For Better or Worse

Nearly 20 years ago, I vowed to love and cherish my husband. The words "for better or for worse" were part of those vows. He made identical vows to me. Oh glory days!

We have been through some really good times - our first house, my first horse - a gift from him, the birth of our daughter - and these times have made my life so much richer. We have also been through some not so good times - the whole "for worse" part which I won't go into. What I am learning is that it's the "for worse" part that makes the "for better" part so much richer.

Last night, we had to once again rescue our renegade crew - Radar and Minnie. Radar is approaching 30 years old. He can always find his way out of the fence but not back home. Minnie is young but blind in one eye and stupid. She COULD find her way back home but she prefers not to as long as Radar will follow. Unfortunately, neighbors and passers by don't get the humor in this pair's comradre but normally are a bit offended that they find them. Actually, this is only the second escape in many, many years, but it occurred within two days of the first escape. The drama of the chase was unimaginable. As we located the missing pair, we set about in hot pursuit of them ropes overhead, driving along behind them, capturing them just as they were beginning to descend into another hidden spot - NOT. They saw the feed bucket, cried and ran to me, following me back up the ten mile hill to the house. Poor Radar, two trips up this hill in one week were almost more than he could handle. He cried a huge winnie of relief when he saw his beloved Oops waiting in the barn lot. Minnie didn't care, she never cares. She went into the lot not worried in the least what she may or may not have done. She's blind after all, she's excused!

My husband's passion for horses begins with excitement to see me living a dream and ends with the reality of angry victims of the escapes. Therefore, our next task after the ten mile walk up hill was to find the breach in the fence as the destroyed gate must have only been part of the scam these two had going. This being MY dream, I set out to find the breach so I could report back to my husband who would then fix the broken fencing. I quickly found it as well. Right in the middle of the woods - a wooded area covered in poison ivy and muskedine vines. Oh thrills!

If you mention poison ivy my husband will break out into a rash. If he ever touches it, he will end up in the emergency room. This breach was actually a place where a fallen tree had laid the fence on the ground - a tree covered in poison ivy. So, prior to telling him it was found, I removed the tree top and the vines. I then called for his attention and he set about with easy and quick repairs-oh how the neighbor will be happy! Not really because she hates horses - they are animals and animals are evil - but at least she can't complain anymore - at least not about them being in her yard.

For all of you who are allergic, Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid is the lifesaving fluid that will wash the oil of the ivy off skin and clothes. I immediately sent Dave to the showers with a bottle of the glistening orange miracle cure. I also instructed him to leave the clothes in a spot and took them to the washing machine to wash in Palmolive as well. I am so smart! I am just a little genuis in a body! He is SO lucky I can think to do these things! My insurance company can thank me later.

All washing and drying accomplished, I went to bed, ever so grateful for my gift of foresight and intelligence. This morning, I advised him to retrieve his "workpants" from the dryer when he got ready. He did find them in the dryer along with his business cards, his driver's license, his social security card, all his paper money and whatever other paper secrets he keeps in the massive hunk of leather he used to call a wallet! Who knew! It's the wife's job to clean, it's the husband's job to clean the pockets right?

Today may be another one of those "for worst" moments in our marriage. But, he loves me and I love him and the "for better" is the reality of that love and the bond we made before God. Every "for worst" moment with him far outweighs a "for better" moment without him. I think that's how God intended it. If we could remember the promise we made - the three of us - Him, Me and God - perhaps we could always withstand those moments that are not so great and then experience those moments that make it oh so worth it!

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