As I was thinking about our wedding I recalled that particular incident that happens in most weddings or wedding rehearsals that the bride and groom look back on and say, "Do you remember...and then smile or blush." Well it occurred to me that I hadn't shared ours so here goes.
It just so happens that both of these events happened to the blushing bride (me) which left me blushing even more brightly. I really do believe it has something to do with being blonde till the age of 4. LOL The first took place at the wedding rehearsal. I had watched all the attendants practice walking up the aisle and then it was my turn. Well, maybe, I was just a little too eager because I was half way up the aisle when I realized I had left my dear father standing back at the vestibule. So with quite a bite of teasing from my future brothers-in-law I started again including my Dad.
The day of the wedding everything was going splendid and we came to the part in the ceremony where the preacher says"You may now kiss your bride" and This eager bride was leaning in for the big smooch when to her confusion her groom is pulling away. It's then that I realize that I had forgotten to allow Phillip to lift the veil. Amid the snickers and blushes Phillip carried out his "duty" and Mr. & Mrs. Phillip H. Avery were presented to the congregation.
Tell your spouse (and kids and friends and sisters and co-workers and pastor and and and) how they are “just right”; in fact Dr. Angelou author of I know why the Caged Bird Sings said, let them know that they are the best. “You are splendid.” Say it out loud (just saying it to the air brings a smile to my face). In the morning, say it. Call home from work and say it. Send an email and say it. Walk in the door and say it with a kiss. Before you close your eyes at night say it. “You are so good at that.” “It’s just like you to be so thoughtful.” “You are so handsome.” “You smell wonderful.” “I really like your smile.” “I love hearing you sing in the shower.” “You are such a wonderful cook.” There is no end. Listen to this: As Dr. Angelou said, "call a person a dog and don’t you be surprised if they act like one. If you tell them they are splendid, they will want to live up to it." Short and simple, isn’t it? I’m grateful that she reminded me. Please, pass it on
While looking up articles about marriage (since that's our focus this month) I came across a site where a lady was blogging her view on a successful marriage and her personal advice. I don't want to offend anybody's sensibilities so I will condense some good points I thought she made.
1. Kissing Advisory When is the last time you kissed your spouse? I mean really had a kiss fest? In another of my very informal surveys, I found that most couples (married more than 4-5 years) rarely do more than smooch! You know, that hello-honey, see-you-later-dear, good-night smooch. Come on! Think back to those first months or years of marriage. It was like a personal electrical storm.
2. Date Night A lot of couples have instituted, are thinking about starting, or at least have heard of the concept of “date night”. Many self-help marriage gurus counsel for it, as I do. If you‘ve missed the advice, it is to set aside one night per week (or bi-weekly, or monthly!) to go on a date with your spouse. The key here is that the day is sacrosanct; there is no messing with it, i.e. no forgetting, or making other plans, or excuses. Come whatever the two of you will go on that date! (This is in a perfect world because there are kid’s band concerts, visiting relatives, etc… that do trump date night.)
First of all: Beware! The humdrum of the marriage can follow you on your date if you’re not careful. Do you talk about your kids, or the broken toilet, or next week’s schedule? (NO) Do you dress up? (YES) Do you get excited for it, because it is special? (This is the aim.) Will it become routine, just like so much else? (AVOID)
If you want the date night idea to work, then some work must be put into the date. Speak with your husband about how to set it up. Come up with a plan together. To fulfill differing interests, take turns planning the date. (No time? Come on! Think about it on your way to work, or taking a shower, or folding the clothes, or falling asleep.) A great starting point is a walk down memory lane. What did you do when you first met?
No matter what you choose, the most important component to the evening is attitude – for BOTH of you. Discuss how this date, in the craziness of your lives, can fuel your marriage and how the more both of you fill it up, the further you will be able to drive.
The whole point here is that you look forward to and enjoy date night. You know, really have fun together like you did in the beginning. It sounds so simple, but somehow a lot of us have forgotten how to do this. NOW is the time to change that. Take classes together, visit a museum, play tennis, walk and talk, something you both will enjoy.
3. Hold Hands The most common public touch is hand holding. It’s a universal symbol of caring, tenderness and security. Studies have actually been done showing that holding hands can reduce stress, for both men and women. This probably is linked to the fact that holding our parents’ hand made us feel safe.
What you come up with for the public arena will be a great baseline for how you touch at home. Gentle arm touching as you pass in the living room, a surprise kiss in the kitchen, or footsy at the family table. It is in and of itself a way to feel connected again.
