Out of the Office: It’s all about ‘give and take’

My fiance Michael and I last Monday celebrated our third Valentine’s Day together with a trip to city hall.

And before you get ahead of yourself, no, we didn’t get married that day.

We actually spent our Valentine’s Day at the city council meeting since I had to cover it for work. How romantic, am I right?

For me, it was, though, because I usually spend several hours every other Monday evening at city council meetings while he is at home alone. This week since it was Valentine’s Day, he decided he would go with me and see what council meetings were all about.

Thankfully for him, the meeting only lasted two and a half hours and we were quickly on our way home with ice cream to celebrate.

We’ve spent most holidays apart since we started dating due to distance or work, so him sitting with me through a relatively boring meeting is probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I could have received on Valentine’s Day. It really is the little things.

Last week, I spent the afternoon with Mr. Toras Fisk, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, who knows a thing or two about love. He and his late wife Edna were married for 72 years after all.

“(We met) on the dance floor years ago,” Fisk said. “We did a lot of dancing together.”

Toras and Edna found their way to Alaska in the late 1950s and moved to Homer in the ’70s where they built a beautiful garden and an incredible life together.

“She was the best, so help me. I couldn’t have asked for anybody better,” Fisk said. “She was the best.”

Honestly, it’s hard for me to even imagine living to be 72 years old, much less being married to someone for that long. But they made it, which gives me even more hope.

When asked if he had any advice for younger couples, Fisk said it’s all about “give and take.”

“Now what am I talking about? If she wants something, give it to her. If he wants something, let him take it,” he explained. “There are so many marriages that go down the tube because one of them is too greedy and wants it all. You can’t do it. You’ve got to work together. It’s a give-and-take deal.”

It seems like such a simple concept, but it really made me examine my own actions and how I exhibit that with my fiance and my other friendships.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to meet Mr. Fisk, but I definitely left with solid advice for the future.

I’m sure that if we are fortunate enough to have 72 Valentine’s Days together like Toras and Edna, Michael and I might not even remember the year we spent it at city council. But for now, I’ll cherish the memory of him sitting beside me as I took notes because at least we were together. It’s all about give and take.

Reach reporter Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com.