By Judy Reiss
I can hardly believe that Halloween has come and gone and I never even mentioned it. The reason I find it strange is because Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, at least it always was. Of course times have really changed and we haven’t really had a Trick or Treater in years! Actually that isn’t the truth either. A wonderful Wilson family that lives around the corner from us always comes and this year they didn’t disappoint. So the truth is a frog, a piggy and a little tiny duck did appear just before we had to go out and it was really the highlight of our evening.
And now we are into November, which should be my favorite month of the year. And why you ask! Well, as you probably know, I love Thanksgiving. I not only love the festivities and wonderful traditional food, or maybe because I am related to all those incredibly brave people who first landed on our shores, but a year doesn’t go by that I don’t think of the women. I find it almost unimaginable that the women had about as many babies that they could physically have and then were only able to bring a few into adulthood. And while they were having babies they were also working like the hard working animals. Not only did they work to grow gardens that would produce enough food to feed everyone during the winter months, they kept the house and fed everyone who lived under their roofs, which usually included a few extra field hands. And my favorite part is that they did everything while wearing wet, muddy long unattractive skirts! And the lucky ones didn’t catch their clothes on fire from their open hearths!
So, other than Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims, why do I like November? Well, the answer is quite easy. Two of my children were born in November and I have a step-granddaughter who was born only a day after my first born. And this year we have a few other things to celebrate in November.
First, although not foremost, I had my right knee replaced on November 10. Although I don’t really think of this particular day one to celebrate, I was really looking forward to it. Hopefully, by the time you read this I will be home and already walking around the house. I know that it will take a while to recover and that I should not expect to sail through without some work on my part. And I haven’t spoken to anyone who used the phrase, “pain free”. But I am ready and am hoping that the new knee will also help my back. So November is still looking good.
But the highlight of this November is that on the 27th, Malcolm and I will have been married 50 years. I don’t know about you but 50 years seems impossible to me! And as I look back, I never thought that my life would turn out like it has. During our 50 years, we have had 4 children, 8 grandchildren and not only are we still together, we haven’t wounded or killed each other! I remember celebrating my grandparents’ 50th anniversary and thinking that they must be wonderful people and a very patient and terrific couple. And to tell you the truth, I still feel the same way.
Unfortunately today too many young people won’t make 50 years together for several reasons. First, they don’t bother to get married. And if they do get married, it is with the idea that if it doesn’t turn out to be the fantastic relationship that they dream about, they can always separate and get a divorce. And to hell with the children, they are just extra baggage and maybe their parents will care for them!
So, how do you stay married and get to 50 years alive and well? The answer is you have to take one day at a time. And you have to let all the little things go and ignore most of the bigger ones. And you have to work at your marriage every single day. Plus, and this is a big plus, you cannot consider a divorce an easy option. And like people who are my age, you have to believe that marriage is forever!
I know you all now know why I consider November the nicest and easiest month for the Reiss family to celebrate. And this year at Thanksgiving I will be able to tell all of my children and grandchildren about Thanksgiving 50 years ago and how nervous I was to know that only two days later Malcolm and I would be getting married and how my father had to go to Bisbee’s hardware store and buy a sheet of plastic to wrap me in on our way to the church because it was snowing so hard! I know they will believe it because Malcolm has skied every single day it snows in November. Maybe our wedding day should have told me something and that it was just the beginning, ski-wise!