A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
All I had to offer Velna was the fact I had four years' experience as a janitor in working my way through the University of Wyoming, plus I knew how to hoe sugar beets, haul hay, raise pigs, and I had been Wyoming state president of the Future Farmers of America. Apparently that was enough.
My wife is a woman of few words. Thus, when she does speak, one had better pay attention because what she says is likely to be highly significant and ignored at one's peril. I, on the other hand, am never at a shortage for words. My favorite pastime is to bug my wife. Some times I sing a Christmas carol in July, a few lines of a hymn, quote a scripture, snap my fingers, or find other creative ways to annoy her. I asked her the other day, "Why do you never try to bug me?" Her answer was incredibly simple and somewhat overpowering. "I don't bug you," she said, "because you are perfect."
She says stuff like that because it saves her a lot of effort to go into detail. I rattle on and on throughout the day and occasionally she will show signs of alertness and say profound things like "Right," or, "I agree", no matter how outrageous my comments. Thus after 65 years, including three years of courtship and 62 years of marriage, we have few arguments. I remember only a few things that really irked her. One was my leaving books, magazines, and newspapers strewn all over the house, which I thought was contributing to our literary sophistication and accumulation of valuable and esoteric knowledge. Apparently I was wrong.
One of the problems is that she is clearly smarter than I am. One day, to prove my point, I announced, "You have to remember, dear, I am a Doctor of Philosophy!" To which she replied in a flash, "Wow, I am really impressed!"
But after six and a half decades many of our conversations are unspoken, or nearly so. She always tells me she knows how I am each morning from the sound of my voice and the first two or three words I speak. From that, she knows whether I had a rough night or feel like tackling the day. I can tell by looking at the strain and worry lines on her face how much pain she is in at any given moment without her saying a word. Thus, we complete each other's sentences, read each other's minds, and agree on basic issues of politics and daily life.
The other day I asked her a question that annoyed her when I asked, "But do you love me?" She thought she didn't need to answer that question and so I played her the duet between Tevye and Golde from Fiddler on the Roof. Golde thought for a moment that Tevye may just have indigestion. But Tevye persisted. Then they both concluded that they supposed they did love each other but, though they thought "it doesn't change a thing. . . it's nice to know."
The best conversational words remain "please," "thank you," "can I do something for you?", "what do you need?", "how are you feeling?", "do you remember . . .?", and maybe an "excuse me" and a few "I'm sorries," and yes, it doesn't hurt to throw in an occasional "Yes, I love you," but you have to make sure you mean it and that your actions prove it. And it helps to ask your spouse, "what TV channel do you want to watch?," and then let her watch it and act like you enjoy it. And then, quick forgiveness for things that either do or don't matter saves wounds and emotional scars by the bushel.
And once we take all of these things into account, it doesn't take a whole lot of words to get along from day to day taking care of each other the best we can as we share our precious past and face our uncertain future. I know I am not perfect, but can you imagine being married to someone for 62 years who will pull the wool over your eyes and tell you that you are, in fact, perfect? I can only count my blessings. Now I have got to go watch the BYU women's volleyball team play Penn State for the national championship.
Earlier this year I had a severe attack of vertigo which landed me in the hospital and pretty much put me out of commission for several months. So my blog, The Curmudgeonly Professor, went untended. Before the lapse, I was averaging about 180-200 page views per day. After trying to resurrect the blog after a lapse of several months, I've been struggling to get 50 page views per day and often lower than that. I've really been working to try and get my content back up to snuff and to get the thing moving again but it's been really slow and hard to recapture my audience. So here are the options:
Bag the whole thing and spend my time watching Netflix movies and Hallmark reruns.
Post once in awhile and care less about whether the blog is living or dying.
Keep working at it and hope that the recalcitrant and wandering viewers find their way back so that my efforts seem worth while.
Blogging is a lot of work, either when writing or posting pictures. Taking and editing and uploading photos takes a lot of time to post something that viewers can whiz over in just a few seconds. So I guess I will soldier on and see what happens. I would really appreciate comments on what you are looking at, what you like and don't like, and your reactions to some of the thousands of photos that I post. Plus, if you have something you want me to post, send me an email with an attachment for the photo and I'll take a look at it. Thanks to all who have stayed with me. The not-so-Curmdgeonly Professor.
This year I managed to get the date right. And I managed to sneak into Albertson's to get a nice red and white azalea that will bloom longer than three or four days and a nice carrot cake which the pastry lady kindly and expertly labeled with anniversary greetings for me.
So 62 years ago yesterday my mother and sister came 400 plus miles from northwestern Wyoming to Laramie in the south where I was in my senior year at the University of Wyoming. We drove 400 more miles on icy and snowy roads to Salt Lake where we would be married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. But we almost didn't make it. The roads were so bad between Laramie and Salt Lake that we didn't arrive at the City-County building in Salt Lake to get our wedding license until about ten minutes until five o'clock, when they were closing. Worse yet, the Salt Lake Temple was closing the next day for several days for the holidays. So we managed to get our license in the nick of time and got to the temple for our wedding ceremony after checking in at the Hotel Utah. Since we had to go through the entire temple ceremony before our marriage ceremony, we didn't get out until ll:00 p.m. We had our wedding dinner at Walgreen's drug store across the street, the only thing open at that hour to get something to eat. After three days in Salt Lake, we carried our suitcases to the Greyhound bus depot for our ride back to Laramie. Upon arriving in Laramie, I changed my clothes, walked ten blocks downtown to my janitor job at the Roach Building, Laramie's tallest building at 5 stories, and thus concluded our honeymoon week and began our 62 years together. Four more years of college, several moves around the country, five kids, a passel of grandkids and great grandkids, some bumps and bruises, but here we are. And I owe my blind date who was 16 when I first rang her doorbell in Laramie when I was 17 for all of the good things of my life. Now we have 2 TV remotes, a 55 inch HD TV, an iPad, a Kindle, and a microwave, and two nice reclining chairs. We still speak to each other and I have tried to repent of all my egregious faults and characteristics. And there is nothing I wouldn't do for the little blonde girl who has stayed with me all these years. I couldn't have been more blessed.
I'm always glad when I'm trolling my stored photos on my hard drive and come upon a treasure like these photos from September sunsets in 2010. I had just dumped these photos and left them and never looked to see what they looked like for five years. Imagine! I'm always glad I saved "iffy" looking pictures from long ago because some of them turn out to be special finds.
Just exactly why we left Salt Lake for St. George. We spent all of our lives until we got a place in St. George where we spend part of each year in some of the coldest places in the country: Bozeman MT, Laramie WY, Cheyenne WY, Ann Arbor MI, Fort Collins CO. The less we now see of snow, ice, inversions, below zero weather, and slick roads and sidewalks, the happier we are!