Happy New Year, my friends!
Welcome to the second installment of my favorite posts to write this year! My List of Top 10 2019!
It’s been an action-packed, adventure-filled year here at Texas Over Fifty, and I could write all day long about the things I’ve seen around the Lone Star State over the past year.
But … what you’ll find in my list of Top 10 2019 is not so much what I saw as what I saw in someone. These were the true memory-makers of the past 365 days, and I’m so looking forward to sharing all of them with you!
So, let’s jump in.
Here’s #9 in my list of Top 10 2019 .
Lost in Love
When Mike and I started dating, our song was Lost in Love by Air Supply. It seems like all the couples we knew had a song, but that one was ours.
Is that still a thing? Do couples still savor a special song? Do they hear it on the radio, or play it on their Spotify accounts, snuggle closer together, share sweet kisses and whisper tender words of love into each other’s ears?
Let’s all ask our kids and report back on that, ok? Yeah, let’s see if they’ll tell us anything at all about that subject.
Ok, back to the story of #9 in my Top 10 2019.
Separated by the Summer
The first summer after we started dating in March, I was commissioned as a college missionary to Lufkin State School. Part of my obligations included staying put where I was placed for the entire three month assignment. No visits back home, and certainly no visits from boyfriends left behind.
Keep this under your hat, and if you tell anyone, please tell them not to tell it. I’d hate to scar my husband’s snow-white reputation. But I just couldn’t make it all summer without seeing my tall, dark and handsome guy. So, I all but begged him to make the long drive from way up in the panhandle to that small town in deep East Texas. It was then that I promptly forgot what in the heck I was supposed to be doing and didn’t care too much one way or the other whether I got in trouble for letting my boyfriend come see me. Not really. But kind of.
Remember, we were lost. In love.
Some People Thought We Were Nuts
Some people really thought we had lost our marbles. Gone cuckoo. Flipped out. How can you fall so in love so quickly? What makes you think you can get married and live on two part-time jobs while finishing college, for crying out loud?
Beats me, we said. But we weren’t havin’ it any other way.
As soon as I came home from the state school, we headed to the altar.
Small Wedding With Friends All Around
So, at barely 21 and 22, we threw together a wedding in my parents’ living room, called a few relatives and then asked our besties to be there.
Two of those best friends got married a few months later, and the four of us became newlywed couples who ate together at each other’s sparsely furnished apartments, played games and enjoyed fun weekends together at her parents’ lake house.
Somewhere Down the Road
Somewhere down the road, Mike and I moved and our friends Rodney and Debbie stayed. Our lives took different paths. We kept up with each other, mostly through yearly Christmas letters.
But we had such fond memories and a bond of friendship that would remain a strong tie between us in the years that followed.
Alas, Empty Nesters R Us
Good grief! Where did the time go?
They had two boys and a girl; we had two girls and a boy. All of them grew up, have made us proud parents, and now the four of us are right back almost where we started.
Still lost in love.
No One Thinks We’re Nuts
These days, our two special friends spend their time traveling the country, helping first-year school teachers with conferences and webinars. Sometimes they lug along their fancy touring bike and ride it together down the backroads. (Read about another of Debbie’s passions, coffee shops, here at her Instagram account.)
Mike and I are not nearly so noble, and not near daring enough to put both our hineys on a Harley (or any other kind of two-wheeled contraption), but we love adventuring down the backroads as well.
In the scheme of it all, over the last 38 years, most things have not really changed all that much. We’re still the same four people who laugh at the same ol’ jokes. And we’re still just as lost in love as we were when the Air Supply duo was reaching the height of their fame.
Well, wait a minute. I think maybe two things have changed.
Beannie Wiennies are no longer on my menu rotation. That’s one.
No one thinks we’re nuts any more.
Will You Preach My Funeral?
So, what happens when two couples with 38 years of shared history head off to make new memories, seeing Air Supply in person at a remote casino on the Texas/Oklahoma border?
This time, I don’t have to ask you not to tell my secrets, because there aren’t any. We sang along with all the 70’s-lovin’ crowd, and had a nice cup of decaf coffee together before we hit the hay at 11:00 p.m. LOL
But we also “planned for the future.”
Let’s face it. We’re all now on the other end of that road we went down so many years ago. A lot of life has been lived. Many memories have been made. Tons of mile markers are in the rear view mirror.
But one weighty question from Rodney to Mike made us all sit up straighter, wipe our eyes with our napkins and hug each other a little tighter when we departed for home.
Will you preach my funeral?
How Honored Are You Among Your Friends?
I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen my husband more at a loss for words than when his long-time friend asked of him that poignant question. Nor have I seen him obviously feel so highly honored.
How deep is your deepest bond of friendship? Is there someone with whom you share such trust that you would ask that person to speak all they know about you before your casket is lowered into the ground?
Three Things I Pondered on the Way Back to Dallas
Do you think it’s more of a man-thing to plan who will do what our friend asked my husband to do? I’m not sure. But it sure did make for some deep pondering on the way back to Dallas.
First, I pondered (for the millionth time) how totally proud I was to have picked Mike all those years ago. My mother might have thought me bonkers, but I had never been more sure of anything in my life. Turns out my choice was a really good one. Any man who gets asked to preach his friend’s funeral is the kind of man I’m thrilled belongs to me.
Second, I reflected on how marvelous it is to have friends with whom you can pick up right where you left off. The traits that drew us to each other in the beginning are the same characteristics that keep us enjoying each other’s company today. Conversation is so easy among friends like those.
Having that kind of friendship will put a lump in your throat when you try to talk about it, and a song in your heart when you’re feeling down and out.
Do you have some friends like that?
Third, I thought about how hard it is to think about death and dying.
Those of us who are Over Fifty have likely endured the last earthly days of our grandparents and many of our parents. It’s just so hard to go through that part of life, isn’t it?
But our friend is wise to have thought ahead about the hardest things our kids will have to go through when it’s our turn. I know it’s a difficult subject. But I doubt if very many of us have taken care of those details for our kids.
So, Here’s the Challenge
As hard as it is to talk about, let’s challenge ourselves to get a few things “planned” this year, shall we?
What ducks need to be put in a row to make “things” easier?
And maybe the biggest question: Who’s gonna preach?
A Little Pun
Ok, my friends. I did try to warn you that we’d be going deep with my List of Top 10 2019.
I probably should have told you it could be as much as six feet under.
Encouraging a life filled with everyday adventure and getting some important stuff planned,