GABE HAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
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Me and Darcy six or so years ago
Darcy, my wife, is 20 weeks pregnant as I am writing this. The last 20 weeks have been somewhat challenging. Not pregnancy wise, that’s been great. It has been challenging as far as dealing with external stresses. We were remodeling a home in hopes to move in, and not have to rent an apartment. We have spent over 4 months doing all the work ourselves. We got it finished enough to live in. Floors were done. New drywall and paint put up. Lights and bathroom were ready. Just needed a few finishing touches, but nothing that would prevent it being lived in full time. We moved in. It was great, we had our own space, it was decently quiet, and something we could call ours. As luck would have it, there was a mold issue. Darcy woke up at 5 am our second night there, barely able to breathe. That doesn’t go over so well when you’re pregnant. We packed up our dogs and blankets, and drove a deer lined highway to my mom’s house. Sigh.
All that work seemed to be flushed down the drain. As we were settling in at our new digs, I looked at my wife and I told her that I loved her, and there was nobody else in the world I would rather be homeless with than her. She looked at me and said her typical response “Ditto.” This brought to mind a week earlier.
A week before we had our 5 am adventure, I was sitting at the car dealer waiting for a transmission recall to be fixed, when an older couple, probably in their mid-80’s walked in. They were greeted by the service manager with the warm smile that you really only see at small town dealerships. It was apparent from their conversation with the manager that they had a good history at this dealership. He took their keys and said that he would have their car ready soon. The couple walked the few steps over to the waiting area. The husband helped his wife walk over, holding her gently by the arm to make sure she kept her balance. He made sure she was seated and asked her if she wanted any coffee.
“Oh yes, they have good coffee here. Are you going to have any?” she responded to him.
“No, I had some earlier. I only have one cup, otherwise I’m awake all day.” I had to chuckle at that. Must be nice to have to worry about being awake all day I thought.
The elderly man went and got her coffee, and himself a cup of water and sat down. They started talking to each other about their car, and how soon they thought it would be done. I think they were having a flat tire repaired. He asked if her coffee was as good as she wanted. She responded that it was, and was glad that they had it available. The couple sat quietly talking for the next couple minutes until a woman walked in and went to the counter. A few minutes later she handed over her keys and headed to where the couple was sitting.
“Hi Sarah. (I don’t remember either womans’ name unfortunately). It is really nice to see you. Is everything ok?” The new woman asked. The couple seemed genuinely surprised that this friend showed up at the same place on a Wednesday morning.
“Oh my goodness. Hi Julia. It’s so lovely to see you. Yes, everything is fine. We just had a flat tire that we needed repaired. Frank, its Julia. It’s so lovely to see her.” She said turning to her husband. Frank then stood up, and shook Julia’s hand and said how nice it was to see her. He asked her to sit down and offered her a cup of coffee. Julia said she would love a cup and asked if they had already had some.
Frank then reiterated:
“No, I had a cup this morning. I would have another one but I am looking forward to my nap later, and coffee would keep me awake.”, as he poured their friend a cup of coffee.
“Want any cream or sugar?” He asked.
“I would love some. They have good creamer here.” Julia responded. Sarah’s face lit up, agreeing. She then responded how nice it was for someplace to have fresh coffee and creamer these days. Frank handed her the cup and said “I’ll go check on the car.”, and slowly made his way the 10 feet to the window into the service bay. This was probably only 10 minutes after they arrived. He looked for a few minutes and came back to the two women whom had been talking between themselves.
“Well dear, it’s up in the air and has a wheel off, so we can’t leave. No nap yet.” I think Frank was really looking forward to his nap. As Frank sat down, he got included into their conversation. They talked about politics and what they felt a local politician should do to help elderly people. Sarah said that her and Frank had the best conversations at home and they barely watch tv anymore, preferring to talk to each other instead. The conversation slowly moved onto what it was like living on a gravel road. Apparently that’s how they got their flat tire. Julia commented that she was happy neither one of her friends were hurt when the tire went flat, to which Sarah responded that Frank drives slow enough nothing would have happened. I chuckled again. This time, one of them heard me and looked my way.
Sarah smiled at me and said “Sometimes I don’t know if he knows which one the gas pedal is.” To which I responded “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Frank then spoke up saying, “Yea, the race for my nap isn’t going so well.” I suggested to Frank that he go out and take a nap in one of the many pickups that were in the dealership lot. He thought that was a good idea, and should give it a try.
At that point, my car was ready, and they called me up to get the keys. I thanked the couple for the laughs and wished all of them well. As I walked away I could only think about mine and Darcy’s marriage. I hoped that in 50+ years we would be just as happy to talk to each other, and still cracking jokes about the others driving. I couldn’t help but feel that there is really a lifelong love you can have with somebody.
Mine and Darcy’s marriage has been through its trials. From her father passing just over a year after our wedding, to work stress and job changes, to a house remodel that was going way over time and budget. Each situation that we had been presented drew us closer together. I would fall more in love with her each time a difficult situation came about that we would handle together. That’s why I enjoy photographing weddings so much. You can see the joy, but also the uncertainty about what the future holds. You can see how much two people love one another. You can feel how they will handle what life throws at them, and how they will handle it together. Even if it is something as simple as a flat tire. It is a wonderful feeling being able to capture those moments in photographs, and I am beyond happy at every opportunity I am given to make those pictures.