For Better or Worse

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            Everyone listens intently as the officiant rattles off a bunch of promises in their wedding. You don’t really think about it until it happens in real life. A lot of our marriage has been the better, but occasionally you get the worse. If you can survive that, with no fatalities, you have a good marriage.

            Two weeks ago, the tornado siren brought us together at the base of the stairs, by candle light. We sat as the wind whistled through trees and bush branches hit the side of the house. We sat on the steps to the upstairs, and our cat Ella was close by, under a chair, under the dining room table. Animals know. When the alert time passed, we thought the worst was over. That was Monday night. When I checked with the power company their estimate for repairs was late Saturday night. Remember, this was Monday. Fun Fun!

            However, I went one step further. I talked to a local power company supervisor, and he gave a more optimistic appraisal. Maybe just three days. Of course, for just a little more fun, these were the hottest days of the year, with temperatures hitting over 90 degrees with high humidity.

            The house was still relatively cool Monday night, We suffered through Tuesday night with fans. By Wednesday I said Enough! I drove into town and secured the last motel room in the city. Later that afternoon we packed the refrigerator with ice and headed to our motel. However, apparently the person who checked us in had made a mistake. Our room was rented over the internet. So, we sat in the nice air-conditioned lobby while the manager tried to find us a room somewhere. After several failed efforts he mentioned a room without a working sink, that normally he wouldn’t rent. I said sold!

            Even with a towel over the sink, its amazing how many times you automatically head toward the sink; and brushing your teeth over the bath tub is just weird. But it was cool and we slept. At least I did. Crystal had more trouble. She was uncharacteristically cranky the next day. That next morning, when we tried to reserve another night, we discovered that the room had been rented. I guess since we didn’t die, the room was now considered rentable. So, we went back home.

            At this point Crystal had had enough and was willing to swelter at home. I was not. I grabbed the food out of the freezer and drove to Liz’s (oldest daughter) house to use their freezer. They already had a full house, but enough freezer space. I also used their WIFI to find a place to stay. There was an Airbnb 25 minutes from our home with power, and it sounded nice. Normally I would check with Crystal and Lisa, but of course phones/texts weren’t working.

            As we arrived at the new digs ominous black clouds followed us. We thought Oh no, not again. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a stronger downpour. You couldn’t see ten feet from the window. Trees were replaced with shadows in the white wall of water. The rain only lasted five minutes, and the power stayed on. Just then, our neighbor informed us that the power in our neighborhood had just returned. We were all happy. That is until a few minutes later when Lisa started screaming for us to get everything off the floor, and dragged a dripping wet bag across the room. Water started coming in everywhere. I contacted the owner. She was mad and almost crying when she arrived. Apparently, she had spent a lot of money fixing the drainage.

            But she had another, far superior Airbnb close by. It was really nice. We had traded up. The next day we returned to our cool dry home, with a very appreciative cat. I think we all slept the rest of the day.

The next week, Crystal and I went on a previously planned vacation, at a lake in Michigan. The weather was perfect all week. We swam, ate in some nice restaurants, explored two state parks, did a wine tasting, started a fire in their fire pit, grilled some steaks, explored a light house and of course Crystal went to a quilt shop. It was a wonderful week following a horrible one. Its all part of life’s and marriage’s for better or worse. One word of advice: Whenever you take vows, Like Aretha said, “you gotta think!”

The Worse
The Better.

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