A Gamble

A Gamble

            I have never put any money into a slot machine nor done any of the other gaming that is commonly associated with Las Vegas.  I’ve never bet on a race or other sports event.  I have not purchased a lottery ticket nor even joined in the office betting pool that they do around the Super Bowel.  But I have done my share of gambling. 

            I know that depending on who you talk to, even getting up in the morning and walking outside to meet the new day is a gamble.  But my past gambling has included bigger risks.  I think most farmers and ranchers should enroll in Gamblers Anonymous.  It’s quite a thrill to look at the futures markets in commodities and try to determine how to buy corn and other feed ingredients, along with investing the high dollars in equipment, livestock, and real estate required to produces a perishable food product, knowing that the actual value of that product will have nothing to do with the expense incurred in producing it.  In the end, the selling value all comes down to supply and demand at the moment of the sale.   If the same dollars I’ve lost in such an endeavor were wasted on the crap tables in Las Vegas, anyone, except the casino management, would say I had a gambling problem. 

            This month there are several things which have got me thinking about another big gamble taken in life. 

First, is the research and writing I’m doing on my family history novel.  I am doing a little walking in my 2-greats Grandma, Inger’s shoes.  Inger was raised in a well-to-do family in Norway during the mid 1800’s.  The caste system of the European wealthy was alive and well in that day, so when Inger fell in love with a common sailor, her choice was between the love of her life and her family.  She couldn’t have both.  Perhaps Inger knew all along that the choice she made would result in a life of hardship and struggle.  But I can’t help but think that the young men and women of their day were as eternally optimistic as our youth today.  So I’m sure Christoffer and Inger’s dreams of the future included a nice home, plenty of food and other necessities, and at least some leisure time to enjoy it all.  At least some of Inger’s dreams were quenched when Christoffer was killed in a work accident and she was thrown into severe poverty.  In remembering those hard years of survival when she washed laundry for others, she lamented later in her life, “If I had only had a washboard!” 

Besides loosing her husband, Inger lost one of her daughters while living in Norway.  It wasn’t too many more years before she managed to move with her remaining three daughters and one son to new opportunities in America. 

I have also been anticipating my son’s wedding at the end of this month.  It appears to me that the love of his life is almost as spunky as my Beautiful Wife.  (She even has the red hair.)  She is a great gal and I think that his gamble on love is a safe bet. 

And that takes me to the biggest gamble I have ever made in life.  Twenty-five years ago this month, my beautiful wife and I were married.  (The truth be told, she’s the one who REALLY took the gamble.) 

She is everything that I am not.  Spunky, impulsive, high spirited, adventurous, and magnetic are a few words that begin to paint her portrait.  She gave up much of her world to become part of mine.  She moved from the warm sunny climate of Southern California to live in the cold artic climate of Southeastern Idaho.  She has spent most of our married life living in the rural setting of farm life instead of the convinces of city life where she would prefer.  All of her personal dreams have been put on hold for these entire twenty five years while she does a magnificent job doing her part in fulfilling our joint dreams of raising a large wonderful family.

Yes, with all my gambling losses, this is one time when I won the mega lottery.  Instead of a lump sum payment, I’ve opted for the benefits to last a lifetime. 

So on this Friday the 13th, symbol of bad luck, I am thinking of the risk we take when our otherwise good judgment is overshadowed by the intoxicating influence of love.  We take a gamble when we devote our lives to someone else.  But for me, marrying my Beautiful Wife 25 years ago turned out to be a very good bet.        

16 thoughts on “A Gamble”

  1. Happy Anniversary ! ! !For years I have wondered why Vegas was known for gambling and weddings.  Now I see clearly that they are really the same thing.  Several years ago I was in Vegas on a 4 day job with my employer.  When we were headed towards home again, we stopped for breakfast at a casino just before leaving the state.  Neither of us had ever gambled.  On our way out the door I stopped and put a quarter in a slot machine and pulled the handle.  No return.  My employer got a funny look on his face and approached the same machine with his quarter.  He got two quarters back. I commented at the time that I had just witnessed evidence of an age old complaint.  "What is that?" he inquired.  "The rich just got richer, and the poor just got poorer."  That was the end of my casino gambling career.

  2. Gosh, what heart-warming sentiments pour from every syllable in this clever piece, Ron.  While I’m here, I must confess that you got a prompt laugh outa me when I saw you refer to the "Super BOWEL."  You’re funny, although it is MOST TRAGIC that you don’t regard each and every annual Super Bowl as the pinnacle of your human experience that year…haha

  3. What a nice tribute to Vallerie.  I’d say you both won the lottery. Happy Anniversary to you both.  I feel pretty lucky in that respect too.   I’m coming up on my 20th. 
    I had to laugh at Warrens comment about gambling.  Pretty funny!

  4. HI Ron and Happy Anniversary to you and Val.  I think you both are lucky.  Wow, it was sure a good thing when the two of you got together. 

  5. Just going to set the date straight here…. this month is our anniversary… April  28th… heheh… and I’ll blog about it on that day…  but yes… we are both lucky.. good bet there.   No one has ever been as good to me as Ron has been…. so I’m luckiest of all.  Vallerie                                                                                      

  6. Nice heartfelt blog.  You are lucky to have such joy and love in your family. So many people do not. Do you know what happened that killed Christoffer?  You are getting my curiosity juices flowing with all these tidbits you are dropping about Inger.

  7. This was a great blog and like you I have been a winner more often than a looser.  I did the slot machines and lost but did not go back.  I did once buy a lottery ticket but lost a buck and did not go back.  I never bet on ball games.  I looked for far better and more mainingful bets and I did well.

  8. Hi Ron!  I just came over from Cheryl’s space to have a look around.  Very nice space and great writing!  My wife and I too just celebrated out 25th, and like you, I too won the mega lottery while she took the gamble.
    Nice meeting you!

  9. Twenty five years and nine children …congratulations to both of you !
    I have six brothers and four sisters,big families are good for teaching patience &  tolerance and great at Christmastime & birthdays .
    I have no idea how to go about buying lottery or game tickets …I like to see what I am getting  for my money …lol..
    nice to read about your lovely family

  10. Hi Ron,
    Happy Anniversary. I wonder if we knew what we were getting into and had a clearer view of the future if we would still take the plunge?? LOL. I guess that’s why the for better or for worse is thrown into the vows… so later on you can say to yourself… I did say that didn’t I? Sounds cynical but I’m not, I’d do it all again and it’ll be 32 years for us in August!

  11. Hi Ron,  Thanks for stopping by.  I really did enjoy the visit.  I can truely realate to the gambling thing.  I think that every time I turn in a bid for another project, that it’s a gamble.  Happy anniversary.  My wife and I were also married in April, and will be celebrating it on the 30th.  She’s still my best friend!!  🙂 Kent

  12. Have you heard the term "The Nuts"? It is used in Texas Holdem when a player is delt a hand that he knows cannot be beat. From my perspective you and Vallerie have been delt "The Nut Hand"! Happy 25th and ever after.

  13. sounds like the perfect love story to me…
    :o) smiles are free and contagious…so pass one right now to the people you love and those you don’t…soon everyone will be smiling… :o)

  14. I have learnt the hard way – which is why I don’t take chances anymore.        Come my friend I really must take issue with your comment: "The caste system of European society" my, my, so why do your colleges have Proms, if not to sort the wheat from the chaff ????  I become more and more eagar to read your interpretation of Viking Ingar as she takes on the united states.

  15. Sometimes those gambles are worth all the money in the world…  You have a wonderful treasure in your wife and family.  Happy 25th anniversary… hugs, lottiemae

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