4. Reminisce Spend the evening rereading those those old love letters. Revisit those places you used to go or those first in your relationship ....first date, first kiss, where you became engaged etc.
5. Talk One waitress recalls, being able to pick out the couples who had been married for a long time….they weren’t having as much fun as the couples who were just dating. I remember that the older (meaning in their 40’s!) couples didn’t talk or laugh so much. I remember that during the lunch rush, these couples would read separate sections of the newspaper and not speak at all! And when they did talk, they didn’t lean into one another, hold hands, or stare into each other’s eyes. I remember thinking that this would NEVER be me. I would never allow my marriage to become silent or dull.Well, I do understand some of this now, and I can appreciate it. Reading the paper over lunch isn’t such a bad thing. HOWEVER, almost always, my husband or I will find some nugget to share with the other. For instance: “Oh, Dear, look at what our president said now,” I might say to him and continue on to read the quote. We will then have a short conversation about our frustrations with our government before we go back to our respective reading material.
I also understand that, as the years pass, speaking isn’t so necessary. We know our spouse so well; we don’t need to have the conversation. In fact, why would we need to rehash our conversation about the President? We both know where the other stands on this. Right?
Perhaps not. Perhaps this is a relationship black hole. Once you skirt the periphery of this kind of assumption, you are in trouble. The hole sucks you in faster and further until one day you turn around and realize that you and your husband just don’t talk anymore. Not only this, you don’t even know what they think anymore.
It’s a TRAP. And a tricky trap at that. We can be talking to each other all along, and still find ourselves losing the essence of one another. The tricky part is that we get caught up talking only about the minutia of life: schedules, remodeling, fixing the car, daycare, bills, TAXES, cleaning, new purchases, etc…. Of course, in order to keep our lives in order, we must talk about all of these things. However, it is my contention that quite often it is in place of real communication.
I bring all of this up as part of my series to recapture “that lovin’ feelin’”. As I have on my other “lovin’” topics, it is helpful to think back to our dating days. What did you talk about then? You didn’t have the house or the kids or the cars or TAXES back then. Most likely you talked a lot more about your dreams, your plans, what you liked/disliked, how you felt. The hope here is that these talks will spark other talks so that when you go out on that dinner date, the waitress might just see two people completely engaged with each other. After all, it is a lot easier to gaze into each other’s eyes, and hold hands over the table, while talking about your dreams than it is while talking about the bus schedule….
6. Weekend Getaways Stress in marriage and everyday life can add up quickly. It will benefit your marriage if you plan occasional weekends or even a day away ..... just you and your spouse. You will soon find this such a blessing that you may decide to start a small fund just for these oasis of R&R. (Phillip & I specifically recommend the Marriage Matters Retreat) Find something that fits your finances and pleasures.
“Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple Clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than a young love?” The answer is given. “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is a spectacle of an old man and an old woman Finishing their journey together on that path, Their hands gnarled, but still clasped; their faces seamed, But still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love . Old Love.”
Asking the one you want to spend the rest of your life with to marry you is not always the easiest task especially if you are shy. I have to admit I didn't make Phillip's proposal simple in some ways but then in other ways he did pop the question in a less traditional way than most men prepared to ask his girl to marry him.
April 6,1974 Phillip and I were on our way to Lapeer or Waterford Michigan to attend my cousin Don DeVaugh's wedding. We were just a couple miles from Phillip's parents home in Milan, driving along, discussing my cousin's upcoming wedding. This was our conversation:
Phil: You know some day we will be doing this.
Cathy: Oh, really.....when?
Phil: When do you want to?
Cathy: I don't know. I haven't been asked, yet.
Phil: Will You?
Cathy: Will I what?
Phil: Will you marry me?
As you see there was no flowers, bended knee, candlelight dinner or romantic music. Although Phillip was not hesitant to bring me flowers during our courtship nor since our marriage. In fact after writing & saving this for Phillip to proof read I have come back to add that just today my Darling Husband brought me B E A U T I F U L hot pink roses. I just got back from a week spent in Kansas with our son and daughter-in-law while our grandson was having open heart surgery. It was a welcome home surprise!
Now unless you think that my proposal was too easy wait till you hear how the story went as Phillip asked my Dad for permission to marry me. For some reason it sounds like (looking back) that we did things alittle backwards. I do believe Phillip asked me before he asked Dad for permission! LOL Of course there was no sense asking Dad if I was going to say NO! (not a chance!)
