You might say I had it coming. I was warned, after all.
Ten days ago, my neighbour told me, “Rita, you have a little time but not much. It’s going to get cold, very cold! Just you wait and see! All of the leaves are going to drop.”
He’d been doing yard work on a gloomy day as I stopped a minute while walking my bichapoo, Sophie. His garden looked bare and tidy while mine was still full of plants, spilling onto the road.
While most of the plants were past their time of flowering, some were in bud form yet. The Boston Ivy was still vibrant on my fence.
“I think I’ll wait for a sunny day.”
Days passed without a glimpse of the sun. The leaves fell off the ivy on my fence as my neighbour predicted.
Resigned, I headed outdoors to tackle the fall cleanup on a blustery day. I lasted an hour. My hands and toes were cold. I should’ve heeded my neighbour’s advice. My heart wasn’t in it if the sun wasn’t shining, and if it was chilly.
There was another reason for my delay in tidying up the garden beds. I’d noticed lemon cosmos, planted late in the season, blooming now for the first time.
I just couldn’t yank a plant out of the garden in its prime! That would be like shutting the door on a guest that’s late for a party. Nope, I had to let the late bloomers have their day to shine in the garden.
As I headed inside to warm up, daisies caught my eye. They grew in a shady, sheltered area close to the house. I knew the daisies (special as they were in my wedding bouquet and on our wedding invitations) were in bloom on November 6 every year, without fail. I just knew warm weather would be coming soon. I believed in my heart that there would be plenty of warm weather yet to do my yardwork.
What was special about November 6th, that I’d remember it every year? Well, in 1982, I can tell you it was a warm sunny day, about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. My wedding day! Followed by a blizzard the next morning!
I chuckled as I recalled how our wedding almost didn’t take place on that date. Guy and I had met with an older priest for marriage prep. He did not think it was wise for the two of us to marry. He strongly discouraged it.
“You’re too young! It won’t work out!” he said, as he swatted a fly, instantly killing it with one swift whack from a fly swatter. Although, we were sure this priest must’ve seen a lot of failed marriages over his lifetime, we thought he was wrong about us. We were in love! Surely, our marriage would be fine.
Reluctantly, he slowly penciled our marriage into the parish calendar: November 6 at 4 pm.
A hall was booked, wedding invitations were printed, a DJ service obtained, tuxedo orders placed and my wedding gown sewn.
As we hadn’t heard anything from the priest about the actual wedding ceremony, we called the church office a few weeks before the date. Uh-oh! We learned the elderly priest had retired and the new priest knew nothing of our proposed wedding date. It got worse. There was a wedding already booked for that date, at 5:30 pm! Our names were not recorded anywhere in the church calendar!
“We can go ahead for 4 pm, but you must be on time! No bride being fashionably late that day!” We reassured him we’d be on schedule. Whew!
And the rest is history . . . we’ve weathered a few storms but through it all our love for each other sustained us. Like the daisies growing in a sheltered place, our relationship blossomed. Our love provided shelter from whatever curveballs life threw our way.
And so today, 38 years later, I think it’s safe to say, “Never underestimate the love of two young people for each other!” Love conquers all.
I know I married the right person. Guy helped me carry 15 bags of yard waste bags to the curb last night. Apparently there were plenty of warm days for doing the fall cleanup after all! Guy took care of the heaviest bags and the pumpkins. Did he complain? Nope, he said, “That was nothing. Remember in the spring when you had 35 bags?”
Love is patient, love is kind.
Happy anniversary to us, today!