Today is The Ravishing Mrs. TB's birthday.
I first met her almost 23.5 years ago. It was love at first cookie (yes, it is true. I was completely captured by a miniature chocolate chip cookie. I, an essentially penniless graduate student ("Trust me, I am going to change the world!"), she an independent student taking a break from college before she decided what the next step is. Here we find ourselves so very much later, pretty far from everyone and everything both of us grew up with..
She has been far more than I deserved.
She has born three daughters and raised them resulting in fine young adjusted women. She has made a go of making anywhere we lived (9 places by my count) a home. She has tirelessly worked as a volunteer any and all of the girls' activities and at their school and our church.
She has done jobs I could never do (talking to people all day) with nary a complaint. She consistently puts meals on the table for everyone and make sure everyone eats nutritiously even through complaints (broccoli has a constant place at our table). She manages a home with not only herself and her daughters and me but varying levels of animal visitors, including the ones that have just randomly shown up with me.
Most of all, she has tolerated me.
She has tolerated me through my various phases of interests, through my depressions and my highs, through my really bad decisions (The Firm) and the decisions we did not want to have to make (moving halfway across the country). She has managed to keep her composure through harps, swords, bees, quail, rabbits, cheese, mead, gardens that produced almost nothing at all or things that she really did not care for.
All with grace and aplomb, making sure somehow (through methods I am not sure of) that we somehow managed to stay between the guardrails of our lives.
She is on her way home today from The Great Midwest, have driven almost one whole day and almost all of another. She will arrive home to a giddy dog who has missed here and a husband who, although he darn well should well know the answer, will look at her blankly when she asks "What is for dinner?"
I do not suppose I thought a lot about being married when I was younger and certainly had no idea of the actual sort of mate I would need, not the one I thought I need. Fortunately, God had the matter well in hand when I was still staring off into space.