One of the benefits of being nearly 67 years old is the comfortability of long-term relationships. Sitting around the dinner table tonight with two sisters and brothers-in-law and a couple who've been family friends for nearly forty years, there's a familiarity that is only possible with the years. "How many years have you been married?" was the question of the night. Fifty-two, forty-six, forty, and thirty-three. There was a lot of marital wisdom gathered around the table. No one was feeling their way, unsure of their acceptance, worrying about saying the wrong thing, wondering if they fit in.
I can't remember how many years we've been getting together. I know that the guys used to meet for Monday night football back when Howard Cosell was the announcer. We'd get together just before 9:00 pm and stay till the game was over. At least it started that way. Over the years, we'd wake up some time after the game was over, wondering who won. Then we'd go home at half time, till finally we got to the point where bedtime was before kickoff.
We have plenty of common ground, but we're all different. The other guys are pretty good mechanics and into racing and football. Ken likes to hunt, Gary is the machine shop man, Lance is a treasure-trove of miscellaneous information, and I am the preacher and music guy. But we get along, enjoying our get-togethers.
In our throw-away society, our marriages and friendships have gone the distance. Forty-plus years of living together is a gift not many people get to share. We have, and for it, I am grateful tonight.