This is Us Being Us A Glimpse into our Marriage by Diane Bailey for The Consilium

Doc helped me to clean the kitchen before we jumped in the car to get a few items from the drugstore.  Walking out of the door, I grabbed the bag of overstuffed garbage, hung it on the side mirror of my car, as we usually do, and drove down the long driveway to our garbage can by the street.

As we leave the drive and headed down the highway, I heard a thud on the side of the car…it’s the garbage bag.  It is still hanging on the side of the car!

Embarrassed by the looks of passing cars, I pulled as quickly as possible, into the parking lot of the store looking for their dumpster. As I exited the with the bag in hand, could see a green light. Concerned it was a camera watching to anyone dumping garbage in their dumpster, I decided to drop the bag beside the dumpster. Hopefully, I would not be detected by the camera. Trying to act casual, Doc and I walked into the store and made our purchases.

Returning to our car we looked at each other and decided the mail in the garbage bag could identify us as the garbage-dumpster-bombers.  So, I drove around, to the back and picked up the bag. Moving quickly, I tossed it into the trunk of the car and sped away. Doc laughed as I work through feeling guilty for abandoning our garbage in the first place!

On the way home I repeated over and over, “Garbage in can, Garbage in can – Don’t Forget.”

Pulling into the garage, we were content that our work for the day was finished.

Lying in bed, our ankles intertwined in comfort, preparing for sleep.  Doc pulled me in his arms to kiss goodnight, and I gasped, “the garbage is still in the trunk!”

He rolled on his back with laughter that could have rattled the roof.

Will my car stink in the morning?

Through laughter, he managed to say, “we can always add baking soda to the back of the car if it stinks.”

It was a reference to the day I left ice cream in the truck of the car in the summer. I tried to get the smell out with baking soda. The sour milk smell stayed in the car until we sold it.

The next morning, we reminded each other to throw out the trash in the trunk on our way to practice skeet shooting.

The morning was beautiful and I shot my best round of skeet ever.

Being very proud of me, Doc took me for a bite to eat.  Then we stopped by the sports equipment store and visited my parents for a few minutes.

It was late when we got home and we dressed immediately for bed. Our breathing became rhythmic and slow when I sat straight up in bed.  The garbage!! Oh, NO!

Doc pulled me down beside him.  “Let’s face it, this is us just being us.  I’m so thankful for someone who is as forgetful as I am. Stay in bed.  We’ll get it tomorrow.” My head rested on his shoulder and slumber soon returned.

The next day was Sunday; I pressed down a new bag of garbage from the kitchen, placed it, as usual, on the side mirror of my car, and drove to the can by the street.  This time, I remembered both bags of garbage.

In church, I squeeze Doc’s elbow, his blue eyes twinkle with laughter. I love you, I whispered.

Our love and commitment to each other have brought us through the dynamics of stepfamily, and wild teens, a herd of pets and garbage we both carry.

Coming into this marriage, we had to soften our hard-head opinions, and navigate strong-held philosophies we came into the marriage vowing were true and unchangeable.

Then we watched, as the fire of trials burned away all that was not solid truth.

Gold is never diminished in fire only purified. We are solid gold. Cracked, tarnished and expanding some in the middle, which no longer appears as flaws, but distinct characteristics of US just being US.


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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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