Sunday, March 17, 2013

What Is The "Good Life"?


Yesterday was our day to take dinner out to my Dad. It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day, so Pam decided to plan an Irish dinner. By 3 o’clock the kitchen was alive with activity. There would be her famous meat loaf, with a raw sliced sliver of carrot, coin-shaped hidden inside one serving. Whoever got the orange “coin” would be blessed with good luck throughout the year. There would be mashed potatoes, green beans, and homemade Irish Soda bread with raisins. For dessert she had made bright green Pistachio pie. In honor of the day, she renamed all of these dishes to suit the occasion. Meat loaf became “Blarney Stones,” dessert became “Shamrock Pie”. Then she went out and bought special green shamrock paper plates to serve the pie on, along with matching four leaf clover napkins. For Ezra she bought Irish themed stickers featuring Snoopy and Woodstock dressed up like Leprechauns. She even wrote his name at the top of a piece of green construction paper so he would have a place to stick them. The dinner was a rousing success. Everyone cleaned their plates. There were six “Blarney Stones” in the dish and only 5 of us, so in keeping with the famous Dunnevant luck; the lucky coin will appear in dad’s leftovers today.

As I watched Pam flitting about the kitchen preparing this meal, it occurred to me that a life well lived is not heralded by screaming headlines in the newspaper, rather it comes in the form of a thousand daily graces. It doesn’t come from wearing the right clothes, living in the right house or driving the right car, it comes from sharing your life with people who take care of the details with tenderness, people for whom the little things in life aren’t little at all. The “good life” is the sum total of these tender moments. My wife’s talent for transforming the routine into something extraordinary has made for me and our family a remarkable life. Even after nearly 30 years together, her loving kindness still astonishes me.

Want some marital advice? Marry the right woman.