here or there, the path
sometimes smooth, other times rough-
love keeps us on track
the path by Angie Quantrell
photo taken in Montreal, Quebec
by Angie 4 Comments
Look at the cute guy! He asked me to marry him back in the days of Polaroid pictures. He took this picture and had to mail it to me (snail mail). 1981! What a great year.
We graduated from high school in 1981 and I went off to college. Poor fellow. He thought he would never see me again, lost to one of those studious university boys.
Four years later, after too-many-to-count phone calls (ring twice and hang up to let the other know we were thinking about him/her), boxes of letters and cards, miles and miles traveled to visit each other (I chose a university that was over four hours away from home), and alternating weekend visiting schedule, we were married at our home church.
After a honeymoon to Disneyland (yes, we are a COOL couple), we settled in the lower Yakima Valley to raise our children and pursue our careers.
How long was our dating and engagement period? The total is about seven years. We met in high school, started dating, took a year off, then got back together for good. 35 years later, we are still best friends and more in love than ever.
And they said it would never last.
Take your time, youngsters. Be patient. Wait for the right person. Make sure you are best friends first. And then commit for the rest of your life.
LOL. Old lady Quantrell giving marriage advice. Best ever piece I can give? Base your relationship on faith in Jesus. God has kept us going through good and bad times, and we’ve had plenty of both.
Happy anniversary, my love.
My honey keeps track of the ‘little’ big important days.
I know birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, that sort of thing. But for remembering the dates for first date, first kiss, first trip, and so on, he wins the prize.
First, he tells me that Tuesday (today) is a special day.
“What is Tuesday?” I ask, wracking my brain.
“I’m not telling you, you have to figure it out.”
Great. I am not good at this game. We’ve known each other a very long time. More than 40 years.
After several comically wrong guesses, I vaguely recall this time of year being when we finally got together as a couple.
“40 years ago, you agreed to be my girlfriend!”
Aww. He is absolutely right. I think. 40 years ago today, we started dating. As his mother used to say, “No, you keep him, you’ve had him longer.”
I agree. I’ll keep him. I have had him longer. I still want him. 🙂
Rust certainly equals a throwback in time. Metal, rain, wind, snow, sun, exposure. All combine to wreck havoc on sentimental objects, mellowing newness and transforming it into works of art.
Paint disappears, patina wears thin, and intrigue grows. Who clasped this lock here, tossing away the key, for an eternity of unbroken love? Who was in love? Was the effort in memory of an absent love or did both in love grasp and click the lock to make a commitment?
How many throwback Thursdays have passed since each was locked? How many days, weeks, months, years of weather and life have drifted by like the waves on the shore and gulls on the breeze? How many throwbacks before rust came to visit?
Rust calls me. Not pristine, though new is surely beautiful. But wear and tear, peeling paint, bleed lines of red. Time lends character. But is time kind to the hands who attached the locks as signs to the world, shouting, “I love you!”? Is there still love?
Hope springs eternal. As rust makes for interest, time grows and deepens love. If we but let it. And work for it.
Hope for love.
We first met 40 years ago today, Labor Day, at the Wapato Harvest Festival parade.
Newly arrived from Arizona, I didn’t know many people. He had lived in Wapato for nearly all his life. We came face to face in front of the pastor’s house on the “Ave” where church members and assorted tag-a-longs gathered to watch the parade before heading to the city park for rides, games, and food.
Tall, thin, curly-haired; my impression was of a ‘cool’ guy who couldn’t be bothered to chat with a short, sun-kissed non-native. By his report, he was cool but thought I was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen.
We made slow progress at first. His mom suggested he take me to the homecoming dance. “Nope.” So I went with my cousin from Seattle who was immediately the hottie everybody wanted.
Come spring, our relationship was growing in earnest and we became a couple. At least for a few months. Then I took a year off during our junior year. But like bees to honey, we were back together for senior year.
Off I went to Western Washington University, with the claim that, “If we can survive 4 years apart for college, we can survive anything.” My guy burned the road up between Wapato and Bellingham (4 1/2 hour drive one way), coming to see me every other weekend. Sometimes I traveled back home but then he had to share me with everyone. Back before cell phones and computers (I KNOW! Gasp!) we had a code phone call ring. To avoid the charges of our dorm phone, he would call, let it ring twice, then hang up. That was our good-night check-in. We did talk on the phone, but not much. We spent much of our time writing letters back and forth. Boxes of notes, cards, and creative tomes of love…if I had spent that much time studying…
In June of 1985, we became Mr. and Mrs. This was just a new beginning to our life of adventure, starting right off by driving to So Cal and Disneyland (giving our parents a heart-attack). Our honeymoon was the first of many on-the-road journeys Mr. and Mrs. enjoyed and plan to enjoy.
