Amount of Love

How much you love anyone is directly related to how far you had to walk to find them.
Or how far you’re willing to walk WITH them.

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Love Letter

A note I wrote  my hubby for our anniversary a few years ago (sensual, not sexual):

To Guy:

I love to touch you in the morning
Our bodies soft and warm from the blankets
I run my fingers over your chest and jaw
I stare at your round, red lips
You are beautiful
I am so thankful for your body and heart
Which save me over and over from desperate loneliness and desire
I love you
You are special
Thank you for saving me
I thank God your mine
Happy Anniversary #16

Love, Martha


I am lucky to have known love so completely. Unconditionally. So faithfully. I don’t take it for granted. Coming up on 20 years!


If I were to live a thousand years,
I would belong to you for all of them.
If I were to live a thousand lives,
I would want to make you mine in each one.

–Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dye

Long Live Love

Long-lived love is like–
Marriage is like–
Coming home to a small beach shack.

I built it.
With my hands, skills and know-how.
Outta stuff I had.

Most people can’t rough it.
It isn’t pretty to look at.
But it’s comfortable. It has everything I need.

I always wanted to live on the beach.
I am proud to live here.
I wouldn’t live anywhere but this place.

And when the storm hits?
We may have to pick up the pieces.
But. We’re gonna be here when it’s over and we know how to build.


The beach is where you can see the edge of the world.

Back the F up.

My favorite saying is:

E’erbody bettah back the *F* up off me. Except I don’t use *F*. Well. I use the F and 3 more letters immediately following. 😀

I say it jokingly. Except when I don’t. Or I like this phrase as well. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. I say it sassy with a few snaps and head whips. Followed by an “MM-hm!” It’s a power move. Sometimes it’s funny.

But. It’s offensive. It can be ugly. I can be ugly. Depends on the mood and reception of the audience.

I do it to protect myself. I do many things to protect myself. I lose my temper from time to time when I can’t cope with life in general any more. Tuesday night, I snapped. And not just my fingers.


I served at Tuesday’s special election in my county. It was interesting, humbling and an incredibly long day. I was at the poll for 14 hours and change.

I got up at 4 am (not something I normally do) to be at the poll at 6 am sharp. I had to drive for 30 minutes just to get to the location. Hopefully, the next election will be closer, in my own precinct or near it. Administration said it would be.

I served all day, had a small break for lunch, and 2-3 shorter breaks here and there. The steady flow of voters didn’t allow much downtime. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. Plus, I spent the day with older women who had all the time in the world to complain, moan and lecture me about the way voting should change or how I was not properly allocating ballots.

“I’m going to work the floor!” A job that most of the older women loathed. Standing (I had a chair to sit in if there were no voters on the floor), addressing the parting voters, checking the booths for left items, and repetitively explaining the tabulator/ballot box procedure (Slide your ballot over the green arrow, over the gray, under the black, wait for the waving American flag to tell you “Thank you for voting!” and then I would say, “Yay! You voted! Yay democracy!” and that would illicit usually a laugh, smile or a thank you.) But I gladly worked my tiny corner of isolation to get away from the bitching bitties.

“Oy! My back!”
“Why do you have to stay 5 feet away from the ballot box?”
“Don’t forget…!”
“OH! You did that wrong!”
“Martha, do this…”
“Martha, do that…”

Most of the older women were racist. Or bigoted. Or just clueless to etiquette, correct terminology, or considerate behavior.

“That guy who came in with the two Oriental kids.”

WTF??

“You mean Asian?” is what I wanted to say, but I just let it go.

Finally, before I left, one of the women was bossing me around, biting my neck (she had been hateful most of the day and specifically to me at times) and I finally bit back.

“Martha, put these away! You know where they go.”

My 5 o’clock whistle blew. Except it was 6:57 pm. “(Bitch), I will put them away when we close the poll!” (Her name has been changed to Bitch to protect the guilty.)

She thought the poll had closed, but we were still a few minutes from shutting the doors. “Oh, I thought we had closed. Sorry.” But Bitch said “sorry” like your husband on your period. “Saw-ree!” Like the inflective (not a word!) equivalent of “Sheesh!”

I was silent. Everyone should worry when I’m silent.

