“My Stick-Duck” (or . . . “How Really Poor Eyesight Can Sometimes Make You Happy.)

Most days, I wish my eyesight was a whole lot better.  I’ve worn glasses since I was in 6th grade and for the last 34 years have worn contact lenses.  I don’t even think anything of it anymore.  I can see “fine” with my contacts in or glasses on.  Or so I think, until my husband (we’ll call him Cyborg-Eyes) reads a road sign while we’re traveling in our car and I think, “What?? You can actually SEE that??”  I’ll eventually be able to read it . . . when we’re right up on top of it (this usually happens too late when I’m driving so I have mastered the art of the perfect u-turn). And Kevin doesn’t even wear glasses!  I can’t quite imagine having eyesight that sharp.  Well, as it happens, my poor eyesight brought about the most ridiculous of situations one day.  My apologies to Facebook friends who know this story since I wrote briefly about it the day it happened.  I felt the need to expound upon the absurdity of the source of my happiness that day.

It all begins with my hatred of ironing.  I know,  I know . . . “hate” is a strong word, but I do use it from time to time, especially when talking about certain things (for me it’s ironing and going to Costco).  I have to mentally prepare myself for (sometimes) days before I set about the task of actually ironing.  It’s one of my hopes that the clothes will actually press themselves by simply being folded and stacked up into a pile.  Believe it or not, this method works fairly well, especially if you let the pile build up till it’s a heavy enough mass to press out all the wrinkles.  (See, technically I am still “pressing” my clothes this way.)  Probably twice to three times a year, however, I decide it’s time to really iron.  But I have to get a lot of things in place first:  I need to set up the ironing board in such a way that I’m looking at a TV.  There needs to be a good movie on because I’m going to be standing there a while and I need to be entertained.  The weather needs to be sunny with no chance of rain.  Ideally, the temperature is in the mid 70s.  Snacks and a beverage should be readily accessible for sustenance.  My phone should be handy in case I need a quick “Words with Friends” break to help me get through this.  That’s all I ask.  No more.  No less.

One day the stars were aligned and it was time.  Not only did I have the appropriate TV distraction in place, but I also had a lovely view out our bedroom window.  There sits a rather large rubber tree beside a canal.  Kevin has threatened on numerous occasions to “get rid of that thing” because the “roots might get into the septic tank.”  I happen to love that tree and am simply hoping for the best possible outcome in regards to the roots-meet-septic situation.  It drops leaves that gather around the bottom of the tree and lots of times we have ducks that meander through our yard, sometimes taking refuge in the leaves under this tree.  Well, on that ironing day, I looked up from whatever garment was receiving my attention at that moment, and saw a duck sitting amongst the leaves.  I love birds of all sorts and just felt all happy and peaceful inside that I got to look out upon her feathered beauty for a while. I say “her” because I extrapolated that this was a female duck, perhaps sitting on her nest.  She was so, so still and kept her vigil so patiently.  I went about my ironing, her peaceful presence giving me an odd sense of calm (in the midst of my “strife”… aka ironing).  At one point, (am I really going to admit this to you?) I looked up and saw a small leaf sitting on her head and I thought, “Ohhh!  She doesn’t even move with that leaf on her head?  Doesn’t she feel it there? Is she sleeping?  Is she trying to be funny??”

I eventually got to the bottom of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and got everything put away.  I left my bedroom and headed off to my next task.  Hours later, I returned to my bedroom and just happened to look out my window.  I’d forgotten all about my fine-feathered-friend, but she was still there!  Really??  She hasn’t moved yet?!  Wanting to get a really good look at her, I moved very slowly over to the window.  I hid to the side for a minute and then ever-so-carefully, moved my body over so I could look at her real close.  Are you even kidding me?  Upon closer inspection, I could see I’d been duped by my own eyeballs.  The source of my admiration all day?  My sense of calm and wonder?  Not a duck at all.  Not even a living creature.  It was a stick.  A DANG STICK!!!  I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at myself or be mortified at my error.  (What’s the saying . . . “Dumb as wood?”)  Want to see what I was looking at for so long?

