"Wisdom in the Future!"
Updated: May 5
My husband was in the mess hall with a hundred other cadets when the commanding officer called his name. Bill jumped to attention, "Candidate Stevens, yes, sir." as right, but my timing wasn't. chihuahua, Mickey, the demon-dog, who hated me on sight. We all had to share one bed for the first week: me, my roommate, and the dog.
My husband was in the Army. He knew the importance of obedience. After we were married, Bill had five days before he started Officer's Candidate School. So, we decided to honeymoon close to the base at Virginia Beach.
I grew up knowing the importance of my parents' advice, but I didn't always have the wisdom to know when to apply it, especially as a young bride of 19.
Mother always said, "Sunshine is good for you, dear." But I needed to learn how long is good. We spent the entire first day on the beach right by the ocean. Bad idea. I got sun-poisoning. Poor Bill had to go into candidate school with memories of his sweet bride with boils, peeling skin, whining pathetically, and vomiting. All I remember is hearing him mumble under his breath: "Good grief, I've married Lucille Ball."
After Bill reported to the base, I was advised to move into an apartment with another candidate's wife and her chihuahua. Now, my father always said, "Be kind to animals, dear." But he'd never met this chihuahua, Mickey, the demon-dog, who hated me on sight. We all had to share one bed for the first week: me, my roomate, and the dog.
Mickey always slept under the covers. I swear that dog stayed awake all night waiting for me to move, then-CHOMP! One night, the dog suddenly sunk his fangs into my hand. I reacted half-asleep, and demon-dog got launched off my hand and didn't land until he hit the closet door. Needless to say, we never became friends. The dog snarled at me for six-months straight.
Officer's Candidate School was really tough, physically and academically. Bill called one night and asked if I'd do his laundry so he'd have more time to study, but it had to be secret. So, the plan was, I'd drive on base at night, coast past the barracks with my lights off, and Bill would run out and toss his duffle bag in the back of the car. Perfect!
My mother's advice for a new wife: "It's good to write him little surprise love-notes."
So, I wrote dozens of little love notes on tiny slips of paper, and tucked them all through his laundry . . . in his socks and the fold of his underwear. Well, mother was right, but my timing wasn't.
My husband was in the mess hall with a hundred other cadettes when the commanding officer called his name. Bill jumped to attention, "Candidate Stevens, yes, sir."
"STEVENS," he shouted, "GET ON THE TABLE."
"Yes, sir!" Obediently, he climbed up on the table.
The commanding officer handed him a pile of tiny scraps of paper and said, "Soldier, read these loud enough so all the men can hear."
"CANDIDATE STEVENS, YES SIR, HURRY HOME TO YOUR HONEY . . ."
The men erupted with laughter.
"CANDIDATE STEVENS, YES SIR, I NEED YOUR KISSES . . ."
The next day he called to tell me about it. "And, honey . . . (sigh) . . . I really appreciate your little love notes. However, when I'm on a five-mile run in full gear, in the blazing sun, and the whole way there's something jabbing at me, I can't find the sentiment in 'hurry home to your honey.'"
Oh dear! But still determined to build the romance (as mother said it would), I tried again. Only this time, I decided to surprise him by hiding chocolate in his laundry--in his nice, warm, laundry!
Fortunately for my dear husband, I gained wisdom over the years. As a matter-of-fact,
his mom gave me the best advice ever . . .
"Do something everyday - that you don't have to do - that well say, I love you."
The rest of that Proverbs is, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." (19:21)
The purpose of the Lord is that we love Him and one another.
My advice? Stay home - keep laughing - love God, and love each other.