After the poll closed, I turned to Bitch and said, “I’ve never put this away before, I don’t know where they go, but I assume they go in this envelope. Is that correct, (Bitch)?” And I said it firmly, politely, but with that edge of “I will cut a Bitch.” One raised eyebrow.

One quiet, schooled, submissive “Yes.”

“Thank you!”

I heard no more from Bitch.

Needless to say, I was on edge after my husband picked me up.

On the way home, we got into an argument. It doesn’t matter why, but he did something that always triggers me. Always. We’ve had many discussions about the behavior, but he continues to do said shenanigans. After being triggered by the horrible woman at the poll for 14!!! hours, I was weak, vulnerable, tired, hungry, in a really bad place. I was not grumpy. I was not taking out my frustration on my family. I was talking about the day and my frustration with the woman, but I don’t think I was berating my family. I wasn’t. My husband and daughter had asked about my day and I had simply told them all the various good and bad aspects of working an election. Procedures, attitudes, expectations. They were interested because none of us had ever worked an election before. Overall, it was gratifying. But any 14-hour day doing anything is going to be taxing. Gratifying or not.

So, the inevitability of the situation was obvious. My husband spent most of the day pursuing a low-priority goal and neglected some crucial chores. He needed to find a power cord for an item we need to sell, he needed to follow up about a temp job for IT, and he needed to feed our daughter dinner. Or at least communicate with me about dinner coordination. Unfortunately, he waited to pick me up at 8:00 pm in hopes that we could all grab a bite together.

Okay. Not horrible. Mildly thoughtful. I say mildly because we both will use any excuse to eat out at any time and the benefit to our partner is secondary to satisfying our eat-out lust. But our daughter eating dinner after 8 on a school night is a digestive juggernaut. Not unheard of, but normally highly-questioned by my husband. It’s just not ideal. But it’s okay if he says so.

And then, on top of all of that, triggered from 14-hour Bitch, chores neglected and now, engage the boosters on trigger-happy hubby with his self-proclaimed “productive” morning routine of dragging home stereo equipment from a thrift store to transfer old tapes to digital storage and cleaning the stereo equipment on my dining room table! with alcohol.

You may not know this, and I’m not sure that he did either, but alcohol would probably eat the finish off my cheap, not-solid wood table. It would probably at least dull the surface. I would like that not to happen. I just bought the damn thing 3 years ago.

We just can’t have nice things. Sigh. LOL
That, and “I can’t take you anywhere.” LOL

Thankfully, it was fine. He put a towel down, but if it had spilled? No towel is going to help.

My husband trying to clean something is like a 5 yo shouting, “Mommie, look! I washed all your sweaters in the toilet!” LOL Just kidding. It’s not that bad. But close.

It’s just, after the day I had, and one of the first things my husband tells me on the way to dinner is, “I did a thing that we have talked about not to do. I did that and only that while you’ve been gone for 14 hours working for our family to make ends meet because I don’t make enough money any more.”

He didn’t say that. That’s what I heard.

So. I lost it. I got super upset. I was PTSD-ing all over the car. I was shrill. Screamy. Angry. We had a bad fight. But we made it through. It took a while. Lots of talking. (He hates that.) Lots of emotion. (He hates that.) Lots of stress. (We both hate that.)

I don’t like being sassy, but I tend to get that way when I feel attacked. As with Bitch. I tend to get that way with my husband, too. Sassy. Mean. Sarcastic. Hateful. It’s mainly when I feel he isn’t listening. Or understanding. Or trying.

You know, it’s like, what’s the point in behaving if I’m talking to a brick wall? Right? And then out comes the mud.

I don’t want this though. I struggle with changing my approach. I struggle with being sweet or polite or even-tempered when I feel neglected. And my family has just not been paying attention lately. Our Christian approach to life is care for each other. This is what God has intended. That’s our thinking. Except, I care for others, put myself last, and then everyone else cares only for themselves. So I get the poopie end of that stick! Feel me, Ladies? I know I’m not alone.

