What Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet Taught Me about Marriage

My sweet husband and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary in June.  When I first got my degree with a major in family studies, I knew that I probably wasn’t ready to become a marriage counselor, which is why I chose my major to begin with.  I, in fact, had never had a long-term relationship at that time and would not meet my husband for another three years.  But now that I’ve been blessed with (almost) 20 years of marital experience, I feel that I’m at a point that I can hand out a tip about marriage every now and again.  So what has seasoning a cast iron skillet taught me about marriage?

estate sale find: cast iron skillet

Estate sale skillet.

You’ve got to Season it to Make it cook

First of all, you’ve got to season that cast iron skillet so it’ll cook right. I actually got a cast iron skillet as a wedding gift, but I didn’t know you had to season it. And now I don’t have it any more (more about that, later.) Just like a good ol’ skillet, you’ve got to start out on the right foot. I’m not a big fan of Cinderella romance novels because all of those gooey feelings come and go over time. A good marriage is made of sterner stuff. Like friendship, respect, trust, and similar values.

400 Degrees can Kill Virtually any Pathogen Known to Man

So I hunted and recently found a “new” cast iron skillet at an estate sale for just $12. (Woo-hoo!!!) I asked Doctor Uncle (a biochemist and professor) how to get the germies off the skillet. He told me that if I bake it at 400 degrees, no creepy-crawlies will survive. So, I’d say that you need to keep the heat in your marriage, and it will keep away any unwanted invaders.

Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet isn’t what You Think

Do you have to add paprika, salt/pepper, and thyme to season your skillet? (As they say in this part of Alabama, “Naw!”) No, because I thought I’d try this. At 400+ degrees, those little powders will smoke up your kitchen. Seasoning means to coat the skillet with oil and bake it for an hour or so. Because I didn’t do this to my wedding skillet, it got all rusty. Not a good thing. I ended up selling it at a yard sale, warning the buyer, “Fair warning, it’s rusty.” But the lady didn’t seem to care. Now I know…all she had to do was clean it and it’d be as good as new. Lesson learned.

Check Your Pantry for Expiration Dates

My Crisco shortening had an expiration date of October 24, 2015. Do you know what that means? Not only did I let that shortening expire, but it moved with us from our old home! How did that happen? Because I wasn’t paying attention. A marriage can “expire” unless you are mindful of it. Like a garden, it needs cultivation. Try do keep doing nice things for your sweetie. Go on dates. Go on trips. Get counseling if you must.

Marriage is Precious

Do whatever you have to do, because a marriage is a very precious thing. More precious, obviously, than a cast iron skillet. But like a little cast iron skillet, the more you season it, the better it cooks!  What do you think?  Can you add any marital advice?

skillet and lard

Hundred-year-old lard.

 

True Love

red_roseCan you die of a broken heart?

Before you answer, listen to this…

I was listening to the radio back in January and heard a story about true love that brought tears to my eyes.

Star 99 in Huntsville told of a husband and wife, both in their 90’s, who died just hours apart.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (www.ajc.com) Robert and Louise Bain had been married for 72 years.

In the 1940s, they met at a Texas church camp meeting. Robert had come with another lady, but he took her home after he saw Louise’s cute face for the first time. “He took the other lady home, came back and got my mother,” said their daughter, Charlotte Tallent. The couple married on September 14, 1942.

Apparently, the couple was very affectionate and did everything together. But on the day after Christmas, Louise died in her hospital bed. Their daughter sais, “The moment Mom passed, daddy grasped his chest. He knew she was gone.”

USA Today tells a transverse story from back in September. Harry and Anna Norman also had been married for 72 years. USA Today said, “Harry Norman, 96, a World War II veteran who was battling pneumonia, died at 11:30 p.m. ET. His wife held his hand across their beds, which she requested be pushed together.”

Hours later, Anna pushed the nurse’s call button, and a nurses aide came to attend to her. Anna expressed her deep sorrow, and the aide tried to comfort her, but Anna died an hour later. Another nurse’s aide, Toni Pimental, is quoted on the USA Today website.

“I believe it was just a broken heart,” Toni said. “She was his strength, and he was her strength. They were each other’s strengths, and when that broke, everything broke, including her heart.”

Sources:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-obituaries/after-72-year-marriage-man-and-wife-die-hours-apar/njfZy/
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/17/broken-heart-death/17462217/

valentines_day3

What Makes 16 Years of Marriage Work

Bride Groom

Dear Readers,

16 years ago today–June 6, 1998–I married my best friend and the love of my life. His online name is “Lefty.” It seems like yesterday that I was the nervous (terrified, actually!) bride that you see in the picture. You can see the fear in my eyes because I would be making one of the most important decisions of my life.

I’m glad that I made that decision. I firmly believe that God’s hand was in the process, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing today’s blog.

Today, I decided to post a few tips about why our marriage is successful. And, by the way, please know that I (of course) don’t have all of the answers. It’s what worked for us, and I hope that it will help all of you newlyweds out there!

10 Tips for a Successful Marriage (I Thessalonians 5:12-24):

1. Put God first in your life and your marriage. After all, God is the Source of all love, goodness, and beauty…it helps to be plugged into that Source.

2. Put the other guy first (after God). If you put him/her first, and he/she is putting you first, then you both win.

3. Worship together. Not only will you be enjoying the Source of all love, goodness, and beauty–you will also be a part of an extended family who is cheering your marriage on!

4. Pray…a lot. Especially if you are having marital problems. Give thanks for your mate…even if you don’t feel like it at a time.

5. Use lots of humor. Tough times get a little easier with a dose of levity.

6. Kiss…a lot. I’ve heard that couples who kiss at least once a day have longer lives.

7. Be forgiving. When I was a family studies major in college, I was taught that you don’t want to bring up past wrongs…especially in the heat of an argument.

8. Do fun things together. (This is Lefty’s input…I was running out of tips.)

9. Have lots of date nights. Let the kids stay with gramma for a night. Hire a baby sitter…date nights are an investment in your family. If you are broke–like most of us–do a kid-swap with another couple.

10. Be patient. I know that Lefty surely has been patient with me, and for this, I am truly thankful.

Remember, marriage is a covenant relationship between God, you, and your spouse. That is very serious stuff, dear Readers. I pray that each of us will enjoy many years of wedding anniversaries to come.

Warmest regards,
Stephanie