Wednesday, July 18, 2012

red sky at night

What is the secret to a long and successful marriage?

For my in-laws 50th anniversary, my husband was the Master of Ceremonies for their anniversary dinner, and spoke of what made his parents marriage last for so long.  While he was working on his speech, it made me do some thinking about what the real secret is.  

As I was watching my in laws greet their guests, everything so carefully orchestrated and in its place, I noticed that there was this kind of dance between them.  It was almost like they've done this routine a million times before.  Each knew which step they were supposed to take, trusted their partner with their laid out plans, and for the most part, they stuck with them.  If their plans for some reason deviates, they've prepared enough to be flexible and adapt (well, one of them at least), so they have a "new plan" in place.

Being raised in the country, both of them learned to understand natures' cues...nature's way of telling you the plans for the day, as dictated by the weather.  I've heard many sayings from them..."April showers bring May flowers". "Rain before seven, sun by eleven". "Red sky at night, sailor's delight, but red sky in the morning, sailor's warning".

I think that's how they've lived in their marriage...letting nature take its course, really listening and observing not just to each other, but to what's around them and always preparing themselves for storms or bumper crops...always prepared.  There was always a routine.  They always paid their bills on time.  Meals were had at set times throughout the day.  Bedtime remained relatively the same every night.  And nothing was taken for granted. 

Although I like to throw caution in the wind occasionally, and try something new and exciting, there is something to be said about routine.  Something a favourite family recipe, there are no surprises...just the trust of knowing exactly what kind of warmth and comfort that will greet you when you savour your first bite.

The same thing, I guess, can be said about marriage.  That although there will be storms, bumper crops (of either children or wealth), or deviations on the journey, sometimes routine is comforting.  Knowing that no matter what battles there are out in the real world, when you come home, you know the warmth waiting for you.

One night before the anniversary dinner, the sky was as red as can be.  And there was no question, what kind of day was planned for us the next day.  We knew it would be sunny and bright...and filled with delight.  

And it was.

Our  Family Favourite 
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 
  • Mash bananas.
  • Add oil, egg and vanilla.  Stir.
  • Add sugar, baking soda and salt, until mixed.
  • Add the flour and mix well.
  • Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan. 
  • Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hour. 
  • Let cool on rack.

Slice, serve and enjoy.  

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