Cruisin’ the Coast and Cruisin’ Through Marriage

“You can still change your mind and come with us,” my husband Rick said. It was our final Porch Party before he left town. He and his uncle were driving from Atlanta, Georgia to Biloxi, Mississippi. They were taking a 1988 Chevy truck Rick restored for Uncle David to a car show called Cruisin’ the Coast.

Before restoration:

After restoration:Β 

They’d be tooling the town looking at 10,000 cars.

I squirmed in my rocking chair. “Thanks, but y’all go on. I’m going to be cruisin’ thousands of words at home.”

I was looking forward to a week by myself, but I felt a twinge of guilt.

Aren’t married people supposed to love the same things?Β 

But after 36 years of marriage, I probably wasn’t going to develop a sudden passion for cars. And Rick probably wasn’t going to enjoy cruising bookstores.

By the middle of the week, I was getting sorta lonely. Thursday night he called. “Do you miss me yet?”

“Yes. Especially in the mornings when I’m porch partying by myself. Do you miss me?”


He wasn’t coming home until Sunday, so thinking about marriage and love and porch parties–the things we have in common–I got an idea.

I bought two new mugs and made pumpkin bread.

Before baking.

With yummy topping.

All done minus one piece. πŸ™‚ Β 

We’d have a Welcome Home Porch Party Sunday night!

Here’s a marriage hint that took me forever to learn:

Marriage isn’t about becoming clones of one another. Β 

It’s about encouraging each other to become the incredibly unique person God created us to be.Β 

*Click here forΒ Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Loaf Recipe.Β (Just use self-rising flour if you aren’t eating GF.)

*If you’re into cars, here’s an article from The Sun Herald about the record-breaking numbers who attended Cruisin’ the Coast.



P.S. Did you marry your exact opposite too?


  1. I love “encouraging each other to become the incredibly unique person God created us to be.” , and the missing piece:) Blessings and uniqueness.

  2. TRUTH!!!! Love you heart and the strength of your marriage Julie…the two of you can do your own thing and be so happy to be back home together! no threat, no jealousy…just selfless love . ox

  3. Patricia Martin says:

    Wow! That is so amazing how Rick can transform older cars and make them better than new! I am not married yet but I do have two Ragdoll cats that have completely different personalities! When Marmalade is sleeping, Lilly is trying to wake her up and it’s funny to watch.(); going GF free is going well and I am feeling much better(:.
    P.s. Do you have a favorite GF free recipe?

    • Patrica, send me a pic of your cats! I’d love to see them.

      Hmmm, a favorite GF recipe. Something amazing was discovering I can use the Pamela’s flour like regular flour and make so many of my old recipes.

      Maybe the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the flour. I make those almost every week. They’re amazing. How are you doing with “the new you?”

  4. hmmmmmmmmmm…
    Pretty sure my husband & I would not see eye-to-eye on your scrumptious-looking pumpkin bread! πŸ™‚
    Anything else, we’ve blended our views & preferences throughout our 22 1/2 years together: football, chorale, computers, mini-vans… We’re quite the homogeneous couple! πŸ˜€

    • Melody, does that mean your husband wouldn’t ADORE my pumpkin bread????? I can’t believe it!

      Love how you’ve blended your likes and differences–you sound so much like us!


      • Unfortunately, Julie, Keith’s an anti-pumpkinite. πŸ™‚
        When we met I was school-teaching, piano-playing classical music lover & he was a hard-metal concert-attending furniture delivery guy…
        I’m thinking he blended much more into my life than I into his; but then I hear the music my boys have blasting out of their earphones… :/


        • Well, pooh. No pumpkins for Keith then.

          I love it! Y’all are opposites too!!!!!!!

          Hugs from Georgia. πŸ™‚

  5. Did I marry my opposite? Uh…yeah! A lover of tools (he has a gazillion of them and what do we need a dozens of different screwdrivers for I have no idea), a lover of sports (the volume in our house skyrockets when particularly hockey is on the tube and I wonder if they can hear him all the way to the arena), and a lover of dinners in versus dinners out (oh, not that he doesn’t like the occasional nice meal in a restaurant or even a fast-food drive through like In ‘n Out, but he prefers to eat my home cooking, particularly the salads I make just above every night). Now, me, I need one pointy screwdriver and one straight; I like quiet on the tv or maybe a tear-jerker chick flick with a box of kleenex; and serve me a dinner I did not have to cook and I’m one happy lady.

