Friday, January 12, 2024


The tall handsome young man turned from the counter as a young woman walked through the cafe door. His eye lit up when he saw her, and they stared with delight into each other's eyes.

A soppy beginning to a romance novel? No, just an everyday occurrence at our local cafe. We live in a neighborhood full of young people, young families, medical students, and people from all over the world. We hear different languages spoken around us and listen to Happy Birthday songs sung in the children's park across the way. We see the beginnings of new love as the couples around us chat with enthusiasm about their daily lives and new-formed ideas. 

As the young couple greeted each other with sparkles in their eyes, two grey-haired couples walked behind them. They entered the cafe with the casual assurance of old relationships, aware of each other, one touching the elbow of the other, and knowing exactly what one or the other would order. The four elders sat down together in the back and talked amiably among themselves.

Someone asked my husband Bill what the secret to a long marriage was. His immediate answer was "Curiosity." I would agree, but I also would consider, "Commitment." And a sense of humor about each other's foibles. When we have the inevitable rough patches in our marriage, I lose my sense of humor and patience. When those important traits come back again, I know all is right with our world.

I think of other couples that I know. One couple's sense of humor fills their lives. They haven't lost the sparkle in their eyes when they look at each other and laugh with glee at either a witty or ironic phrase one of them utters. They chuckle at their comical facial expressions. They are both artists and some of their creativity seeps into their daily lives.

Another couple does almost everything together, checking with each other before making any commitment, and holding hands as they walk together. Another couple highlights the good in the other so that their friends know what the best part of their partner is. Two others give each other a kiss and say, "I love you," each time they go separate ways. Thinking of all of these couples, I do not think there is one answer to the question of what makes a marriage or a long relationship work. Maybe, a little bit of luck to have found someone with the right balance of acceptance, empathy, and willingness to work at staying together.



  1. What a great post, and adorable photo! I am grateful every day that Bruce and I found that "little bit of luck" you describe so succinctly in your closing line. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Teresa. This past year has been a real test of our relationship. Bill and I have sold two houses, moved 5 times, and he had successful radiation treatment. We can still laugh and walk arm and arm.

  2. From Tena by email: Wonderful writing. I’m going to share it with John when he gets home. I think my word is trust! It’s important to enjoy each other’s company!! Sometimes his puns get to me but you are right, laugh anyway and that will start to get me in a better state of mind!!

    Love your blog!!

    1. Thank you, Tena. Trust is another great word to live by in a long marriage.


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