Marriage Monday, Memories, Spouse, Love, Marriage,

Last week as my husband and I were heading home after leading a Team Retreat, I sat back in the seat of the vehicle and let him know that I’d like to make a few stops on the way home. Having not been up in this area in quite some time, I shared with him I’d like to stop at some places that held childhood memories for me. And so, on we drove. When we got to the first place, Purell’s Restaurant in Pinconning, I unfortunately wasn’t hungry yet. So I told him to pass by, as I shared that it was the place where we would go for ice cream when I stayed at my grandparents’ house. The next location was Deer Acres. Although it is now closed, this was a park that my grandparents’ created, built from scratch. To say that I have a few wonderful childhood memories there would be a grand understatement. So, Todd pulled in the driveway. I looked at the chipping paint, and the lifeless soldiers standing out front, and tears formed in my eyes. As Todd waited in the vehicle, I got out and walked closer, so I could peek inside. When I did, the overgrown broken track that I once drove the old-fashioned cars around, suddenly became bright and shiny, laughter filling the air. As I looked over at the rusty monkey cage, I could almost see them swinging around as they played and screeched. The tiny Hensel and Gretel House, now crumbling, came to life, as I remembered feeling so grown up working in there alongside my aunt and uncle. And the entry…the ticket counter, vines pushing through the cracks in the cement blocks, it also came to life in my mindseye, as my grandpa or uncle sat and took tickets, smiling from ear to ear as they saw me approaching from the parking lot. It didn’t take long for my grandma and aunt to come around the corner from the souvenir shop, arms open and ready for a big hug.  As the tears made their way from my eyes, down to my cheeks, I felt an arm around my shoulder. Todd hadn’t stayed in the vehicle. He stood beside me, sharing in the moment. Allowing me to relive memories that were before our time together. Listening as I shared a past that he wasn’t part of, but cared about because it was part of what shaped the woman he loves so well. 

Satisfied with this stop on our journey home, we had one more place to go. Todd drove a few more miles until we reached the Turkey Roost. Another restaurant that has family memories that go back well over half a century. We pulled in the parking lot and made our way into the pink restaurant. I remembered the pens they had in the parking lot area when I was a child; pens where I could go and see the real live turkeys. When we got inside, we sat down. And surround by all the people, I did a little whistle to myself. It only seemed fitting, after hearing decades of stories about how my grandpa proudly brought me in there after church, showing off his two-year old granddaughter who had learned to whistle. Sunday after Sunday, Turkey Roost became an after-church tradition. It only seemed fitting to include it in my list of stops on our way home that day. 

When we left Turkey Roost that day, my heart was full. Not only because of the warmth the memories provided for me that day, but because my husband had just invested in me. Was there a list of things at home calling for his attention? Of course. Was he tired from a long week of work? He certainly was. And yet, he intentionally had a cheerful attitude and truly made me feel like he wanted to be no other place in the world that afternoon than right there beside me, walking down memory lane.

My encouragement on this Marriage Monday is to intentionally make our spouse a priority. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a walk with them. It could be turning off the tv, putting down the phone, and playing a game or talking. Perhaps it’s a night out to a movie we’d rather not see, but our spouse wants to see. Maybe it’s bringing home a special meal. It might be just making them popcorn and being next to them, as they watch their favorite show. The challenge is… do something. Do something that makes our spouse feel like s/he is the most important person in the world. Because my marriage, your marriage, is worth the investment. 

*This blog is by no means intended to put current or past owners of Deer Acres in a poor light. 

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