By Dawn Reed
My beloved and I just celebrated one of my favorite holidays: our wedding anniversary. It was our 36th!
If you would have been around back then, you probably wouldn’t have thought we’d make it. We were so young and …what’s another word for ‘stupid’? Ignorant. That’s it…ignorant. We might as well have been 12 instead of 18 years old. Didn’t have much sense. Didn’t have any money, either.
It’s all been about the LORD, to be honest. He’s been our glue.
We laughed at supper last week over where we are now. If anyone could have told us in 1980, we would’ve cracked up and said they were crazy. We never thought or dreamed we’d ever be over 50! And the thought of my beloved being a preacher or pastor and me being a preacher’s or pastor’s wife was ridiculous! We reminisced and laughed over sushi at stuff we’ve done and places we’ve been. (In 1980, we’d never heard of sushi!)
I’ve joked for years that we are our first and second spouses. When I was 18, I say I was my beloved’s first wife. Praise the Lord, I’ve grown up plenty since our wedding day! I’m not the same woman he married! The same goes for him! The young boy-with awesome lambchop sideburns-I wed in the belfry of the Wise County Courthouse couldn’t hold a candle to the fine man-with no hair-that I have today. (If that didn’t make sense, you may need to read it again.)
I’ve tried to keep my cool over the years. Rarely have I lost my ever-lovin’ mind. But there was one day…
I had been at home most of the day. In between dropping off and picking up our kids at school, I was babysitting two other children. They were gone and I was getting supper ready, going over homework and such. There was a ladies’ meeting at church I needed to get to ASAP.
My beloved-though I didn’t call him that back then-was working late. He tells this story a bit differently. If you were there that evening, gospel truth, this is how it went down.
After apparently a very long day, my beloved came home from working at the Power Company. Long hours and tough customer situations continued to hang over him. He was frustrated, tired and in a terrible mood. When he got out of his truck, it all played like a country music video…
When he reached the garage, he saw stuff that didn’t belong to him. It all belonged to ME. There was a car seat, boxes and other clutter that just rubbed him the wrong way. He gathered up every single item and parked it right inside the laundry room door. (There was quite a pile.)
I was innocently inside the house with HIS children, oblivious to the avalanche that was forming in the other room. “Your stuff is in my way,” he barked loudly, closed the door and went back to his business.
My head started spinning and it felt like my hair was catching on fire. “You did not just do that…” I thought as I quickly walked to his closet. “Two could play this game!” I grabbed armfuls of his dirty clothes, walked-no…STOMPED, through the house, through the garage to where he stood in the driveway. In a moment that was not like me at all, I…THREW HIS CLOTHES IN THE ROAD!!! “Your stuff is in MY way!” I bellowed as I marched back through the garage and into the house.
I hurried to get ready for my ladies’ meeting at the church. As quickly as possible I was in the van backing out of the garage…right over his clothes! I looked him square in the eye as I switched gears and then floored it, sending underwear, socks and other clothing flying like bullets. I yelled something stupid out the window like, “I’m not going to be the one to pick it up!” and was gone. I drove the minivan like I had stolen it. What had come over me?!
Meeting over and on the way home, I began to wonder what I would do if the laundry was still in the road. “I’m NOT picking it up!” I told myself. And then repeated it out loud. Pulling into the driveway, I was relieved that it was all gone! Not a sock, pair of underwear, or shirt was to be seen. I was so glad! Whew!
Later, after we had both cooled off, I asked him about picking up the laundry. I told him I had been so relieved that he had picked it up. Actually, he hadn’t. He’d gotten the kids to do it!
That was 20 years ago-praise the Lord, and the only time it EVER happened! These days, we try to focus on 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind, etc. and I try to keep the dirty laundry INSIDE the house! (I told you I’ve grown up!)