Newlywed Love (#113)

October 29-31, 1970

Halloween was upon us. Though we doubted trick ‘r treaters would climb to the 3rd floor, Nate and I bought a little candy, just in case. We also chose two pumpkins – one plump, the other tall. Carving them on the kitchen floor, we had as much fun as if we’d been grade-school kids.

Rounmd amd plumpTall and skinny






Afterwards we lit them up with a couple of old candle stubs and set them on the fireplace hearth where they seemed to decorate the whole room. The two of us sat in the dusky pumpkin-light for a long time, talking about future decisions.

That’s when Nate said something completely unexpected. “Have you ever thought about getting a masters degree?”

This came out of nowhere. “What do you mean?” I said. “A masters in what? And where? And how would we pay for it? And what about my brain? Doesn’t it belong in a kindergarten room?”

None of that stopped him. “Depending on what the Army does with me, it won’t be long till I’ll be supporting us both. And since Chicago is no longer hiring provisional teachers, maybe you should just go back to school.”

This was spoken by someone who loved being a student. I’d made only average grades in college and had never once experienced a rush of joy at opening a fresh textbook or reading a new syllabus.

“You could study writing,” he said. “Just think how much fun it would be to learn more about what you already love.”

He had a point. I’d been trying to sell some of my writing in recent weeks without any success, so learning more might help. “But could I even get in?”

Medill.“It couldn’t hurt to try,” he said. “And if we end up in the Chicago area, you could go to Medill, the journalism school at North- western.”

“Oh sure,” I said. “I’d never get in there.”

But as the jack ‘o lantern candles burned down and finally flickered out, I felt a little flicker of enthusiasm inside – about the school idea. Nate was right. It couldn’t hurt to try.

The next morning my kindergarteners came to class in costumes, and we set aside our regular schedule to party and to participate in the all-school Halloween parade. Many of the parents joined us, bringing extra treats, so the kids were sufficiently sugar-saturated by the end of the day.

Around 5:00 PM, I trudged up the steps to our apartment where Nate greeted me with kisses and questions. “How were the parties? What about the parade? Did the kids say anything funny today?”

“The whole day was a delight,” I said, “but I’m really tired. I didn’t expect so many parents, each one asking how their student was doing in school. I couldn’t remember who was whose mother or what each child had learned. It was stressful! We made it, though, and they all left happy. I’m just glad the weekend’s here!”

Nate’s weekend would be spent studying… but I would be happily dipping chocolate candy.

”Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

One thought on “Newlywed Love (#113)

  1. I lost my husband five months ago and going into this holiday season with no family here, is going to be difficult. Another widow loaned me your book for widows and it spoke to my heart. Through that book, I found your blog and so enjoyed it that I have back tracked and am on page 389 of your blog! It is the last thing I do at night before going to sleep so it is my new routine. I love how you weave lessons and spiritual applications throughout mundane events of each day. It has truly helped me try to do the same. I am still trying to find my way through the maze of events I have been going through for the past years. My husband’s stroke over nine years ago, while I was undergoing a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy while he was in the hospital and then in rehab, was daunting. Combined with profound deafness from Meniere’s Disease and having no family for support, only by the grace of God did I get through it. The nine years after Joe’s stroke was a series of many healt woes and hospitalizations, tests, appointments, procedures, decline….then a fall in our driveway in May 2016, sealed his fate. He never came back home to live after that and there is so much more to this story! That is not nearly all :-). When I read what you write, I find myself longing and wishing that I had grown up as your children must have, with two parents who modeled Jesus and applied his teachings on a daily basis. Just wanted to let you know how much your writing and sharing, touches my heart and has been a great help to me. I mull these things over as I go about my day.