One weekend following my cousin's wedding Phillip came to my house. It was Sunday night and the next morning I would be returning to Pt. Pleasant School and Phillip would go to Michigan to work. After Church we had an evening snack. Dad & Mom went to their room but their door was open so Phillip & I went to their doorway. I don't remember what all was discussed but it had NOTHING to do with why we were there. My Dad pulled his shoes off. Every once in a while just to shake Phillip up I would begin a sentence with " Well we are going to ....." or " We would like to....." or just a long drawn out "Wellllllllllllll......" Dad pulled his socks off. We continued talking. Dad pulled his shirt from his pants. Now I'm running out of things to say to stall my Dad from going to bed. Mom is fussing around the room, picking up this & that THEN Dad does take off his shirt. He REALLY wants to go to bed after that lovely evening snack. He yawns.... Still we stall for more time. This stalling goes on for several minutes.Then just as I am ready to give up on Phillip's courage he asks "May I have permission to marry your daughter?" Dad is VERY pleased that he will soon be granted the privacy to retire for the evening and readily says "if you feel this is God's Will for your lives then you have our Blessing." Hugs and congratulations were offered all around and the officially engaged couple, with a sigh of relief, leave my amused parents room. Thus began the planning stage of an August 31st,1974 wedding.
A college senior took his new girlfriend to a football game.
The young couple found seats in the crowded stadium and were watching the action. A substitute was put into the game, and as he was running onto the field to take his position, the boy said to his girlfriend, "Take a good look at that fellow. I expect him to be our best man next year."
His girlfriend snuggled closer to him and said, "That's the strangest way I ever heard of for a fellow to propose to a girl. Regardless of how you said it, "I accept."
Your Love is Ur Heart, Your heart is Ur Spouse , Your spouse is Ur Future , Your future is Ur Destiny , Your destiny is Ur Ambition, Your ambition is Ur Aspiration , Your aspiration is Ur Motivation , Your motivation is Ur Belief , Your belief is Ur Peace , Your peace is Ur Target , Your target is Heaven ,
True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked..... Erich Segal
My senior year at Pt. Pleasant Bible School was the 1973-74 school year. The first day of school I found my dorm room. There were 3 other girls with whom I would be rooming . One of those young ladies was Shelbie Avery. She said one of the first things she remembers is having somebody ask her if she was Cathy Mayle. We have often been mistaken for sisters. As roommates often do, we became friends. On display in our room was a family picture which included her 5 eligible brothers which she often teased me about. The weekend after Valentines Day (Feb. 15,1974) Shelbie invited me to Michigan to spend the weekend with her and her family. Okay maybe she was playing cupid even then. LOL On Saturday (2/16/1974) we were all invited to their pastors home, Wayne And Nancy Combs. Phillip had been working that day and he came over after work. We were introduced thus began the getting to know you stage. We had supper then played some games. Then Phillip and Shelbie took me next door to the Church to show me around. At the end of the evening Phillip planned to take Shelbie and me home. I told Shelbie that she had to get in the car first so she would be in the middle. She said, fine and went ahead, knowing the passenger door was parked up against a snow bank and we had to slide in through the drivers side. So I was (by predestination) in the middle. Of course, I didn't want to offend them by refusing to sit up front so I yielded to "pressure." (willingly) For those knowing the Milan exit and the Sharp curve at that exit, you will understand how the force of gravity caused me to lean, though I tried NOT to, (sure,sure) in Phillip's direction. He used that curve to his "unfair" advantage by slipping his arm around me and I lost my heart to this blond-haired, blue-eyed Michigander. We visited for a little while in the kitchen after arriving back to their home and the next day I sat with Phillip in Church. When Shelbie, Mark, & I left for West Virginia that day my heart remained in Michigan. Phillip and I began keeping the post office busy by writing back and forth from Michigan to West Virginia and weekend visits at my parents home and telephone calls on a regular bases. That was the beginning of a courtship that has been on going for almost 33 years.
Phil and I met in February of 1974 and were married in August of that year. We have 3 daughters, 1 son, 1 son-in-law and 1 daughter-in-law. We were blessed with 6 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. Our daughter, Naomi is a special needs young adult.
In our spare time we enjoy visiting our son & daughter-in-law in Kansas and attending the Marriage Retreat in the heart of Amish Country. I (Cathy) enjoy working in my flower beds and genealogy. The computer is a favorite pastime also for both of Phillip & I.