerfully. Then he timidly asked, "Where's lunch?"
      You could have knocked me over with a stalk of celery. I was stunned. Finally I managed to ask, "I thought you said we were going out to eat?"
      He replied sheepishly, "I meant we'd go out of doors to eat. I thought we'd go on a picnic." I changed plans and clothes, threw together sandwiches and squashed my uptown-hair down to country-picnic-plain.
        As we drove, David explained that we needed to see the Kansas landscape while we could. “We’ll just cruise around until we find a shady picnic spot.”
     The Kansas landscape looked pretty much the same. Treeless. Finally pulling off the road, Dave opened the tailgate on our 1965 Chevy truck. We watched Kansans drive by as we washed down sticky peanut butter sandwiches with soda pop. Sitting on the tailgate with our legs swinging, we ate in the great outdoors.
     Whether Dave and I dine at a mahogany dining table or off a tailgate, love must be in our table setting because in marriage some days are picnics and some days are Blue Plate Specials.

Lord God, every day, you prepare a table before David and me. May we always recognize you as both host and guest. In the name of Jesus who brought your bounty into impromptu picnics. Amen.

An excerpt from The Stained Glass Pickup: Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom by Cathy Messecar, author and speaker, married for 45 years.


Cathy Messecar said...

Thank you, Tammy!