when it seems like just another day

bicycling, couple, love

Written by Duane Scott

GENERAL EDITOR I'm a writer, nature lover, a friend, a singer (in the shower), a Cheetos lover and a Snuggie hater. And God and I are buddies.

July 7, 2011

bicycling, couple, love

My feet closely follow Southern Gal’s across the black and white tiled floor. Hand in hand, we dance toward the counter, sidestepping an older gentleman who motions to a woman waiting and says, “I’m with my bride. Go ahead.”

“Creepy,” I think to myself, but when I look at the beautiful girl holding my hand I think, “I get his point. Tonight reminds me of before we were married.”

We stare through finger-smudged glass, squinting as we read the names of each ice-cream out loud.

“I’m getting mint chocolate,” I say, “But only if it doesn’t taste like Crest toothpaste.”

Always the polite one, Southern Gal whispers for me to hush up and I smile at the lady behind the palette of cold colors and ask sweetly, “May I try your mint chocolate?”

The older gentleman and his wife now sit by the window on high-top chairs, legs intertwined like crazy teenagers in love, and I watch them as they watch each other, lost in each other’s smiles as they dip their spoons in unison, almost touching, but not quite, a banana split between them.

“Too bad I don’t like bananas,” I think, and I wonder if what Southern Gal said before we came in was a hint. “I’m not that hungry,” she had said, “Maybe we should share something.”

“Next time,” I think to myself. “That couple has probably been together for 35 years already, so of course they know all the secrets.”

We drive home then, in silence mostly, except when I joke and say that mint chocolate ice-cream has less calories than rocky road.

“Probably,” she says between licks, “Either way, we’re taking a bike ride when we get home.”

On our bikes, we ride side by side through the small town we live in, touring it as though we’ve never seen our tiny post office or our old brick bank. And once in a while, I dip my bike toward hers and we laugh and complain about each other’s poor driving.

We look at flower gardens and discuss how we want to finish our back yard. One time, Southern Gal climbs off her bike to prove to me the flowers by one of the gravestones are real. We both think it’s kinda neat that someone stops by their beloved’s resting place to water flowers each day.

The sun dips low.

We stand in ankle deep water by the dam, listening to the roar of water and watch as a young man tries in vain to catch a fish.

We ride home then, shower, and set our alarms for the next day.

Lying side by side on cool sheets, I stare into the darkness and think how much my life has changed in the last seven months since that day in a church on the East coast.

The thunder crashes around us.

I glance over at Southern Gal and think how no storm could be large enough to ruin this day.

The lightening illuminates her face and I see her eyes are closed to the world outside, but I know she’s not asleep. Smooth skin meets my fingers. And then I’m lost, drowned in a perfectly chaotic, wonderfully flawed life.

“Each day is a gift,” someone once said.

And as I lie listening to the thunder echoing in the distance, I think how each day may not appear as a gift, but if we carefully unwrap it and notice each detail the Giver has done to make it special, the day becomes just that.

A gift.

-Duane Scott

39 Comments

  1. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    Duane,
    It’s all about that seeing, isn’t it…the noticing? Thanks for making that point so beautifully. I can see you and SG sharing a banana split, about 65 years from now 🙂

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @Sheila_Lagrand:disqus … I can see us sharing one and laughing the entire time about how we both don’t like bananas. Or maybe, in 65 years, our taste buds will be diminished and our teeth missing so all we WILL be able to eat is bananas. 🙂 

      Reply
      • Sheila Seiler Lagrand

        Or maybe in 65 years bananas will be better.

        I didn’t like them much until I spent a year in the tropics.

        But then when I returned to California, it took me a decade before I could manage the “bananas” available in the stores here.

        Reply
        • Duane Scott

          @Sheila_Lagrand:disqus … 

          I think that’s what happened. Both SG and I fell in love with the flavor of bananas when we were in Africa. In fact, when I got home, and picked some up from Kwik Trip, I threw them out, thinking they were spoiled. 

          America needs to figure out how to grow those little tiny ones that they grow in the jungle. 🙂 

          Reply
          • Diana Trautwein

            They do sell a Hawaiian version called apple bananas in some organic food sections – SO superior to the Williams bananas we get because they’re easier to ship!

          • Duane Scott

            @google-8d47ae1d07b6226f58c162dfa58986de:disqus … I’ll definitely try going to some organic stores. I never thought of it. Oh, to find a good banana. 🙂 

          • The Wall

            CEO of Kwik Trip Donald P Zietlow of Onalaska donated $5,902 to the campaigns of Wisconsin’s Temporary Governor Scott Walker – earning Kwik Trip a place on the Boycott List. Be sure to keep them and everyone else on the internet informed about the need to boycott Kwik Trip and let Donald P Zietlow know Wisconsin is CLOSED for this business.

            Kwik Trip – Kwik Trip executives have given over $214,000 to primarily GOP candidates, and reports as a “Natural Resources” interest company.

  2. nance marie

    this is good, and i totally enjoyed it.
    and i’m not just being kind.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Dear @google-9363416ba9b69e56266369a2b53a1741:disqus … 

      I appreciate.. 
      When people don’t just
      blow smoke. 

      But instead, 
      whisper genuine
      carefully thought out 
      encouragements. 

      Thank you! 

