Welcome back to your regularly scheduled programming this week-The Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you're visiting today from the A-Z Blog Challenge, you'll find my entry for the letter T at the end of this post. In the meantime, everyone is welcome to join the Hodgepodge. Answer the questions on your own blog, then link back to that post at the end of mine. Here we go-
1. April 22nd is Earth Day. Are you inspired by nature? In what way?
Oh absolutely, in all sorts of ways. Nature inspires me to write, think deeply, dream, and worship. I'm especially inspired by sunlight on the water, the ocean, a mountaintop, or a beautiful sunrise. I often wonder how anyone can look at those things and say there is no God. I love cities, and can find a certain sort of energy and inspiration there, but not the quiet reflective kind I find in my own back yard.
2. Down to earth, four corners of the earth, move heaven and earth, not have an earthly chance, or salt of the earth...which earthly idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.
Four corners of the earth? Not precisely, but when I deposited one fiance, one daughter, and one boyfriend at the airport on Sunday afternoon, followed by one bride-to-be at the Amtrak station they were traveling to four different cities in three different states. And of course hubs and I are in a completely 'nother state, so yeah, quite often it feels like we are scattered to the four corners.
More or less.
3. Share one piece of advice you might give a newly engaged couple.
After every wedding comes a marriage.
Being engaged is a very special time in the life of a couple, so nurture that relationship now more than ever. Invest time and energy in one another during these next busy and exciting months. I think it must be extra hard in today's culture of social media and Pinterest and everything shared not to get completely caught up in the planning of your very special day, but remember after your very special day will be the rest of your very special life. Treat your relationship with the tender loving care it needs and deserves.
4. When did you last engage someone to perform a job, task, service, home improvement or repair? On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) how would you rate their work and/or your satisfaction with the job or service provided?
We recently had a plumber out to repair a pipe that had burst in our garage. We've used them before and are always very happy with their work, good manners, the care they take in coming in and out of the house, and generally the price. I give it a 10.
5. When did you last find yourself engaged in small talk? Are you awkward or an expert or somewhere in between?
Well I'm not the expert my hubs is, seriously everywhere he goes he comes home with someone's life story. He knows how to draw people out and into a conversation. It's a gift. I'm pretty good with small talk, and it doesn't make me uncomfortable. Nobody here is surprised to know I can chatter about nothing at all when a situation calls for it, are they?
6. What was the last historic place you visited?
Probably the restaurant we dined in Saturday night-One If By Land, Two If By Sea. It's located on Barrow Street in NYC, and was at one time Aaron Burr's carriage house. It's also supposedly haunted but we didn't see any signs of that on Saturday. I wrote about our evening here.
7. The world would be a better place if we just___________________.
Lived by the golden rule...'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Giving myself a small breather here today, and using this random space for my A-Z Challenge post.
T is for Tradition
As I've been thinking and writing about marriage this month I've come to the conclusion that every component of married life really does come back to a single word-expectation. That's true in dealing with household chores, extended family, leisure time, child rearing, money...all of it, and it's no less true for what I'm going to call tradition. By tradition I mean those things that happened within your own family as you were growing up that stamped holidays, special occasions, celebrations, and milestones as belonging to your family. Things you'd like to recreate within your own family now that you're married.
Every family has a particular way of celebrating birthdays, Christmas, achievements of one sort or another. Presents opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas? Travel at the holidays or stay home and circle the wagons? Thanksgiving dinner or brunch? Favorite home cooked meal on your birthday or dinner out in a fancy place? Homemade sweaters beautifully packaged or money in a card-pick out something you like? Paper plates picnic style or the good china?
While you or your intended may think you don't really care one way or the other about the traditions you grew up with, once you marry it quite often turns out you actually do. There is something about leaving your family and forming a new branch with your beloved that makes a person suddenly attach importance and significance to the familiar traditions that say home to them. Or one or both of you just assume that of course we won't open presents on Christmas Eve, only to discover your counterpart was assuming that of course you would.
These are seemingly small things, but remember what I said about the small things? Small things accumulate and become big fat snowballs, so its good to at least have some conversations about what home means to you, what family means to you, and especially as holidays approach, what you are hoping yours will look like.
I think it's nice to incorporate a bit of both of you into your own family celebrations, which also means we can't dig our heels in about everything. When it comes to tradition I excel at the digging in of the heels. Sometimes I think God moved me to England just to show me I could indeed survive Christmas without being in the middle of my great big extended family. Maybe not the only reason, but it was for sure a bonus.
In fact as it turned out, Christmas on our own was a whole new kind of magic, and we managed to make special all kinds of holidays and celebrations while living across the pond. They are memories I wouldn't trade for anything.
New traditions are often born out of neccessity, perhaps due to geography or finances or work committments. Sometimes new traditions come about because you take a little of his and a little of yours, stir them together, and voila-new tradition. Every couple will have to decide what works for them, but it's best to begin the conversation about how Christmas will look prior to December, and if having a box with a bow on it for your birthday is important to you then say so.
Like everything else in marriage, how holidays, special days, and milestones will be celebrated comes wrapped in expectation, so in a word-don't assume.
Two words I know, but I couldn't manage to say it in one.