Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘marriage

Can’t Help

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Despite a near-lifetime of harassing Cyndie for her penchant to state the obvious, I can’t help myself from occasionally doing the same thing. Isn’t that the way it goes? All too often, it is the very reason we nag about behaviors of others. We’re unconsciously revealing issues of our own.

But that’s beside the point.

For some reason, I can’t hold back today from gushing over how gloriously gorgeous the weather was for us yesterday. Obviously, all things being relative, it came across as more over-the-top than ever by comparison to the previous few days of: higher than normal dew point temperatures, unseasonably warm air temperatures, and at the end of Saturday, some heavy rain showers.

Yesterday was beautifully sunny, the air was freshly scrubbed, and the temperature was comfort, perfected. The icing on that cake was the continuing colorization of the turning leaves that amps up the brilliance of a September day.

A day like yesterday is exactly why Cyndie and I picked this month to be married. In fact, it will be 36 years ago tomorrow.

I recall from back then, not being able to help myself from wanting to spend the rest of my life with her –despite all the things about myself that she would reflect over the years, for my ultimate edification.

Much to my good fortune.

I am such a lucky guy. …Oh, there I go, stating the obvious, again.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2017 at 6:00 am

This Why

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This is why we can’t have a nice paved driveway like the other folks around here whose asphalt looks incredibly well-maintained.

We have an ongoing need for dump-truck loads of lime screenings for our paddocks.

That loaded dump-truck really makes an impression on the land. As he prepared to depart, I asked the driver to NOT center his truck on the driveway on the way out, and instead to run one set of wheels right down the middle. I’ve been trying to do the same with our vehicles ever since his visit last year, but haven’t had much effect on the eruption of cracked pavement the truck left for us that time.

Household discussion last night:

John: “Should I try to spread some lime screenings tomorrow?”

Cyndie: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I pull the T-posts instead?”

C: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I move the composted manure out?”

C: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I work on dividing the chicken coop?”

C: “Maybe.”

I think she got my point, and seeing as how I wasn’t getting any help with prioritizing, I chose not to continue with the thirteen other things also deserving attention.

It’s a good thing we are so smitten with each other, or these kinds of exchanges would take on additional unstated intentions. In our case, it just added to the love already present. Her refusal to take my bait brought a smile to my face. Our current healthy communication is a return on an investment we made long ago toward a few years of couples therapy.

This is why we can have nice conversations unburdened by alternate unstated agendas.

Well, that and the fact Cyndie gracefully puts up with my endless ribbing. If she wasn’t so saintly, I’d have needed to make myself a bed out in Delilah’s kennel years ago.

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Teamwork Challenged

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Yesterday, I experienced a classic example of a frequent challenge Cyndie and I have been navigating to varying degrees over the 35+ years of our life together as husband and wife. Our minds sometimes tend to operate out of sync from one another, despite our best intentions.

dscn5761eIt was a beautiful winter day outside, with a lot of blue sky and sunshine, a comfortable temperature, and minimal breezes. We headed out to give Delilah some exercise by letting her run loose in the pastures while throwing discs for her to chase. We walked right past the horses, cutting through their paddock to get out into the hay-field.

On our way back in, Cyndie said she wanted to pay a little visit to the horses. While milling around with them, Cyndie decided to scoop some of the fresh manure under foot. That inspired me to grab a pitch fork and clean the edges of the large pile we have been creating during the snow season.

When she was done cleaning up, Cyndie said she would take Delilah out for one last session of running loose in the back pasture. In a very short time, I was commenting on their quick return.

“Delilah’s tired and I’m getting cold, so we are going to head up.” she reported.

I told her I would finish what I was doing and then follow them shortly. Earlier, Cyndie had asked me what shovel I had used in the past to make a winter path through the labyrinth. I told her the trick is to just walk the route wearing snowshoes, implying we could do that later in the day, after lunch.

As I walked up to the barn to put away my pitch fork, Cayenne turned and approached me for some loving. I soaked up her attention and lingered for what seemed like a long time to me, staying engaged as long as she maintained interest. It’s funny how much hot breath, wet nose, and sloppy tongue seems perfectly acceptable when a horse is choosing to nuzzle and mingle. I searched for a sweet-spot of scratching for her, moving between her ears, neck and chest.

Eventually, what ended our little love fest was Legacy, coming over from the other side of the overhang. I don’t know what reason he had to finally interrupt, but I tried spending a little time with him to see if he was just hoping for similar attention. Since he’s not as accommodating to hands-on affection, it comes across more as though he just doesn’t want her to be getting all the fun.

