When I married, I dreamed I’d be this remarkable wife and cheerleader for my husband, a wife who cooked fabulous meals and kept the floors clean enough to eat on--all while staying in good shape, being a terrific mother, and volunteering with the church or other worthy causes.
Um... that was not quite how things went. Okay, that was not at all how things went. And don’t chance eating off my floors.
Maybe a few meals tasted okay, I was in shape now and then, volunteered here and there, but never were my lofty goals/fantasies achieved at the same time … or even in the same year.
A question has pestered me because of my failures. I’d made a vow to love and to cherish my husband, and I’d loved him. But had I cherished?
Disasters had interfered. Distractions, too. Some were important and urgent—like children, aging parents, work. Some were because I’d overcommitted myself elsewhere. But many times I was simply tired and lazy.
My husband and I both knew, deep down, that time away as a couple was important--part of cherishing each other. So when my youngest left for college, we decided an anniversary trip, even a close/cheap one, was in order.
We travelled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a few days to just hang out together.
One area we enjoyed walking around was Bay St. Louis. Quaint and full of character, I wanted to know more about the town.
I checked with my friend, Donna, who grew up there. The following is a bit of info she had to offer.
Bay St Louis has lots of festivals considering its size. The annual Crab Festival started off as a small church fair to raise money for Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic church but now has grown to 100 arts and craft booths and attendance of around 50,000 people over the 2.5-day festival, not bad for a town with a population of 11,000. Bridge Fest is an annual festival to celebrate the re-opening of the bridge over the Bay of St. Louis which connects Bay St Louis and Pass Christian after the bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. They also have Harbor Fest which is a weekend music festival. Over the past 20 years they have enjoyed Second Saturday Art walk where shops in downtown stay open later, Main Street is blocked off so that people can gather and enjoy live music. There are no “chain” stores in downtown BSL. All of the stores around the beach road and the beach end of Main Street are all local shops with antiques, art, crafts, and unique restaurants.
The people of BSL are very down to earth and friendly. You can tell that they are resilient too by looking at how they rebound after each Hurricane. I witnessed the devastating effects of Hurricanes Camille and Katrina to BSL, and the entire MS coast, but in both cases, the residents shared what they had with their neighbors, even when what they had left after the devastation was not much, and helped each other rebuild without whining about it or waiting for someone else to come and take care of them.
“Resilient.” “Rebound.” I like those words she used for her hometown. Perhaps when life throws disasters and distractions my way, I can be resilient and rebound. I can work on cherishing by being deliberate and intentional. Rebuilding relationship.
I have to plan not to be lazy and not to neglect my vow to cherish my spouse—even if it’s just a cheap date like watching the sunset or walking along a quaint, resilient harbor.
I'll take all the help I can get! Do you have a favorite cheap date or way of cherishing your spouse?
Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson