Grow Old Along With Me

Last night, as Scott and I were comfortably ensconced in our favorite chairs, catching up on old episodes of Law and Order, Criminal Intent, I looked over at him and realized how lucky I am – to be spending my life with someone who is so kind, so smart, so funny… just so good.  My timing was auspicious, as on Thursday, Scott and I will celebrate 37 years of marriage to each other.  Not bad for a couple who, according to all the statistics, got married way too young (I was just 21).

I was a new college graduate; Scott was halfway through the University of Minnesota’s medical school.  We scrapped by on very little.  Don’t laugh, but I tried to keep our grocery budget to under $14 a week (possible although not delicious in 1974).  We ate a lot of questionable hot dogs in those days.  And anything else that was on sale. We lived in a condemned duplex. We had the downstairs and our friends, Irwin and Reid, had the upstairs. The mice had the run of both floors plus the very scary basement. In the winter, the snow piled up on the windowsill in our bedroom – on the inside, that is, sometimes creating a little snowdrift on the floor.

Scott graduated in 1976, and we used our last few hundred dollars to rent a truck and drive to California for his residency with UCLA. Where I discovered that places exist on earth where it’s 70 degrees out in January and that four seasons, while lovely, can be overrated.

Did we ever fight? Like cats and dogs. Did we ever disagree? Constantly. Did we have battles of the will? Ha! Have you met me? Now imagine me even more opinionated and you can envision Scott.

It took time – years, really – to reach a place where we could live together and coexist peacefully. I grew to accept that vacation meant going to Montana to visit his family, and he grew to accept that I was going to have jobs that required a lot of travel. We had starter children (dogs).  After eight years of marriage, we took the plunge and had real children (Carolyn and Andrew).   We moved three times to find the right house, neighborhood and school system.   We expanded our vacation horizons from Montana to Hawaii, then Greece, Thailand, Peru and beyond.

We turned 30.  Then 40.  Then 50.  And like clockwork, 60 is around the corner.

And it’s OK.  We’ve lived a lot of life in our 37 years together.  I hope for many more years together, but I take nothing for granted.  Scott lost his dad at age 68, so we know there are no guarantees in this world.  So we treasure each other, enjoy each other, and only occasionally fight like cats and dogs.  Really, life is too short…

Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made.

Robert Browning


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