Five Kilodays on a Merry Chrstmas

Today it’s Christmas, and I am five kilodays days into this whole marriage thing. I am still star struck by my beautiful dreamer. Every year, I write on the anniversary card,

“Walk with me.
Stay with me.
The best is yet to be.
This I believe.”

We’re five k down this path, and I am still glad it is you who travels with me. I look at the lives we have touched. I look at the home we have created with all the feelings of safety and belonging we have made for our family.

Each of the five thousand days of our marriage feels as distinct in my muddled mind as steps in a five kilometer run. That is to say, not at all. Yet, the sense of a path through the life each of these days has created remains sharp. Yes, there are moments that stand out like when each of our kids came into our home, but they pale next to the sense of enjoyment thinking about dinners at our kitchen table. Even the poor behaviors are a spice to allow home to feel real.

Life’s not supposed to be perfect or easy. I think of the weeks spent at a time with one kid or another in the hospital. I think of my MS and all that it has wrought. I think of the surgeries and recoveries each of us has gone through.

As I think of these things, I realize there is no one else I would rather walk beside than one who brings with her a beautiful dream for us to live. It’s the vision as a whole with all of it’s booboos, behaviors, kisses and hugs that allows everyone within it to grow.

Now that we have completed a 5k, let’s aim for a marathon. After all, completing a marathon has been on my bucket list for the past 10 years.

Merry Christmas and thank you.

Our family officially grows to match what we have known and and lived for years. We are now officially a nuclear family of 5.


Stone Soup

Manna from heaven for a starving man?
Manna from heaven for a starving man?

Last week, I was in an interview where I had a chance to recount one of my favorite stories, “The Stone Soup.” It was fun for me because I rarely get a chance to tell a story in a job interview because they so rarely seem to fit the question asked. When I had to chance to pass along this cool story from my in-laws, I could not resist.

“Stone Soup”

It seems there was an old beggar whose sole possession outside of the clothes on his back was a large pot. He went from town to town, village to village with the story of how his restaurant had burned down to the ground leaving him with only this pot. He insisted cooking was his love and joy, and he could make the best soup anyone had ever tasted with his special ingredient and his pot. He would bet anyone in the town willing to take him up on the bet, and when he had enough participants in his wager he would begin using whatever stove, oven or fire they provided.

He would start with water in the pot and add his special ingredient hidden from the betters into the pot. Then people would come offering him spices, vegetables and even some meat. When he served the soup, people were amazed how good their ordinary fare tasted when combined with his special ingredient.
As a result, he became somewhat of a welcome guest traveling from town. When he was old and could no longer travel from house to house, much less town to town, he made a deal with a large family who agreed to let him stay with them if he would tell them his secret ingredient. He told them the secret was just a rock he found on the road to wherever he headed next. The reason everyone loved the soup was their part in its making. Often what is needed can be found at hand, and even if he did not like the taste, he never starved.

As for what question in interview this story fits, they asked me, “What do you do when you are instructed to do something for which you do not have the resources, and the requester isn’t giving them to you?”

“Have you ever heard the story of ‘Stone Soup’?” I add what I can to the pot, and thus far, I have not starved.

For me, the story has always been symbolic of our family. We all bring something to this soup we call a home, and we cherish it because of what we have invested of ourselves into it. We value it not because of what it costs in dollars. We value it mostly because of what it means for us, and the comfort and nurturing we find there. When we foster other kids into our home, they add another ingredient into the soup that I still find the best I have tasted.

My son gave me this for my birthday.  I was reminded of a speaker who once told the crowd to cherish what your kids give you, even if it is a rock.  Likely, the gift meant a lot to and from them.
My son gave me this for my birthday. I was reminded of a speaker who once told the crowd to cherish what your kids give you, even if it is a rock. Likely, the gift meant a lot to and from them.

Our Family's Stories of Growing Up

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