Live Oak Equals Our Living Marriage

May 5, 2011 note:  Today I went to the tag agency and while I was waiting on my requests to be processed I heard a man next to me provide his home address to the clerk.  I was surprised to hear he lived on “Clover Glen,” the street where Mick and lived in our first home.  This has been a week of weird coincidences, so I decided perhaps there was more at stake than just coincidence.  Therefore, I’m reposting this entry I wrote almost a year ago in preparation for another I’ve been writing for three days.  I’ve been writing, and thinking about, and researching, and writing more about the process of falling in, out, and perhaps…back in love again.
The gentleman at the tag agency ended up being a resident of the house you see in this photo on the left – he would have been our neighbor to the south.  He said he still gets mail for our former neighbors, and they’ve been gone over 20 years.  See you here tomorrow – Red Dirt Kelly

The setting was a cold February, 1986.

My husband and I had been married about six months when the bottom of the oil bust hit Oklahoma.  Thousands of homes in Edmond were being vacated after the interest rates within a group of “negative amortization” loans began to skyrocket as the oil jobs started drying up.

For newlyweds living in a tiny apartment like us with adequate income, the housing market was a real opportunity.  We purchased our first home from builders who had been paying interest on it for over a year.  They were desperate and we felt lucky.  We closed on the deal very quickly.

Eighteen months later the interior of the home was furnished and decorated enough to begin turning our attention to the landscaping.

A place called TLC Nursery was only a mile away and once each year they had a “Midnight Madness” sale.  This event was legendary among the other young homeowners in our neighborhood.  When the sale hit, Mick and I stayed up late, hand picked two trees for our front yard, brought them home like special prizes and planted them.  One was a Red Oak – – the leaves were huge and it would have been beautiful had it lived.  But it didn’t.

The second tree was a Live Oak and this one showed a bit more promise.

Years three through five of our marriage were rough.  Mick worked nights, I worked long hours and traveled.  We hit a stressful time in our relationship and in order to start fresh we moved downtown into a historic home close to the Capitol.  As we refurbished the old home we began to refurbish our marriage.  By the time we sold it three years later, the house – and our relationship, were in much better shape.

About every five years or so, we have driven by our first home to check on the tree.  It grew along with our family history.  We made that pilgrimage again last week and were surprised at how massive and beautiful the tree had become.

We didn’t say much as we drove down the street.  The tree said it all.  The tree is our marriage, and it’s doing just fine.