Two babies, five grandchildren, furry pets, revolving jobs, and numerous trips, houses, and escapades, we are still best friends and more in love each day. Sure there have been struggles and explosive moments, but we’ve stayed committed to each other. It’s wonderful to have a best friend and partner standing beside you on the journey, one who knows all your faults and fears and how you look in the morning (or after childbirth or surgery or the stomach flu) and who still loves you and takes you on dates and hiking in the mountains and on motorcycle rides and finishes your sentences or phrases cloned from favorite movies.
40 years of labor (of a different sort) and here we are today. Best friends, lovers, partners in crime. God knew what He was doing when He hooked us up. And we’ve kept Him busy taking care of us ever since.
To my best friend.
Forgetting to respond.
Thinking I responded. But didn’t.
Getting interrupted mid-text and wandering off.
Comprehending (or not) texting shortcuts and abbreviations.
Hitting send too early.
Emojis that don’t mean what you think they mean.
Replying to the wrong person.
Once said, always said. Leaving a virtual paper trail.
Cyber vs face-to-face relationships
In light of these snafus:
Read twice. Send once.
To me. Just do it. READ twice. Send once.
by Angie 2 Comments
As I was recently pouring cream into my coffee, adding just enough until the creamy clouds billowed up to the top breaking the surface of enticing black, I remembered my Papa. He liked his coffee the same way, at least when I was serving. I realized that I had adopted the same habit and method of adding cream to my coffee.
“Just pour it in until it swirls back up,” he told me. For the coffee was always hot or brewing at Grandma and Papa’s, usually available with some choice of sweet dessert. And evaporated milk, punctured open and sitting beside the sugar bowl, was ever at the ready.
Now my personal choice is half and half. But back then, that little red and white can was perfectly fine. Because we were sipping our brew together and catching up on the news of the day.
Cone on over and we’ll have coffee. Just like Papa.
by Angie 2 Comments
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell
I dabbled a bit at the perfume counters and my grandmas’ display of pretty bottles for years. But once I found my lifetime signature fragrance, that was it. Committed. Loyal. Done searching.
Oh, I may have stopped to smell other roses along the way, but this was MY scent.
Tresor. In French, a treasure. For me, my favorite perfume.
This personality trait, for I have realized that’s what it is, does not only apply to Lancôme.
When my honey and I got engaged, I loved my ring. As we married, I gained another simple gold band. At ten years in, he bought me a 10-tiny-diamond band. At 20 years, we went hunting together. The sales lady wanted me to ‘trade-up’ for a larger diamond. How about NO? I am sentimental about my rings and each one is precious. I don’t care about the size. I care about the commitment and memories and love they symbolize. I have the same rings without traded-up stones. Because they are MY rings from MY love.
Speaking of love, sure I dabbled a bit here and there. Window shopping, as it were. Tried on a few different sorts, but once I found my man, that was it. Best friends, partners, lovers, co-adventurers. Life-ers. Thirty-one plus years. He’s worth it. Kevin and Angie. We go together.
Coffee? Same goes. You may call me a coffee snob, but I do enjoy Starbucks. We’ve had a rocky relationship, this company and this coffee drinker, and I do whine about their ridiculous prices and return bad drinks for correctly prepared ones. But that’s what partners in relationships do, right? We work on fixing things and put up with the negatives.
Friends. Ditto. I have the same friends from high school and college. I see some more than others, but it’s always the same. We are glad to visit, hang-out, share meals, giggle, and shop – whenever we meet face to face. I’m not going to trade them for a newer model just because we more mature friends have a few bumps, bruises, and sags. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to make new friends. I will add them to my collection.
Jesus. Once I decided He’s the One, I committed. It’s a long-term relationship, to eternity and beyond! Don’t need to window shop anymore. Just work on getting to know each other and enjoy the relationship and fellowship along the way. Hang out. Go on adventures. Chill and celebrate. Just like a marriage.
Family, cars, pets, clothes, hobbies, . . . Until we wear out and are reduced to rags or the engine burns up or the kitties get too old or my fingers get arthritis. Mine. Don’t worry. I’ll share.
I’m that kind of girl. Once I make a choice, I stick to it.