Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fourteen years

August 20th was our 14 yr anniversary. Fourteen years. For some this would not be a milestone anniversary, but it feels momentous to me.  Fourteen years.  Coincidentally, Fourteen is how old I look in my wedding photos.  Why in the world Leila, a beautiful 24 year old would date such a little child is mind boggling.  

 Some statistics and links from the last fourteen years:

Children - 5 girls, six with baby Brian

Houses - Three - Bryan, TX (4 yrs), Lafayette, IN (3 years), and Huxley, IA (4 years).  
States - Four
Apartments - Four (three in Prove and one in Lafayette)
College graduations - four (three for Brian and one for Leila)
Dogs - One
Cats - two
Cows - two
Pigs - two
Fish - one
Chickens - 83 - the coons ate more than I would like to record.
Cars - four (the caprice, the green car, the work truck and the minivan)
Crops grown at work: tomato, quinoa, cotton, popcorn, corn. 
Weight gained - forty pounds (for each of us)
Vacations without kids - two (This is depressingly true.)
Quilts - too many to count
Fights - I haven't counted.  Luckily, Leila's memory of these fades quickly.

We have had some tough days together in the last fourteen years: times when Leila or I were depressed, when Brian died, when I have had to work too hard, or been away from home travelling when it was 30 below zero and the pipes froze during a blizzard, when I been so stressed and tired that I had seizures, late nights with crying or sick children, times when money was so tight, and when life has seemed overwhelming. My mom says that unfortunately the people that see us at our worst are the ones that we love the best.  Leila has definitely seen me at my worst, and when the day break finally came, forgiven me and treated me like the night had passed like a dream.  That is one of the things I love best about her.  She has loved me through it all.

One of my favorite movies, Sweet Land,  has two quotes that I roll around in my mind as I think of Leila and the last fourteen years.  The first is a bit of a poem by Keats:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: 
Its loveliness increases; 
it will never pass into nothingness; 
but still will keep a bower quiet for us, 
and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

The other is, “Let us all hope that we are preceded in this life by a love story." 

Usually Leila has the camera and there are a lot more pictures of me than her.  This is from the Salt Lake Winter Olympics.  Emily is in the backpack carrier and Leila and I were enjoying the festive atmosphere downtown.  We couldn't afford to buy tickets to anything, but it was fun to be downtown with all of the visitors.  
Leila, pregnant in Texas.  Emily has grown as tall as Leila now.

Emily and I picking cotton with her kindergarten class when they came to my field for a field trip.

Us today, from our vacation on the tram to visit the Gates Foundation in Seattle.  

There are not that many pictures of all of us.  I know I must have them somewhere.  I need to scan in some from the yearly JCPenney Christmas photo, but this is us, minus Kate who was taking the picture when Aunt Janie came to visit.

1 comment:

Christine Merrill said...

That was awesome. I guess that's all I really have to say. We miss you guys!