Saturday morning, coffee on
the counter, Garth on the radio made for common ways to start a morning in
Oklahoma. Margaret knew this music wasn't exactly the most popular setting
for the wake-up call but today she didn't care. This was a day to wind her
way back over the wide highways for the fifty-year marriage anniversary of
old friends. Somehow country music with the words singing of the true ways
of life seemed most appropriate. Forget about all the music lessons of
more cultured and disciplined times. Dolly was singing “Love is like a
butterfly, and 'our love is like butterflies and daffodils.”
“Suits me just fine.”
Colds and flu were just a
let down from the carelessness of the holiday season. Her family all had
done their bit to the misery of sneezing and coughing.
“Oh yes,” Margaret was
thinking, “I'm very ready to go back to a simple time and place today.”
“Well he's lost his woman,
his dog, and his pick-em-up truck.” Margaret heard her mother say, as she
switched off the radio.
“I guess this is the end of
gentle daisies, butterflies, and daffodils for the moment anyway,”
“What shall I wear? Cowboy,
tight britches?” She knew some would be wearing that, but somehow riding
more than fifty miles in a small sports car with tight pants wrapped
around her wasn't exactly her idea of pleasure. Instead she chose a dress
with a loose soft fabric. It wasn't overly dressy or too casual either.
Margaret felt there must be some joy about being this age. Didn't matter
what one wore. Friends and family were more into their own aches and
pains of age, anyway?
It was only about twenty
more miles to go but Margaret felt thirsty. She had not had time to grab a
bite to eat so the little country quick trip didn't let her get by it. She
was walking up to the door about the same time with a tall cowboy. After
having lived for decades in and out of the city she never, anymore,
expected anyone to hold a door open for her. This man took several long
strides up to the door. As he swung it easily open, she had a moment to
observe his placid manner. As all the men in high heeled boots threw their
shoulders back to balance their stance, so did this man. He was looking
down at her with eyes in narrow slits. She knew it was a way to block out
the light, as an outdoor's man was accustomed to doing. So many of the
ranchers did not wear the broad, brimmed hat anymore and she did miss
this. Still and all, the pleasure of having a gentleman swing a heavy
door open was all right, she felt. Why was this such a nice gesture? Maybe
because it seldom happens in the hurry up rushing worlds of the career
woman or plain housewife for that matter. In fact, some independent women
are even put off by the act.
It was early but all the
places were taken in front of the community center. Parking toward the end
was easy enough. If she had forgotten about the naughty swift breezes it
wasn't but in a moment she was reminded of its ways as the small gift
package the woman carried was rudely jerked.
“Oh no, you don't!” She
spoke to the little boy like personality of the wind. “I'm wise to you!”
Margaret was so glad she
arrived early. It gave her a few minutes with her friend, who looked so
very lovely in a tailored red dress. Her twin sister was standing next to
her. It had been since they were twenty years old they had last visited.
The twin lived and worked in a city and never did the two women's path's
cross. However, Margaret's friend had always kept her up on the latest
with her sister. The son who stood beside her now was no longer the sprite
of a twelve-year-old boy. Instead, he was a tall, handsome, successful
looking man. The passage of time was like a blowing of prairie wind. Once
the happenings of so long-ago are here and then it is still and gone.
The community center was
changed from the once utilitarian service into a house for memories
matched by the light from gold stars and sprinkles strewed in a playfully
random pattern down the middle of the tables. Tiny light bulbs flickered
around the edges where an elaborate chandelier held lit candles. The
wisps of light told a story about what a marriage endures over a
fifty-year period of time. There are the bright moments amidst periods of
less, brilliant happenings. Each is important in their own way.
As the couple cuts the cake
and shared a glass of champaign it was truly the moment when golden
memories are caught. All the joys that love will bring, becomes a party
to the song to speak of the shadow of their smile. An onlooker might think
this was only another couple having a fiftieth anniversary. In reality,
the strength of their life was a moment in time to inspire anyone who had
a desire to see an aura of beauty and strength surrounding them in the
way of children and grandchildren who obviously loved them so well.
Once in a lifetime one is
gifted with the pleasure of such an event. To have been able to share it
was another memory added with their joined lives through friendship. This
was too, a bright moment inspiring hope and a wish to continue walking
through the good and the burrs of daily living.