But. Still. I have to do right, no matter what. I have to control myself. I have to follow God. I have to ask for help not from my husband, family or friends, I have to rely on God’s Holy Spirit. No one, not me, not my husband, not my daughter, not Bitch can give me the fruits of the Spirit. That can only come from God. So I have to remember. Ask. Receive. It’s hard to remember when sin and evil are right on top of you. Biting your neck. I need help to remember to ask for help! LOL

I want to be better. Trigger free. I just know that’s not realistic. So I need to call on God. Pray. Submit. Remember. Practice.

Everyone will let you down. Eventually. I’m not perfect. I let my family, friends and co-workers down every day. We just have to reach for grace. For ourselves. For others. For the people we have vowed to love. As a Christian, that’s a vow with everyone.


God, help me. Fill me with your Spirit today and every day. Help me back that *F* train up. Help me be beautiful on the inside. Let your face be the face that others see when they look at me. Help me show your love to the whole world. Help me be an example of your grace with the help of your Spirit. I can’t do it alone. I will fail. I need you. Without you, I am not whole. I am ugly and weak and imperfect. I need you to complete your work in me: your intention, your purpose, my heart transformation, my life dedication through your providence of the Spirit. Amen.

Magical

Our anniversary was yesterday! Best anniversary so far, here on the beautiful Gulf. Here’s a repost of a previous article.


Here’s our wedding video! No one has seen this before except for my mom. I think. Plus, a journal entry that I wrote a coupla years ago about our marriage.

WATCH!WATCH!WATCH! Wedding of Guy C. Maggio and Martha C. King

January 1, 1999. I am sitting on a bench outside Bally Casino’s Celebration Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, NV. We just rode the monorail over to Bally’s from MGM Grand (where we’re staying) and proceeded to pump $120 into a slot machine to be rewarded by $100 payout of quarters. $20 for an hour’s worth of fun. That is Vegas; bright lights and manufactured fun, where paying a slot machine for your brief entertainment is completely logical and intentional. I don’t mind because the excitement and experience is welcome. This time is about fun. Or at least the appearance of fun. I’m 25 and have left the state of Missouri only a handful of times.
Guy and I are dressed in our wedding clothes and patiently waiting to be married. The entrance to the chapel looks like any storefront at any mall. We could just as well be
at a Gap. And I love that. What appear to be teenagers walk by and point and smile.
Are they getting married?
Aw.
That’s so cool.
Guy and I look at each other and laugh. We ARE getting married. We must be eager because we arrived at the chapel over an hour early. We didn’t want to be late. We flew from KC, stayed up most of the night and primped for hours to be ready for this special moment.
We are alone. No relatives, no photographers, no wedding planners, just us two. We both accept that our lives will be dedicated to each other, not to 200 onlookers and well-wishers. Our marriage will be the two of us relying on each other, so our ceremony should reflect that. Also, my mother was not getting on a plane and we couldn’t afford to fly our friends to Vegas.
Vegas was a grand adventure as we hoped our marriage would be. They are ready for us. I think we have a short rehearsal and explanation of the ceremony, but I honestly
don’t remember. I am whisked away to a small room with a large mirror. It could be the backstage lighted mirrored make-up table in any theatre. And I love that.
I was given my bouquet and briefed on my entrance. I sat for a few moments trying to focus on the reason for all the preparation, but my efforts to center myself were elusive. I want to cry, I’m overwhelmed by emotion, but I do not want to mess up my makeup! At best, I can simply enjoy what is happening to me and remember, I love this man.
They come for me, tell me everything is ready and I follow their directions. I am walking down the aisle. They are taking pictures. They are filming. I am smiling. I am following my Guy. If I could run gracefully, I would, right down to the alter and spike the bouquet! I take my place and brace for the fun.
Our minister surprises me. He is well-spoken, gentle, meaningful, but quick. He talks about values and ideals of marriage and reminds me of the commitment I am making. He speaks generically about love and commitment, but even 15 years later the words ring true and his voice renews our vows as I hear it again on tape. God knew what we needed to hear and knew what we were promising to each other, even if we didn’t fully understand ourselves. Guy sweetly and eloquently makes his vow and I sniffle and whimper mine to him. I mean, seriously, I shoulda brought a hankie. What was I thinking.
We pray together. For the first time. Then it’s over. So fast. Kisses. Pictures. Exit stage left.
I am happy, but I am completely terrified. We ride the blinding-white monorail back to MGM and we are quiet. I have a fistful of flowers and I’m dressed in a smart-white suit. I try not to make eye contact with other passengers. I don’t want the attention of inquisitive ride-sharers. We should have taken a taxi perhaps.
We make it back to MGM without many questions and we race up to our suite. This is the time of my life and I hope that I have made it through the tragic parts of my childhood. I hope that this is my magical ending. But it’s only the beginning.
15 ( 19 now! 😀 ) years of marriage to the only person I have ever loved. It has not been magical, it has been rough. Mainly because I am a demanding neurotic with deep vulnerability coupled with a terribly wounded pride and ego and the fragility of a snowflake. I have just been recently diagnosed with PTSD. I’ve been sick the last 10 years. I should say it has been magical though.
I was anticipating a romp through the magical forest of love on fat horses with flowery braided tails. But what I am given, what I so undeservedly receive, is the magic of love to bind my wounds, heal past hurts and strengthen my weaknesses. To love through the worst and hope for the best. Real, mature love that lasts for a lifetime. Love on an epic scale. Love that conquers all, including my insurmountable pride. Love that wipes the sweaty brow of insecurity and illness and makes everything all right.
And I love that!

