Keeping the romance alive - first place winners
From our first date aboard the Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas Special (an annual Holiday steam train ride with mince pies and sherry for the adults and punch, cookies and presents for the children), to the present day and the toughest of times, we have tried to find creative ways to keep the romance alive in our marriage of almost 31 years.
We find it doesn't have to be the grandest or most expensive of gestures to keep romance alive. Instead, it's in the loving way he brings me a cup of tea every morning and is always there for me. Even in these tough economic times, we find fun ways to bond together by focusing on volunteering together in the local community. It's fun helping together with Discover Texas State, with PALS Petfest, and many other local organizations.
Romance is alive in walking together, crunching fall leaves, and spotting wildlife in our beautiful Purgatory Creek green space trails, and wondering and hoping if we might see a Bobcat, and how we should act if we do! Romance is rekindled with the buds of Spring and walking in wildflowers, and focusing on five grandchildren and one more!
Keeping the romance alive can be as simple as making a brown bag picnic and returning to a magical place on campus, finding it suddenly filled with butterflies, resting from their migration, and by finding time to spend time together at local activities. There are some incredibly inspiring events held locally.
The art of Tibet and the Sand Mandala created by the Tibetan monks as part of the Texas State University Common Experience was both empowering and romantic. The beauty of their painstaking work, the music, and chanting took our breath away. We learned that dismantling of the mandala is also celebrated, and parallels the impermanence of things. Each end is a new beginning. This romantic and inspiring concept gave us the courage to stand up, to dust ourselves off after each new challenge and be strong together. It's romantic to laugh in the face of adversity. We laugh so much!
Together, we have come through so much including my husband's heart surgery while I commuted back and forth to grad school, managing not to miss a class or a visit. However, we were determined to endure, and the romance of holding hands in CCU is as powerful as any romance on earth. I think keeping romance alive when things are going smooth is one thing, but keeping romance alive when everything is on the line and jobs are lost, is the hardest of all, but it can be done; we can emerge stronger and more connected. We plan to keep laughing, hoping and walking forward together one step at a time, looking for every simple opportunity to keep our romance alive.