50 Shades of Dave


Last night we had a few friends and family members over for a celebration of my husband’s 65th birthday. Every year we should celebrate life without feeling time is slip sliding away. It is especially momentous to celebrate the birthdays that mark a milestone. Age 65 is quite significant; especially if one plans to retire from their career.

David’s father worked for one company following his college graduation and retired from Industries for the Blind at age 65. I believe working for just one employer was rare, even in that era. David has no intention to retire while his body is still able to work. Perhaps he will slowly taper off his schedule– we’ll see.

The 17 gap in our ages makes life interesting in that, I don’t expect him to wait for me to ‘retire’ and once I reach age 65 myself, I can’t imagine he be able to galavant about the world. Last year we had this conversation in the spring, before the summer of my downsizing. I pulled out the yellow caution flag and started waving it [frantically] as they do in a Nascar race to alert the drivers to slow down while a problem is addressed. That’s exactly what life was last spring.

I’ll write more about this Jonah moment at another time. Basically, our little girl was growing up and into the next chapter of life. Standing along side her as a parent, I was faced with the reality I was giving her quite a bit of advice that contradicted the life I was living. Too many generations have raised children with a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality. We’ll talk about this in another column. Today, I’m going to tell you why I love David.

David is a multifaceted man, to say the least. He truly has lived life to the fullest and taken in many experiences that make him easy to talk to. He keeps the rudder steady– literally, he sort of hums along through the day at a very consistent, moderate rate of speed. The only time you’ll see him deter from this is when he is hungry [read: ornery] or late. He is often running behind but only gets frazzled, not frantic. Most of us get frantic when we are running late. Dave is just Dave. It took me many years to calculate Dave time versus real time. I’m just now learning the calibration rate for his sense of time. It is like a clock that breaks down when you push the hands of time too often.

Last night I was talking with a new acquaintance in David’s life. The guy knew a bit about David as a contractor and a little bit about him as a softball fanatic. But he had recently come over to the house and learned about his other interests. He has barely scratched the surface of this well-seasoned man.

He is sentimental and will remember the anniversary of many things as well as celebrate any Hallmark holiday. I think he just likes to celebrate. He is very much a, ‘when in Rome’ type of guy and will encourage new places, foods, experiences, adventures. It is hard to tie him down to home which is how we differ. I try to see how long I can stay at home without leaving. I’m the anchor; he’s the sail. In many ways, we switch places. It’s a good team when a couple learns how to balance this out. We are just starting to get it right after many years of rocking the boat on already choppy waters.

Right now he is sitting to my left reading his Bible. He has been doing this every day since our separation. What this means is that he has read the bible through its entirety about 15 times. He has never shared with me why he started this routine. He doesn’t freely share his wisdom. If I ask questions, he has an incredible knowledge of the history documented in the Word but he isn’t a theologian. Again, this is another area where we counter and balance one another. I’m praying for the days when we have more time to discuss all that he has read and apply it to life more and more until that day when time no longer matters because we have an eternity on the other side of life.

David is a keeper. Yes, I mean he is a man to be cherished and held on to. I also mean he is a keeper of things… he keeps things and I get rid of things. It’s hard to say how this dynamic of our personalities will play out over time. I used to be a keeper too, not to the same level as Dave though. I remedied the need to keep material things by being the one who moved when we separated. I might be able to count the times I’ve moved in my life if you give me a few minutes. David can probably give you the addresses for the few places he has resided. It’s easy to accumulate when you stay in one place. Like I said, I’ll have to let you know how this one plays out over the years. For now, if you look in our two-car garage, it is a comical illustration of the reality. I cleaned a spot barely big enough for my car on one side. I have to pull it in very carefully so I have room to get out of the driver’s side door. The other side of the garage houses a ’72 Datsun something-something Z. It is immobile and still has yellow Wisconsin license plates. Around it is random construction materials, softball gear, audio equipment, and perhaps a family of raccoons. I’m not sure. I don’t want to know.

Randomly, I just lost a few paragraphs of what I wrote.
Ironically, I was just thinking I could go on and on writing and then…

“Poof!” Copy was gone.

So what I’m going to do is publish this (without proofreading) to start getting ready for work. I’ll leave you with a “to be continued” and positive observation that I am so very glad I’m writing a story that hasn’t an ending. They do live happily ever after, even if they sometimes say mean things out of hunger.

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