1 More Day

To my wonderful husband. You’re the best. For me.


19 years
And 1 more day.
So exciting
To have made it all this way.

You’re not the same.
We’ve both grown.
We both changed.
Married to the wild unknown.

You’re not the man I chose.
But I’m glad to fall again.
I choose to love you over and over.
Not wish for way back when.

I didn’t know if we’d make it.
Some days I had my doubt.
Some days you wanted to leave,
Some days we both wanted out.

A daily choice is required
When loving someone so long.
You have to determine to love them
Even when they’re wrong.

You have to choose to love.
Even when it’s hard.
You have to love the ugly parts–
Even what’s wrecked and scarred.

We have to pick up the pieces
Of some other person’s mess.
Gluing back the broken bits
Can be a stressful process.

But you’re so very worth it
Because I am happy to see
When we’re put back together
It’s even better than we could dream to be.

All the cracks and chips
Are filled with precious gold.
Our gaps and imperfections
Are where our love is told.

It’s easy to love a nice person.
So what have you achieved?
Loving some who’s difficult
Is quite a feat indeed.

It’s easy to fall out of love.
Just as easy as falling in.
But it’s also easy to remember why
I stick through thick and thin.

You’re handsome, smart,
Funny and sweet.
Kind enough
To rub my feet.

Your heart is pure.
You’re loyal, true.
You have a heart for God.
You’re the best dad, too.

We don’t look the same,
But our brains remain for now.
I’m glad I also loved your mind
When we chose to make our vow.

19 years-we made it through.
I’m so happy we chose to stay.
I’m always thankful even if
We only have 1 more day.


Love you, my darling. Happy Anniversary.

More than Gold

When I got married,
I had a tiny ring.
It didn’t cost much,
$40. But here’s the thing–

Marriage is about
More than just some gold.
It’s being soft and kind.
It’s being brave and bold.

It’s more than being in love
Or nonstop, passionate embrace.
It’s watching someone fall
And being their graceful landing place.

It’s finally growing up.
It’s eventually calming down.
It’s renewing faith and spark.
It’s finding common ground.

Marriage isn’t jewelry,
Veil, bouquet and dress.
Marriage isn’t a wedding;
It’s an entire life of yes.

Did I mind my tiny token?
I certainly did not.
I loved my beautiful ring.
I was happy with what I got.

I didn’t need a precious stone
To remind me of what I had.
The precious person I had mined?
For that I could be glad.

A piece of jewelry doesn’t bring joy.
Peace isn’t bought with bling.
If you have a love at all,
You really don’t need a ring.

One day we had enough
To decorate my left hand.
But I simply chose
To reset my cherished band.

I waited for 24-karat gold.
I waited for lumps of coal.
I waited for heart-shaped rubies,
But I had treasure in my soul.

I couldn’t do half
Of what we do united.
The sum of our parts
Can never be divided.

I never needed a ring,
I never needed this.
But I’m so thankful
To be adorned in wedded bliss.