Awww - just look at her there, sitting so peacefully.
Awww – just look at “her” there, sitting so peacefully. One might think she wasn’t even real! 😉

So that’s the story of how a stick brought me a few hours of peace and tranquility one day.  I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter what you are seeing, but how you are seeing it.  With a little help from some bad eyes, something quite ordinary was a source of contentment that day. Not so ridiculous after all.  Oh wait!!  What on earth . . . ??!! Oh my gosh, is that? . . . . You guys – Tom Hanks just walked by in my neighbor’s yard!  What are the chances of that happ . . .?? oh . . . . never mind . . . .


My Better Half

Kevin II

Can I tell you about my husband?

I know this photo doesn’t exactly show you a whole lot . . . but actually it does. This is my perspective of him a lot of the time.  He’s way ahead of me.  He walks faster, thinks faster, accomplishes things much faster than I.  Faster than probably most people.  I’m usually trailing behind at some distance, struggling to keep up.  His brain works very fast.  I can’t tell you how many times he’ll ask me something, or make a remark and I just look at him, completely befuddled, but not wanting to let on, and scrambling to guess what on earth he might be talking about.  He’ll be thinking about something and then comment or ask a question, not realizing I have no idea where his mind has been.  It can drive me crazy, and it can make me just love and appreicate him even more.

He is so the opposite of me it’s not even funny.  We could be the perfect example of “opposites attract.”  He grew up avidly watching all kinds of sports with his family. My parents took me to the opera.  He can do mathematical equations in his head, lickity-split.  I still add on my fingers and say words like “lickity-split.”  He is a logical thinker.  I live in Dreamland most of the time. He is perfectly comfortable talking to anyone under the sun and could strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t even speak English.  I feel awkward in many conversations, walking away asking myself, “Why did you say THAT, you weirdo?!”  Yet we’ve been married for 32 years now.  Something must be working.

There can’t be anyone else on earth that works harder than he does.  As I sit here on the deck of our cabin, looking out over Lake Superior, I hear him inside, up at his desk, on the phone.  Working.  He’s always working.  Even as we travel cross country to get here, he’s working as he drives, making phone calls.  Stopping along the way to accomplish some sort of business for his business.  It’s enough to make a woman crazy.  And it’s enough to make a woman feel so very secure.

I’ve never worried a day of our marriage about whether or not we could buy some groceries, make a payment here or there.  Though, I know he’s lost sleep over those things.  Not that we haven’t had our share of lean times, mind you, but somehow I always knew we’d be OK.  He’s been that sort of provider for me and for our family.  Sometimes, while in Dreamland, I wonder why in the world I’m so blessed.  How did I get such a wonderful husband when so many others don’t?  I have to say, sometimes I feel like the “scales” are going to swing the other way and balance out and “calamity will befall me.”  But enough about me and my issues, this is meant to be about my hubby, my better half.

Want to know something funny?  We joke with each other about who’s going to die first.  Isn’t that hilarious??  No? Well, we do if in a funny way. It’s a bit of a competition.  Not who’s going to live the longest – but the shortest!  I’ve informed him he may not go before I do.  I am much more dependent on him than he is on me.  In fact, he always says he “never looks back.”  I (jokingly . . . or not) tell him he’ll maybe miss me for two and a half days.  Then, forward he’ll go.  On to getting something accomplished.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.  God forbid.  I look back way too much, too much for my own good.

I don’t deserve him, that’s for sure.  But I’m very glad God brought us together.  Does God orchestrate future husband and wife meetings in little college bars?  Yup.  Wouldn’t it be nicer to say we met in church?  More proper, perhaps, but not true for us.  No matter where we started, we’ve been traveling through this life together . . . me, a few steps behind, him ever ahead. But always within sight of one another.  I love him so.