My earliest memory of building or remodeling is of taking old pieces of wood and driving nails into them. “Hold the handle down here,” Dad said, “and swing like this so the head of the hammer comes down right on top of the head of the nail. You’ll get more power that way.” By the time I was seven, I’d gotten enough practice that he let me “help” drive a few nails into the Sheetrock we installed in finishing out the upstairs of the garage we lived in while our new house was being built. I’ve been addicted to building and remodeling things ever since then.
Randa’s earliest memories are of riding horses. Before she could even walk, her dad had her sitting up in front of him, riding. By the time she was six or seven, she could ride well. She rode so well in fact that Scotty once used her to “show up” some college kid who had lied about his ability to ride and wrangle. On his first day, he came back to the corral without bringing up a single horse of the group he was supposed to be gathering up for a day’s work on the ranch in Wyoming. Scotty grabbed Randa and swung her up onto Spyder. In twenty minutes or less she had the full string up to the corral.
“What does that have to do with anyone’s twenty-fifth anniversary?” you might be wondering. Reasonable question. I’ll see if I can wring out an answer for you.
After sleeping in an hour or two later than usual, we had breakfast on the patio yesterday morning. There was a lovely breeze as the last straggling clouds from the storm the night before made their way east. We chatted a while, reminisced about our early celebration trip to Wyoming this summer.
Then, for most of the afternoon, I worked on painting the “new” master bedroom and Randa worked with her horse for a while and then went for a ride. I guess some folks would say that’s kind of a strange way to celebrate an anniversary, the two of us doing things separately that seem completely unrelated. In fact, we were both doing something that we love doing, something so deeply a part of us that it defines who we are. It also defines us as a couple and speaks to the key of a strong, healthy relationship.
We’ve learned to take pleasure not only in the things we do together but also in allowing one another the freedom to take pleasure in the things we do separately. Whether it’s my mud runs or her horse clinics, we find fulfillment in each other’s pursuit of other things. And we still have plenty of things that we enjoy doing together. Not the least of those things is a good steak supper at the end of a long day of painting and horseback riding.
By the same Grace that has led us through all of our troubles and trials, and the same Mercy that has given us so many fine and wonderful memories, I think we’ve got a pretty good shot at another twenty-five years.