      Reply
  3. Eileen

    Beautiful, Duane.  I love this, “a perfectly chaotic, wonderfully flawed life.”   I was out for a run with my husband the other day and I saw my favorite elderly couple walking down the street.  They are always holding hands.   I want to be doing that at 80 with my hubby.  My husband jokingly says they are just holding each other up, LOL, I don’t care.  I look forward to that. 🙂

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @emknowles:disqus … I love that. 🙂 Your husband sounds like he has a wonderful sense of humor. And you guys have a wonderful relationship. 

      I know you’ll be 80 and still holding each other up. 🙂 

      I think there is a post in there for you to write. I seriously do. 

      Reply
      • Eileen

        Ha!  funny you should say that.  The same thought entered my mind right after I wrote it.  🙂  Thanks, Duane.

        Reply
        • Duane Scott

          To quote someone who makes kids work long hours….

          “Just. Do. It.”

          Duane Scott
          http://duane-scott.net/

          Reply
  4. SweetMariMari

    Beautiful piece…what a wonderful thing to notice–to see and delight in the little, amazing details of life–with another intertwined in our lives. I worked with a young couple hanging drywall in our church last night–they oozed love and pure delight amidst the dust, stopping to admire their handiwork together after measuring, cutting, lifting, drilling together. 

    Whether with another or on my own, I delight in seeing God everywhere. Thanks for your reminder to appreciate, even celebrate, that every day.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @e8b36e8dd06965d0aca4bd380b031cc5:disqus … “they oozed love and pure delight”

      I want to live like that. Like you. 

      Thanks for encouraging me today! 

      Reply
  5. Lynn Mosher

    Beautifully said, Duane! Hubs always refers to me as his *bride.* I like it. We were probably that *old* couple with legs intertwined in love, for we will celebrate our 45th anniversary on the 15th! One day you’ll truly understand how love changes, grows deeper and more appreciative. It just takes time.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @e7e703e5018fcff2f7015d8f2f15affa:disqus … CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Love DOES change. It gets easier. Natural. And sometimes, I’m tempted to take it for granted. 

      Reply
  6. Jason Vana

    As a single guy, with no girlfriend, I’m obliged to say: “where’s the spoon so I can gag myself. Crazy married guys.”

    As a single guy who wants to be married, I say: “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. How cute.”

    =D

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @JasonVana:disqus … You have a good heart. 

      And if it makes you feel any better, I suppose I can choke down a banana split with you. However, our legs cannot be intertwined whilst doing this. I have boundaries. 

      Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Much needed reminder. 

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @zenichka:disqus … Thank you so much! And a special thanks for featuring me over at your blog. That was so sweet of you. 🙂 

      Reply
  8. Chad Jones

    As a nearly 21 years married man, I can tell you: it only gets sweeter–but you have to let it.

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @randomlychad:disqus … Hmm… I’m only 21 years old. You’ve been married as long as I’ve lived. I feel like a baby. 

      Reply
  9. Jen Ferguson

    This is beautiful.  I could see each step transpiring.  And it reminds me, in this moment, no matter the chaos, to embrace what is mine.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @jenfergie2000:disqus … No matter the chaos. I love that phrase. Helps a person see past any imperfections, doesn’t it? 

      Reply
  10. Diana Trautwein

    Oh my, Duane.  So beautifully spun, these threads of gold you weave here.  Thank you so much. 45 years and counting for us and it truly does get sweeter.  There are always bumps along the way, but it you two can come back and read this small essay over and over through the years, those bumps will smooth out much more quickly.  It is that good.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Thank you @google-8d47ae1d07b6226f58c162dfa58986de:disqus … your comment was an encouragement to me. 

      Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @inpulsearts:disqus … Thanks for reading! 

      Reply
  11. Daniel Humphries

    Nice. And nicely crafted.

    I heard somebody say yesterday that our relationship with our spouses is part of our evangelism and I’ve been dwelling on that thought since. (Well, actually they said our sex lives were our evangelism, but it’s too much to explain here.) This piece came at the right time for me and dovetails with what’s been rumbling around my cranium.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Um, @MacTxn:disqus ? I want to hear your thoughts on how the world our sex lives are part of evangelism. That one has me stumped. 

      Is it that it makes us less crabby to the world if we are.. you know.. on a regular basis? 

      I’m lost. 

      And intrigued. 

      And kinda grossed out. 

      Reply
  12. Keviana Elliot

    Ugh! Brought tears to my eyes!

    I hesitate to type this word to describe this post because it’s such an over-used word, yet it is the only word that captures what’s on this page.

    Beautiful.

    Yeah. It is.

    Thank you for sharing this. It felt like rest.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @princesslilac:disqus … You are so kind. Thanks for having my back. 

      Reply
  13. Louiseg88

    This is beautiful!  Thank you Duane for sharing the gift of your day, and your words.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @3318c9a64b749709cd27a3cb465932c8:disqus … Thanks for taking the time to read it. I appreciate you, Louise. 🙂 

      Reply
  14. Cindy Holman

    This is so romantic.  I love it!  Greg and I have been married 30 years in September and we’re only 5 years away from that couple you mentioned – and yes – we know all the ‘secrets’ – it’s a dance that lasts a lifetime 🙂  Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @twitter-23007834:disqus … “a dance that lasts a lifetime”…. and I wonder now, who’s music are we dancing to? Is it God’s? Career? Dreams? Selfishness? Loves? 

      Each one would have their own dance style. And some of them aren’t all that pleasant. 

      Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @7da0209ee7e991bdfdedea6f5bda696d:disqus … Thanks Nikole! 

      Reply

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when it seems like just another day

by Duane Scott time to read: 3 min
42