Neil Diamond is one of my favourites. I first heard “Forever In Blue Jeans” when I was thirteen or fourteen. I knew pretty much as soon as I heard it that it described the kind of love life I wanted. If I were to bother getting together with another person I wanted him to matter so much that other things–material possessions–paled in comparison.
Over the years that’s certainly proven true. And I know just how lucky I am. Because I see money come and go. Friends and family with careers they chose in college have soured on their life course and are either begrudgingly sticking to their miseries or trying to carve out a different path while beating themselves up over the old one.
Now, not everyone is miserable or unfulfilled–far from it. I’m just glad that one of the few times in life I had good sense was when I decided to marry the man I’d only known for 7 weeks. It made the whole saving-myself-for-marriage feel like a payoff.
We’ve got a nice life. We are happy with each other, comfortable in the way and old sweater fits or your favourite chair feels after a long day. We are in love with each other the way a fire blazes when it touches oxygen, the way thick ice on the river cracks like a gunshot in the spring thaw.
That makes times like this–when we are singlehandedly trying to end the recession–better. Running quickly behind my computer and our vacuum in the race to give out our dryer works only sporadically, squeaking its way to damp and shuddering anti-climax. And neck and neck with the 20 year old dryer is the hole around the pipe coming into the basement. Any rain means extra water. Or it did until a quick trip to Lowes and 45 minutes of my dear husband’s labours later. I’m starting to eye our remaining appliances with a special wariness. Is that toaster still heating up properly? Is stuff in the fridge staying cool?
I blame the microwave. It broke about 3 years ago. The word of its general strike somehow leapt across the kitchen to the garbage disposal which quit about six months after that. Both of those lazy bums were eventually replaced but now that the word is out about our trusting nature the various other parts of our house seem to be going on holiday at a rapid rate.
And funnily enough I don’t mind. Because I still have the one thing, the only thing that truly matters. I have my funny little family. A husband who loves me unconditionally and is loved unconditionally in return. A crazy smart dog who is the light of our lives and more than a few eccentric stuffed animals who monitor the goings-on from cozy bleacher seats.
I’m thinking of all of this because of a phone conversation I had yesterday. A phone conversation that reminded me there are people who love nothing more than money and who fear the loss of material goods so keenly that they wouldn’t know how to care for another person if all their world and sanity required it. Love is the greatest blessing on this earth. I feel especially blessed to know that.