    So there you have it. The ways we are opposite. But you know what? When we’re apart, I miss him like crazy too. I think God gives us those moments to relish and enjoy the quiet, to remember why we love our spouse, and then to welcome them home with open arms (and an evening porch party). Hugs, Julie!

    • Love how you put this, B.J. And I have a feeling our men would really like —– talking —– to each other. πŸ™‚ They could talk about tools. πŸ™‚


  6. What a beautiful reminder of God’s vision for marriage–encouraging each other to become the incredibly unique person God created us to be. That’s so much better than being clones of one another. And if that had been God’s vision for Gary’s and my marriage, He’d have been sorely disappointed! Hahahaha!

    • Sitting here laughing in my office, Vonda. Can you imagine if we had to become more and more alike??? If that was the goal of marriage?

      And I’d have to know what to do with tools? And study up on all sports and everything mechanical? And if my husband had to become me? We’d drive each other nuts.


  7. Oh gracious yes! We are so opposite in so many ways. In our early years, he thought that was a bad thing. It was so frustrating. It took years to learn it’s okay to be “us” … who God made us to be. And be each other’s cheerleaders. From the sidelines, at times!! πŸ™‚

    The world sets marriage on the wrong track … you think you have to be identical. Men are different from women. πŸ™‚ And that’s okay. But we can still help each other. And love each other.

    Julie … you always say just what I need to hear. πŸ™‚

    • Yes! Shelli~ That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It took me YEARS to finally chill out about this. And know that it’s okayyyyyyyyyy, and it’s supposed to be this way.

      The beautiful part is that our differences compliment each other. Which is His design.

      Hugs from Georgia–wish we could meet one day!

  8. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie/Leaf Sister!

    I sure did marry my opposite! I love music — him, not so much. He’s into all that car stuff too, but I just like “pretty” cars. I’m sure you know that causes men like ours to roll their eyes at such a thing! What kind of car was it, he’ll ask. Oh it was really cute, and purple! He’ll just look at me like, what does THAT have to do with anything?! LoL. I love reading/writing, like you. He doesn’t care for either, although he did used to write me little notes. He can watch one fishing or digging for gold show after another and 5 minutes of just one of those is enough, no more than enough, for me! What we both do like though, are watching those old classic black & white movies, like “It Happened One Night” or anything with Bogart, Gable, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper in it. And we like going out for dinner or breakfast together and playing trivia before the food comes. We also like making Sunday dinner together.I used to think, too, that being married meant doing everything together or learning to like all the same things. Not so, just as you said. I have gone to some car shows with him, and posed for a picture in front of a pretty purple car, lol. He posed in front of a whole row of classic cars! But I’m pretty sure I won’t grow a passion for cars one day, either! And although he doesn’t like music, he just bought me an organ and one day a long time ago, he brought home a guitar for me. He even went to hear the symphony one time with me — AND it was his idea! Such an adventure, isn’t it?! Thanks for sharing, Julie. I love how your stories/devotionals and blogs remind me of things I love or need to to think about πŸ™‚

    Other Leaf Julie

    • Leaf Sis, I LOVE the romance you’re describing in your marriage. Definitely romance! And he bought you a guitar!!

      Yes, I’ll go to car shows (in fact, I’m going to one end of Oct in North GA) and I’ll be nice, and I’ll have fun, but there’s a difference in our level of passion. And he’ll go to bookstores with me and be nice….but you know what I mean.

      We have to find those things we can connect on and work them to the max!!


  9. Mary says:

    Hi Julie! Long time, no chat. I love this post and just had to pop out of lurking to comment.

    Before I got married, a smart friend told me, “Marriage isn’t about becoming the same person. It’s about keeping what makes you unique, but moving together in the same direction. It’s being evenly yoked. And the yoke, of course, is Jesus!”


    • Love your words, Mary!!!!!!

      And I tried so long to force us to love the same things. So silly and such a waste–probably another lesson for me in Surrender–that word that follows me around. πŸ™‚

      So nice to “see” you again. Thanks for saying hey.