I finally made my way up to the house, ready for a break and some lunch. Stepping inside, I found no one there. Cyndie must have gone down to the labyrinth already, I thought to myself. Looking out back, sure enough, I spotted Delilah moving around down there. I rallied my energy and decided to join her.

First, I looked in the garage for the snowshoes, but couldn’t find them anywhere. Did we leave the second pair at the lake? Oh well, I’ll grab the plastic shovel, just in case I can find a way to use that to help. The shovel wasn’t where I keep it, either. Frustrated that I couldn’t execute my plan, I walked down empty-handed.

I arrived just in time. Cyndie said she needed my help with figuring out where the turns should be.

Imagine this, it turned out she had brought down the second pair of snowshoes and the plastic shovel, in case I wandered past on my way up to the house.

Now, why didn’t I think of that?

Welcome to my world.

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Written by johnwhays

February 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

Really Me

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I watched a movie last night about a person who went undercover, and the discomfort it created for me led me to realize how much I prefer being authentic. You can ask me a question about my life and I won’t have to make up an answer, I can tell you what really happened. Or at least, the version of what happened that my mind conjured up for storage in my memories. I fully admit to the fallibility of my perceptions.

If you were to ask me what happened in my life 34 years ago today however, I would have no problem recalling the beautiful blue sky and warm sunshine that broke a chain of much less lovely weather during the week prior. cajw81I remember feeling a bit disoriented by all that was going on around me, because much of it was all about me. It was also all about Cyndie, as that is the day we were married in the Noerenberg Garden park on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, in Wayzata, MN.

For too many of the ensuing years, I have been the target of much grief and good-natured ridicule from my wife for the time I sought clearance from her to go away for a weekend of mountain biking with friends, having not put two and two together to determine it would mean I would be gone over our anniversary. It was an innocent oversight, but not one a husband should ever make if he doesn’t want to hear about it over and over, for many years after.

If there is any matrimonial justice in the world, a wife who chose to schedule a week away with her friends on the far side of the country during her wedding anniversary weekend would be setting herself up for an equal number of years of grief from her husband, but I don’t think it works that way.

If you happen to read this today, my dear, Happy Anniversary!

Now, if someone asked me what happened 27 years ago today, I would also know exactly what happened in my life that day. Cyndie and I received the best anniversary present we could possibly imagine. Our son, Julian was born on our 7th anniversary. I like the fact that one of my favorite memories of that day, beyond seeing his face for the first time, involves our daughter, Elysa.

I had ventured from the hospital to pick her up and bring her to meet her brother. I bet Cyndie recalls who was taking care of her and what she was wearing, but those details, I didn’t retain. I remember that little 2-year-old girl in her car seat behind me, as I pulled up to a fast food drive-through menu to fill Cyndie’s one request. She needed a specific chicken sandwich from Arby’s that she couldn’t get from the hospital’s kitchen.

I had barely completed the sentence proclaiming my order for the sandwich to the faceless wall, when, without missing a beat, a tiny voice came from behind me… “And a coke!” Elysa knew what her mother would want.

Happy Birthday, Julian!

I’m so glad I don’t have to make any of this stuff up.

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2015 at 6:00 am

Missed Chance

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Choreographing the transition from me being home full-time to manage the ranch, to it now being Cyndie, is proving to be a struggle for my inner control freak. Believe it or not, she doesn’t do things the way I do. If I want things to happen the way I would do them, I need to do it. The other option is that I relax my urge to have things run like I would do it, and let her do things any way she wants.

Yesterday provided a fine example, and I totally missed my chance to hand over management of composting manure. Cyndie had made a pass through the paddock with the wheelbarrow, cleaning up fresh droppings, and came to check with me on where in the compost area to dump the load.

There was my opportunity to invite her to do it any way she pleases, but I couldn’t help myself. I walked with her over to the piles and began to give instructions on how I do it. What was I thinking?

When she rolled the wheelbarrow up, she came in on the wrong end of the piles. It felt like a “Mr. Mom” moment when Micheal Keaton’s character, who had traded roles with his wife, drove the wrong way in the circle of cars taking kids to school.

In the middle of trying to describe the process I have developed and my methods, I realized the folly of my thinking. I could tell by her reaction that this wasn’t going to happen. The job would remain mine. She offered to scoop up manure and stage it for me in the wheelbarrow, but I would maintain ownership of doing the compost management.

I can be my own worst enemy.

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Written by johnwhays

July 9, 2015 at 6:00 am

Threadbare

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Threadbare

Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 9, 2014 at 6:00 am