26 Sep 2011

Darby and Joan

Eugenio Zampighi Darby and Joan

Jemimah is off to Junior Camp with Church this week leaving her father and me at home as Darby and Joan. It's rather a strange feeling having nobody to worry about but ourselves.

When I was young my uncle and aunt had a little model of Darby and Joan. It was a weather-glass hygrometer, and whenever Darby was out of his little house, rain was approaching whereas when Joan appeared, sunshiny days were imminent. It used to worry me that when Joan was out, Darby was in and when Darby was out, Joan was in and they were never both at home nor abroad at the same time. I did not feel that that was the recipe for a happy marriage at all...which is what the Darby and Joan figures were supposed to signify.

Anyhow, Jemimah's Daddy and I will make perfect proverbial Darby and Joans this week - a happily married couple content to lead a quiet shared life together.

There are many lovely Darby and Joan poems. One of my favourites is this song by J L Molloy:
Darby and Joan

Darby dear, we are old and gray,
Fifty years since our wedding day,
Shadow and sun for ev'ry one
As the years roll on:
Darby dear, when the world went wry,
Hard and sorrowful then was I.
Ah! lad, how you cheer'd me then.
"Things will be better, sweet wife, again!"

Always the same, Darby my own,
Always the same to your old wife Joan,
Always the same to your old wife Joan.

Darby dear, but my heart was wild
When we buried our baby child,
Until you whispered "Heav'n knows best!"
And my heart found rest;
Darby dear, 'twas your loving hand
Showed me the way to the better land;
Ah! lad, as you kissed each tear,
Life grew better and heav'n more near:

Hand in hand when our life was May,
Hand in hand when our hair is gray,
Shadow and sun for ev'ry one
As the years roll on;
Hand in hand when the long night-tide
Gently covers us side by side:
Ah! lad, though we know not when,
Love will be with us forever then:
You'll find the sheet music here.

I shall enjoy some quiet time with my husband this week. It is all too easy to neglect your partner when there are small people around - particularly when you're homeschooling. You run the danger of living parallel lives - same objective, similar paths, but rarely intersecting for quality time together.

All too soon Jemimah will be grown and gone. I am going to take advantage of the time this week to ensure that when she does the man with whom I will continue to share my home and my life is not a stranger but my dearly loved best friend.

Now. What should we do first?!!


  1. Special meal. Candals and dinner. You know the drill, Joan :-)

    I remember blogging a long while ago about the necessity of nurturing our marriage when young ones are filling the house. I was at a mellow stage then with my two youngest becoming independant and the years of being just a couple not far away, but this is a good reminder for me Jeanne. As you can imagine quiet, candal lit dinners are a dim memory here but hubby and I have resolved to go out occasionally together. Keep the home fires burning!

  2. oh dear. I love this post, both it's premise and it's actual content. :) time alone for the two of you... a good thing, even while missing Jemimah too... I'm sure you'll make good use of the week and so will she :)

    and I'm happy to be introduced to darby and joan too. you teach me so many things ;)

    amy in peru

  3. Enjoy the honeymoon:) it's definitely a challenge for us as well (ron and me) to get a lot of quality time by ourselves.

  4. Time alone?? What is that exactly??!!
    :) I have never heard of Darby and Joan until now either! Something else I've learned from you Jeanne! My grandparents had a similar hygrometer with a cute little man and lady - I wonder if they too were Darby and Joan? Well enjoy your time together...we are planning a night or two away once we organise some sitters! xx


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