My Best Friend

This morning, after only a sip or two of coffee, I went outside and took all of last year’s wood out of the woodshed. I thought it would save time–and EJ’s back–if I could get it done. I had to wear a sweatshirt because the temperature last night was only 44 degrees; the high temp today was 69. Today’s weather has been beautiful, and perfect for working. Only when I got the wood out of the woodshed did I come back inside and drink coffee and read.

After EJ woke up and had eaten breakfast, we left for the meat market. We’ve only been going to the meat market for a year or so. We started going when we heard that some grocery stores sell meat that has pink slime in it. Bleagh! The thought of that turned our stomachs, so we went looking for a better meat source. At first we went to the meat market where EJ took his deer to be processed. However, one day we saw an employee hug steaks to his dirty, bloody apron as he carried them up front. That was the last time we went there. I came home and searched the Internet for a high quality meat market in our area. We found the one that we now go to every month or so. It is very clean, the prices are reasonable, it didn’t have any bad reviews, there is no pink slime, and no one hugs the meat.

One of EJ and my favorite things to do is drive together. It doesn’t matter if our destination is the grocery store, a home improvement store, or the landfill–the joy is in the journey, not the destination. Although, we also often enjoy the destination. We enjoy beautiful countryside, we enjoy occasionally spotting deer or interesting people. Most of all, we enjoy our conversations.

We are a family who loves to observe, learn, wonder, ponder, and discuss. EJ and I–and JJ as well–constantly discuss what we see, what we read, and what we think. We talk, discuss, debate, and even argue. We talk about history and how events affected people, and also how one event influenced a later event. We talk about current news, politics, and society. We observe and talk about the stars, beautiful spiderwebs, or geese flying overhead. We talk about books and movies: whether the story is plausible or not, how the author/director skillfully wrote or filmed a scene, and the message the book or movie conveys to us. We all love clever writing; we all love to write. We all season our talk with clever movie quotes. We talk about psychology and why people do what they do. We talk about archaeology and physics. We talk about faith and religious issues. We talk about music and art. We aren’t experts about most of these things, we just enjoy learning. We talk about what we like and dislike, what makes us happy or hurts us. As we browse the Internet, each on our own laptop, we often say, “Look what I learned! Did you ever hear this? Did you know that…?” Our conversations happen everywhere, at all times of day: while drinking coffee in the morning, while working, while walking, while watching TV, and while driving.

When EJ and I first got married, we were good friends who enjoyed each other’s company. However, we have had our ups and downs. There were a few years when we struggled in our marriage. We had to deal with a variety of difficulties, pain, health problems, and heartbreak. We grew tired, stressed, and irritable. Then I didn’t feel cherished and EJ didn’t feel respected. We began to focus on the other’s weaknesses. Communication broke down. We were beginning to wonder if our marriage would survive. However, we had promised when we decided to marry that we would never consider divorce. We also had strong faith and we were aware that underneath the problems we had a deep love for each other.

We refused to give up, and tortuously we began to give to the other what the other needed, and eventually we began to notice the love we were each receiving from the other. We became, again, best friends–and even stronger best friends than we had been before. We aren’t perfect, we sometimes get irritated with each other after a stressful day, and we have annoying habits. However, we have learned to appreciate each other’s strengths, help each other through our weaknesses, encourage each other, laugh at the annoying habits, and just enjoy being with each other. We see each other as equals, but appreciate our differences. After a time of “painful blisters” in our marriage, we have become as comfortable with each other as a pair of old shoes.

I love my husband. I love his intelligence, sense of humor, kindness, and willingness to help others. I love his “realness.” He’s my hero. He’s my best friend.

Our woodshed
Our woodshed

Anyway, after lunch, EJ placed the large pallet on the “floor” of the woodshed and hammered some fence pieces onto the woodshed. I handed him the nails and held the fence pieces as needed and directed. We decided we will just get sturdy plywood for the back of the woodshed, since the back isn’t seen from the street and it’s protected from the weather by the fence at the back of the yard, which is just a couple of feet behind the woodshed. We will use the fence pieces we don’t use for other projects. After EJ left for work (and I got back from walking Danny), I restacked last year’s firewood into the woodshed. Now we can start getting more wood for the cold months.

When I finished stacking the wood, I did some weeding. When it was time for JJ to leave for work, I saw him off, and then I finished my day doing tasks in the house.

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