One of my favorite places to be is in my old Adirondack Chair (You can read all about the Adirondack on the web site) on the front porch on a summer evening. I love to read there or visit with the children or just watch them play on the lawn. It is usually cool there and I am surrounded by fragrant flowers bursting with color.
Around town people often tell me how beautiful the yard looks. I am swift to deflect praise. I quickly admit that I do not lift a finger to help with the flowers. Lois is the gardener. I am the guy who enjoys the garden and flirts with the gardener. I’m ashamed of it, but it is true.
Lois has made our front yard a delightful place to see and a favorite place to be. When the evenings get cool and the first feel of fall comes to our part of Michigan we put on our sweatshirts and play tag football in the front yard. On summer evenings we often enjoy the simple delight of playing catch with the baseball there in front.
We all like to play in front. The girls are often out there chatting with their friends or taking a walk or rollerblading in the street. The little ones ride their bikes. Chuck often juggles or rides a friend’s unicycle up and down the street. Lois doesn’t mind the socializing but she really doesn’t like us playing ball near the flowers. Sometimes she even stands guard with a loaded water hose threatening to baptize anyone who transgresses into the flower bed.
I have noticed while I am out reading in front that Lois invests some time almost every day working on keeping her flower beds healthy and beautiful. Delightful things of beauty don’t just spring up without planning and maintenance. Things of value are worth guarding and growing like Lois guards her flowers.
When you think about it a good marriage like that. It is a thing full of delight but if you watch television or movies or read popular novels you would think that a good marriage just happens without work. That’s not true. A life-long love relationship requires commitment, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, nurture, and time like flowers need sun and soil and water. Sometimes you need to guard your love and sometimes you need to nurture and grow it. It is a lifetime adventure and it is a lifetime investment.
Often late on a hot summer night Lois will be out in the yard working with the hose, watering her flowers. She loves the work and we enjoy the product all summer long. It would be a very, very drab colorless place around here without her.