Saturday, August 2, 2008


It might have crossed your mind that this was birthday week for the Beve and me. In commemoration of them, our daughters, in their blogs, each wrote about us. If that isn't enough to make a mother cry, I don't know what is. If you want to know what they think of us, check out their blogs for July 31: E's is Random Stupidness and SK's is Murmurs of Me. So I thought I'd add my two cents worth...(not about me--you get enough of that on a daily basis!)
Oddly, both of them think the Beve is the funniest person they know--just like I do. What is interesting is that his students, as well as people at church, etc. think he's just one serious old dude, with the emphasis on old. It takes living here, when he's taken off the weight of the world, to discover what he's really made of. V moved in and all her friends couldn't believe she'd be happy living with Mr. W. And didn't believe her when she said he was funny. Then they started coming over, and couldn't believe he was the same person. I knew it, though. Before I knew he could EVER be serious, I knew the Beve was a tease. Back in elementary school, he was the boy who chased the girls and pulled their hair. He was the one who was so wild, he didn't get his work done, and drove a teacher back to the safety of Canada after just one year of teaching. By the way, one of Beve's latest crazes is that he is not only boycotting plastic, but all things that begin with the letter P. However, in his eschewed world, everything -- EVERYTHING--can begin with the letter P if he has cause for a gripe with it. Those drivers racing around the Costco parking lot? He looks at their license plates and mutters, "Panadians!" Trash that piles up on the side of the road? It's "Parbage!" The dog feces in the backyard? "Poop!" Oh, I guess that really is poop. But you get my point.

Life with the Beve (or the Peve, I suppose, depending on my mood: after all, he really can peeve me at moments!) is always worth a laugh or two million. Thank God. Never dull. On the very first night of our married life, when we'd reached our honeymoon destination, we sat at dinner in an almost deserted dining room. We went to a ski resort in the Canadian Rockies for our May honeymoon, and it was like a ghost town. More than half the chairs were up on the tables, and we had the best view in the place at a window overlooking the mountains--an obvious choice since we were the only diners. Lots of immediate attention, however. Anyway, we sat there, and it got really quiet between us. For weeks, all we'd been talking about was the wedding. Shoot, wedding had become a verb in the very short period of our stateside engagement. We'd had less than two months to pull off that event. And in that dining room the day after, as we ate our meal, I got a real lump in my throat, thinking that maybe--just maybe--we didn't have anything to talk about now that it was over. In the silence of that space, with our knives and forks moving against our plates, I wondered if the long life ahead of us would contain many meals like that, with stretched-out silences, and fumbling awkwardness, trying to find a conversation in our food. I felt a momentary fear as I looked at this stranger I'd committed my life to, this man I'd known since he'd pulled my hair on a playground, pounded across the street to play foursquare in our driveway, sang songs with me in our Carry-all all the way home from California. He was the same one who'd written letters with me from Finland, ridden bikes with me across Holland, and carried my books, so to speak, on the crowded buses of India. We'd been across the world together. Now back on this continent, finally home together-- had we finished all our words?

But then he looked up from his plate and laughed at me. Yes, at me. Whoever says it's a terrible thing to be laughed at, takes themselves too seriously, and has certainly never lived with the Beve. Being laughed out of my funks is one of the hallmarks of my life. I don't remember now what he said that lightened my mood. I only remember that whatever had scared me for that moment disappeared and has never worried me again. I'll hunt down the conversation in our food if he can pull out the laughter. It's worked for us so far--25 years and counting we always find more to talk about and even more to laugh until we cry.

I'm kind of glad the whole world doesn't realize how funny the Beve really is. It's like a private treasure only a few of us really get to share. I can't tell you what it is that makes him funny--delivery, timing, a sense that even the most serious moments have laughter in them? All of it--and the essence of him underneath. That's the gift--my best gift, after salvation itself. The Beve.

Thank God.

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