Paddling Tandem

Thirty-four years ago Fred Ellis and I got married. It was the happiest day of my life, with many more happy days to come, and I wake up everyday and feel that I love him a little bit more. Of course we have had good days and problem days, but the problem days are much easier when you have a best friend to share them with. On about our fourth date, I decided that Fred was definitely the guy for me. I am 6 years older than Fred, and he was not quite as ready to settle down, so I had to play it cool. But, I was determined, and two and a half years later he said yes, and we tied the knot in the ballroom of the Hermitage Hotel, the perfect spot for a wedding in Nashville. When we met, I was a teacher and he was a lawyer. We went from that to running a jewelry business together. Most people thought we were totally crazy when we quit our day jobs. And now, we are planning to have a whole new life together in Mexico, and we don’t care if people think we’re crazy.

I moved into Fred’s house a year before we got married. And, being me, I started decorating. Over the years we have transformed a duplex into our single family home, living in it all the while that walls were being knocked down and following after the workers with paint brushes in our hands. This house has been the only real home I have ever had, and it has served us well. However, I realized after our long stay in Mexico this past fall and winter that home is wherever Fred is. We lived in four different places while we traveled and each one of them felt like home to me.

Fred has never let me down. He has never disappointed me. We agree on almost everything and rarely have we had angry moments with each other. We are alike in the important ways, but have very different personalities. Sort of a yin and yang thang. I am very outgoing and impulsive, Fred is more reserved and deliberate. Sometimes when I am being extremely exuberant I catch a glimpse of him watching me. I love it that he’s smiling. When we first started dating, I mistakenly thought Fred was sort of conservative. That was because he always wore a suit and tie. (I had never, ever, dated a guy who dressed like that.) I tried to “behave” myself when we were together. Then I started to notice that the more I was just myself, the more he seemed to like me. And let’s get real…there is no way I could be with someone that I couldn’t just be myself with.

I know that there are some people who probably function better single. And, that’s fine. But, for me, having a wonderful partner to share life with has really been the ticket. I wish that everyone (who is looking for a partner) could find someone as great for them as Fred is for me. Personally, I believe that a long and happy marriage is one of the greatest marks of a successful life.

We are having a “happy” anniversary. Today the carpet got laid in our two upstairs dressing rooms, and now the plumber is here to fix a problem. Several room are either finished, or almost finished. Packing is happening. We’ll go to Margot Cafe tonight to celebrate. We just had avocado toast for lunch and are seriously thinking about taking a little siesta. We are eagerly anticipating the next chapter of our lives together. I feel like I could do anything, as long as I did it with Fred.

17 thoughts on “Paddling Tandem

  1. So beautiful. Since I like the stories you give us I nominated your blog for ‘Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award’. Hope you don’t mind me doing that. I added some questions to you on the post so it would be great if you can answer to those. Thanks.

  2. This is such a romantic and moving post. You two have a marriage like marriages are meant to be. My own “Fred,” is Matthew, and I get that same feeling from him—in moments of exuberance I catch him watching me, smiling, and i just melt. He is so happy seeing me be me; I’ve never had that from anyone before in my life, and it’s the most valuable thing that’s ever happened to me. So many other overlapping things, but I’ll stop here. Thank you for this lovely glimpse into a lovely relationship, and happy anniversary!

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