a love story.
an airman in uniform
til death us do part
i’ll let that image above stay a little fuzzy . . .
it looks like when they soften pictures with a haze . . ..
as if in a dream.
it’s rather fitting here.
it’s been so long ago now that it almost seems
like a dream . . .
even to me.
and i lived it!
but it’s not a dream.
and it happened to me.
if you’re a longtime peanut reader . . .
you might already guess.
because . . . let’s face it!
there are certainly past posts about some of those fun years
right over there in my side bar.
and you’ve no doubt read most of them.
they were fun weren’t they.
i like re~reading them sometimes
just because it brings it all back to me.
and i get to live the moments all over again.
but this one particular instance just came back to me the other day.
and . . .
i’m getting ahead of my story.
as i usually do.
let’s start at the beginning.
once upon a time.
there was a little girl.
she was almost 10 years old.
just before that big important birthday.
why is 10 so important?
i don’t know!
because even though i was always small for my age
i already felt very grown up.
and i thought 10 meant i was finally really getting there.
interesting that my jacob thought the same thing this summer
when he turned 10.
that’s NOT ME of course.
just an image to remind us all that
that is the exact same size i was.
and i chose that picture because that’s how i wore my hair.
and . . . . well frankly . . .
judging from that little lady’s body language . . .
maybe there’s a little ‘free spirit’ attitude going on there too?
i recognized it right off.
it was my
free spirit that day that got me into trouble.
you see . . .
that would be my bike above.
and that would be the truck’s bumper.
and that would be me.
i am only allowed to ride up and down my own block.
it’s a long block. a big neighborhood.
and it’s almost dark time.
i am NOT to go around the block.
i liked the word even then! even at 9 going on 10 i have a poet’s soul.
i call it my
” moonlight ride “
i have to be in before it gets DARK.
that was ALWAYS the NUMBER ONE RULE.
for the marine and me both.
and . . .
this ONE TIME . . .
i decide to be adventurous and go further afield.
i not only went around my OWN block.
i went THREE WHOLE blocks over! WAYYY OVER!
i DID OLD BEAN !!!
i am dreamily riding along . . . not going terribly fast . . .
but still at a pretty good little clip.
the air is cool. my pony tails are fair flying behind me!!!
we didn’t wear safety helmets then.
i think the only people who wore a helmet were soldiers and football players.
i look at the houses as i pass them.
i look up at the new moon rising in the twilight sky. . .
just barely showing already . . .
beautiful. so beautiful . . .
WHAM ! ! !
the handle bar turns in the wreck and rams into my stomach.
it knocks the breath right out of me.
i awaken to a young man in some kind of uniform carrying me.
he sits for awhile . . . holding me in his lap.
i’m trying hard not to cry.
a lady already has a cold cloth on my forehead.
and an older man is there too . . .
smoking a pipe. i remember the smell of it even.
they had been sitting on their front porch.
they had seen me . . .
riding along . . .
it is the older man’s bumper i have collided with.
my knees are all skinned up and bleeding.
my stomach hurts bad
where the end of the handle bar hit it.
they are asking me my phone number so they can call my parents.
CALL MY PARENTS ???
” NO THANK YOU MA’AM! NO THANK YOU SIRS!
I’M JUST FINE! I HAVE TO GO HOME NOW! “
and while they’re still protesting . . .
i stagger down their driveway back out into the street
where my little bicycle lay with those dratted handle bars.
the very ones that had knocked me out cold!
did i know i was already in trouble.
i didn’t need witnesses to the fact!
i went home and fessed up . . .
got bandaged up . . .
got grounded for a week.
no bike. no tv.
not so bad.
not like having to eat liver or anything.
