17 September 2006

So What Do I Owe You?

It sure is hard to post something between Thursday and Sunday. Anyway, here it is Sunday evening. Services went well – we had a great guest musician this week – and I was able to get away by 3 p.m. The afternoon was marvelously prosaic. Filled the tank, and then bought provisions for the coming week. Now that I have both sons at home, it is amazing how much more I need to buy each week.

Speaking of providing, I’m preparing for our annual stewardship campaign at church. I also spent some time this past last week updating my personal financial records in anticipation of the quarterly tax payments last Friday. Then there’s the house and yard. We need to replace the roof and repair part of the boiler system. I must have made half dozen phone calls this past week trying to get the roofer and the heating people to call me. So far they have yet to return my calls. Cold weather is coming closer every day, too.

In the larger sense of stewardship, my wedding 30th anniversary is coming up in about four weeks. In this world where half of marriages do not survive I am stunned that we have come this far. Not that it was so rocky and all. It has not been. And yet, when I weigh the fact of 30 years, over half my life, I see it is something to behold.

So what bothers me is that I cannot get an adequate observance organized. We are not party people, I should say. Just a pleasant dinner would be nice, and not necessarily out. That would mean getting dressed and making reservations and work in general. Maybe I should cater a meal at home, but I have these two boys living here, and much as I love them, this is an occasion for two only.

For a while I hoped to take us back to Chicago where we got married and spend a night. But even that is too elaborate with all the wider demands of work and school and life in general. I mope a little that other couples take cruises and weekends. Other husbands lavish great gifts and other tokens of affection. If all goes well, there will be a new roof in process, a repaired boiler by the time the great day comes. I may yet swoop her away to Chicago, but only if we can come back that night because our son has his first dance with a date the next night. We could go to lunch, see our old neighborhood (peeking at the window of our first apartment) and then go to the chapel where we got hitched. Not quite as grand as replaying our wedding night with a fine meal and then retiring to a nice room somewhere on the miracle mile.

If she needed magic and romance as much as the movies imply I would have been kicked to the curb long ago. But like I said last time, I am a blessed man.

The days slide by so quickly, and honoring them seems almost impossible. What can I do that truly reveres the gift every day offers? Wife, children, siblings, health, friends, work, food, learning, life itself. I would have to spend the whole day in gratitude to even begin to do this fortune justice.

So there is a dilemma, my friends. Thanks are due, but paying the interest alone would consume every penny. We cannot succeed, unless the debt is not actually gratitude. I’ll have to ponder that while I figure out how to be a good husband next month.

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