Today is Independence Day in the US.
It's also my parents' 39th anniversary. Last night I called them to ask what they had planned to celebrate. Ma said that the paint was peeling in the living room, so they were going to repaint. Ooh, romantic!
When she said that, I remembered them back in the early 1980s wallpapering one wall in the living room in Baltimore. You know, one of those living rooms that no one ever lived in because we do our living in the kitchen and the den. The wallpaper was grey, silver, and black, like a herringbone pattern blown up to huge proportions. That's the room my mom would use to lay out the duvet covers she used to make.
My parents are very handy people. I mean, they do a lot of stuff around the house themselves. It probably helps that my dad's a civil engineer with all kinds of knowledge about how to design buildings and such.
They did a lot of stuff around that house in Baltimore. It was the biggest house we ever lived in. They did a ton of landscaping and gardening, planting trees, building raised beds out of 4 by 4s, and digging huge vegetable beds. My dad built a 2 story shed. Gardening equipment, like the riding mower, on the bottom and a playhouse upstairs with a real staircase (not ladder) to get up there and a slide on the side. He built it all himself, I don't think any neighbors helped.
Now that I've built my own raised beds, I know it's not that hard to do. But at the time, I was about 10 years old, and so impressed.
My parents have been married 39 years. They got married when they were 27 years old, but they knew each other since kindergarten. They dated in high school, but dated other people in college. I don't know all the particulars and they aren't talking. I remember time, again, when we were living in that house in Baltimore, I got out of bed, came downstairs, and asked them when was their first kiss. They laughed and wouldn't tell.
They've been together for so long, they're like that couple who won't stray more than 15 feet from each other. I'm pretty sure they didn't take a vow to do so. But I know whenever my mom walks to the open air market down the street, my dad will go look for her.
It's funny. My mom's so outgoing and talkative and my dad is very quiet. Yet, apparently, he will talk her ear off when it's just the 2 of them.
May they have many, many more years together!