Last night Aurelia had her first candlelit dinner at the table. Now, at 10 months and 2 weeks of age, I'm not sure how much she appreciated the experience. But considering the electricity was out when we walked in the door at 6:15, we didn't have many options! Fortunately I had cooked some hearty chicken and rice soup the night before, and my husband's quick thinking made it possible for us to heat up leftovers on our campstove. I chopped up some frozen avocado slices for Aurelia, warmed them in my hands, and we were ready to dine in style! We even lit the candle sconces on the wall that I haven't done anything with in ages (except dust them).
Shortly before baby's bedtime, the lights came back on -- so Jon and I were able to wind down and eat some brownies while watching an episode of Stargate: Atlantis on dvd instead of breaking out the cards. But it reminded me of the excitement of electricity going out when I was a child -- everyone getting together to play games around candles and oil lamps, wondering how long the dark would last, turning it all into a grand adventure. Or even in college, sitting in the dorm watching an unexpected snowstorm coming down outside the windows and hoping for an unplanned day of freedom from classes. Of course, in that last instance, my roommates and I ended up staying up until the wee hours eating delivered pepperoni pizza paid for with $5 of scrounged up laundry change and watching the news to see if campus was closed...only to fall asleep of exhaustion during Calculus 3 the next morning (okay, that last part was just me).
One of the greatest joys of my marriage is that Jon and I still turn "problems" into adventures. I trust that when our trailer tire blows out in the middle of nowhere (and trust me, Kahlotus is the middle of nowhere) and our 5-hour drive turns into a 24-hour journey involving an old gentleman who has had 5 heart attacks, his blind wife, an angle grinder, a second near-blow-out, and sleeping under the stars in the back of our 1974 truck...I trust that my husband can find a solution. I know that together, working as a team, we'll make it through whatever Murphy throws our way. And won't it be more interesting to tell this story to our grandchildren than if we had just had a simple drive to my parent's house? Of course! (Although we always check our tires diligently before heading out on the road now).
The point is, all of our "adventures" together as husband and wife could have been horrible memories. But mutual trust and respect allowed us to meet each problem head-on as a team, and now we cherish those times together. Were we frustrated? You betcha. But we were frustrated together and could lean on each other and say "well, what are we going to do about it?". So next time you find yourself facing a curveball from Mister Murphy, stop for a moment and take a deep breath and know you're going to make it through -- and it may even turn into a fond recollection. You have a choice: allow the problem to tear down your relationship, or allow the adventure to build your marriage up.