It’s one of the epic stories of our marriage—how when we got married, Sherod had very little to call his own, apart from books and hunting gear. The one thing that really mattered to him was the upright freezer he’d gotten around the time his son was born. By the time we were getting hitched, the freezer had been well used and was covered with rust on the outside. It had held fish and deer and lots of other bounty over the years and Sherod looked forward to lots more of the same in the future. Our apartment was tiny and the only space he could find for it was our dining room. It took plenty of negotiating to work out an alternative; we did and our marriage survived. And then, year after year, the freezer continued to serve us incredibly well. This year, about 43 years after it was purchased, its motor finally gave up the host with no possibility for repair.
Another of those marriage stories: the first years were lean. We didn’t have a lot of money to spare and our tastes were hugely different. That meant we were in no hurry to purchase a lot of furniture. Our sofa, for example, was bought on the cheap because it had a small tear in the fabric, in a somewhat out-of-sight place. Eventually, though, we had the means to buy a nice sofa and a pair of armchairs. I really loved our sofa and yet, late last year, it too was about done—the fabric had gotten simply too nasty after too many dogs and cats finding a way to get on it. We have people over enough that a larger sofa would also help. There something to be said about using what we have enough to wear it out!
Today, both have been hauled away. This isn’t about sentimentality. But it is really strange to see things that have been such constants in my life not for years, but decades, start to need replacing. Of course, there’s plenty of other evidence of the passage of time; sometimes I get spooked.
Sherod is off in Colorado at a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot gathering. By the time yesterday rolled around, I had crammed my days while he’s gone with all kinds church work—all of it noble, good and important. But I’m not going to work so hard after all. I’m going to spend some time writing this afternoon, when I get back from a lunchtime meeting and on Sunday, I am going to do some garden work. I don’t want to look up one day and figure out I ran out of time. I want to wear myself out with living.