  10. marci says:

    Oh, Julie, I always like your blog, and get little morsels from it – that make my day and give me food for thought. This one I truly enjoyed and kept smiling while reading it. I do like the ‘missing piece’ and can relate to that also. Mary’s comment above – from her “smart friend’, is so in line with what you said too- to be evenly yoked.

    Years ago some one said (marriage), “If 2 people are just alike, one is not needed.”

    At times I’ve wondered if my likes should be more like my husbands, but I think the important thing is balance. And I think God puts together the ones that compliment each others traits and gifts-not the ones that duplicate them. One will jump into things. The other is closer to the vest and tends to play it safe.

    I could spend hours in bookstores, or yarn departments. I can get lost in time while reading and writing, and can spend hours crocheting. He is always working on something- mechanical, and if there is a pen in his hand it is to draw out something he is wanting to make.

    Thank you for the food for thought, which you always give– and for giving all of us a place to ‘meet’ on Wed, and seeing how much we are all alike and dealing with many of the same things.

    God Bless,

    • Yes, Yes, Yes, Marci!!! I’m married to an adventurous risk-taker, and you can probably guess what I’m like.

      You and I could have so much fun together! I took a knitting class and sort of put it aside, but I LOVE that peaceful feeling that came when my body and mind grew still–and all the colors of yarn.

      I’m always so relieved and honored to discover that other people feel the same way I do, and struggle with the same things. Such connection we have here, my friend!!!


  11. Our minds think alike on the subject of marriage. Having The Lord central in our marriage helps us understand each other and encourage one another to be what God wants us to be. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary.

    • Ohhh, Nancy, Happy Anniversary!!!!!!

      After I took the picture of the Jesus Calling book on the table, I thought–He’s our Center. He’s the one who keeps us loving each other.

      Thank you so much for letting me know you’re reading, and that this touched your heart.

      Thrilled for you–FIFTY years! πŸ™‚

  12. Brenda Greene says:

    Julie, Julie, Julie….I just had to laugh out loud with your parting question: “Did you marry your direct opposite, too?” Yep. Sure did!! Not enough time or space to elaborate on that topic! However, I must share a line from a sermon I heard many years ago has kept me focused: “The things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.”

    So 47+ years later, and at this age, we’ve “mellowed together” and (most days!) enjoy blending! Just this week (and before the wonderful rains) we planted 500 lbs of wheat, 50 lbs of fescue, and spread 650 lbs of fertilizer on his wildlife food plots. Loved being out in the beautiful weather. Surprisingly, he doesn’t kill wildlife any longer (his heart got tender!), but we do enjoy sitting and watching the wildlife come and feast at his table!

    Keep ’em coming, Julie Girl, we sure enjoy the memories your words conjure up! Love you!

    • Brenda, Brenda. How precious is your comment. I got a mental image of the two of you working side by side through life. Wish I could see it.

      You’re exactly right–the word Mellow. That’s what happens over the years, and for so long, I guess I fought the mellowing and changing. I thought it should go my way.

      Thank goodness I couldn’t change my husband. πŸ™‚

      Blessings to you my friend. Would love to see pictures of you working together!

  13. Debbie Ewing says:

    Reading this post made me think of the most awesome song that I heard this morning by Casting Crowns. The song was about how our spouse was not meant to complete us, but about being broken together and sharing life. Love you Julie, I always enjoy your insight!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Debbie. Wish I’d thought to add a youtube of that!!! Thanks for letting me know you’re reading–and that it made sense. πŸ™‚


  14. Patricia Martin says:

    Hi Again Julie,
    I ‘d really love to send you some pics of my sweet kitties! If you would like to send me your e- mail address you can send it to that’s the best way to reach me. as for the new me, I am hanging in there ();.

    • Yes, Patricia! Please send it to Julie at JulieGarmon dot com. Can’t wait to see them.

      The New You–it takes a while. Sorry to say. πŸ™

  15. Anna Haney says:

    I’m surprised I didn’t post a comment the first time.
    This is so true. Yesterday I went too the UT football game with my husband. I figured we’d lose, we’d be walking a couple miles, it’d be loud, hot and crowded. I’d much rather have fine to the mall or a movie. But I know I would have missed him. And I had fun.
    He watches Young and Restless and This is Us with me and there are times when I thinks he likes them more than I do.
    Love you

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