SO . . .
my life went on.
many years went by.
i had many more birthdays and lived in many different states . . .
in the last state
i grew up very fast.
in northnern minnesota . . . 6 weeks before i graduated high school . . .
as you peanut readers all know ~ my father died of a massive heart attack.
he had been 45 years old for only 4 short months.
we had been scheduled to transfer to marion illinois as soon as school ended.
we never made it of course.
he was a wonderful man.
i was very lucky there.
with both of my beloved parents actually.
don’t think that i ever take that lightly.
sadly we know only too well that not everyone
has that luck.
he’s still “daddy” to me even now.
because he didn’t live long enough for me to outgrow my childhood name for him.
strange. never thought of that before! but it’s true.
eventually . . . mother and the marine and i
all moved back here to oklahoma.
then gram came from her beloved new york to join us.
i guess we did that because
daddy’s mother and two brothers lived in oklahoma city.
only . . . instead of oklahoma city . . .
we moved back here to norman.
somehow it just felt like home right away. funny how places do that.
we’d had good memories here for awhile once . . . long ago.
just the happy four of us.
to a thanksgiving day.
i was then married to bob.
and had been for quite some time.
we were having the grand dinner at his parents’ home.
we were all sitting around my mother’s~ in~law table.
she always had the most beautiful tables.
silver. china. crystal. candles. flowers.
the woman was born to entertain.
and the food was always delicious.
we were all just sitting around the table . . .
bob and bob’s relatives mostly.
my own dear little family . . .
the marine and mother and gram . . .
had years before ~ gone back to live in new york.
and yes. i missed them greatly.
at this thanksgiving table over pie and coffee . . .
at the end of the meal . . .
everyone nicely full and mellow. . .
they all just got to reminiscing.
you know how you do at a big family dinner.
i always thought that was so nice.
relaxing and lovely.
somehow they all got to talking about silly things that kids do.
the chances they take . . . reckless behavior etc . . . etc . . .
i heard bob’s dad say . . .
” i’ll never forget that little girl that ran right smack into the back of my truck.
yes sir. broad daylight and she hit it hard! knocked herself out!
bob had to carry her to the porch. remember that bob? “
WHAT ? ? ?
YES ! ! !
bob had remembered it well.
i’m sure you have already guessed it . . .
i had met my future husband that very day.
i was 9.
still just a very silly little girl.
that would make him 20.
and also make
our age difference a vast gulf between us!
at least it did at that point in time.
i hadn’t even noticed how handsome he was!
it never crossed my almost 10 year old mind of course.
i was too worried about the trouble i’d be in for disobeying my parents.
LOLOL ! ! !
this was what he looked like about that time . . .
only when he carried me and held me on his lap that long ago day . . .
he was in his air force uniform ~ not a jacket like this one.
EXCUSE ME PLEASE
bob’s dad . . . sir . . .
it WAS NOT ” broad daylight.”
it was DUSK.
DUSK ! ! !
it could have happened to ANYBODY!
i didn’t say that at the table of course.
of course I DID recognize the incident immediately!
right there . . .
in front of God and Everybody . . .
over thanksgiving pie and coffee . . .
i’m that girl ! ! !
i’m the one who hit your truck ! ! !
much laughter all around.
and astonishment of course.
you know . . . at just the way of life sometimes . . .
then . . .
bob was looking at me
with the strangest look.
just a look
across the table . . .
just between the two of us.
i grew to know that look well.
it was a look
” it was meant to be. “
he was the love of my life.
you know that. from the other stories.
he was the last piece to my life puzzle.
the best piece actually. the one that completed it.
i was widowed at barely 34.
like my daddy . . . bob died young.
only not of heart but of cancer.
i thought he was a beautiful man.
and he was.
inside and out.
here are some pictures to prove it.
surely i’m not just prejudiced! ya think?
no. he really was.
here’s one of my favorites . . .
one of the last times we went camping.
thus the no shave look.
little did we know he was just an early don johnson on camping trips.
oh my darling bob.
i miss you my boy.
we hardly got a chance to know ye.
such fun we had!
he made life
and this you’ve seen before i know . . .
this was at the very beginning . . .
laughter was the magic glue of our marriage.
and really . . . of any marriage i think.
to think . . .
it all started
with a bicycle wreck.
til soon old bean!