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Ducky on the Web

July 1st, 2004 · No Comments

As Katherine noted last week, a set of duck photos is making the rounds around the blogs. Stories about ducks, ducks in distress, and ducks in sewers are also traveling.

duckclose.jpg Not to be left out of this theme, I have my own duck story to share. Last week when we went to the park with friends, some (tame?) adolescent ducklings took a liking to us. Even though we didn’t have food, when we held out our hands, they’d come close and nip our fingers.

As we walked away, they followed us in a line, wobbling in their web-footed waddle…I wished I could have captured it on video…it was quite cute and ducky…


A discussion of all things ducky would have to include Ducky Sherwood who works with Ted at OSAF. Last week she commented on a post I had written about marriage and commitment. Later she sent me the links to the statistics she had mentioned.

The first article is from Family Process titled The death of ’till death do us part by William M. Pinsof.

I liked this quote from Beatrice Gottlieb, historian, describing the family in the Western world from 1400 to 1800.

most marriages broke up after about ten or twenty years, not because of
desertion or legal action, but because of death … The fragility of life
was something no one could be unaware of … The fragility of marriage was
also something deeply embedded in the consciousness of all, not least
because hardly anyone grew up with a full set of parents or grandparents.
From the point of view of the married couple, this meant that however fond
they were of each other they were likely to feel it necessary to make
provisions for a future without each other.

Pinsof continued later:

If the most common endpoint of marriage is death, an increased lifespan should result in longer marriages. The assumption is that as people live longer, they will stay married longer. However, this has not been the case. As people in the West came to live longer, it appears that the average duration of their marriages did not substantially increase. Instead, people dramatically increased their use of divorce.

Ducky also sent me a link to an article from the Economist Anti-Nuclear Reaction

Measured merely by their duration, marriages in the mid-20th century, as Lawrence Stone, a British historian, has put it, “were more stable than at almost any other time in history”. In mid-1950s America, a couple could expect their marriage to last, on average, a full 31 years. In 1550-99 in the then village of Colyton, in south-west Britain, marriages, on average, lasted only 17 years, rising to 22 two centuries later; though the married gentry could expect a little longer.

Last week I also learned that Ducky blogs at Best Webfoot Forward . I like what she writes and how she writes:

The day was cold and rainy. No, that doesn’t really capture how awful the weather was. It was that kind of wet cold that grinds into your bones and numbs your feet. It was the kind of chill that creeps in slowly, and once it’s in, makes you wonder if you will ever be warm again. It was the kind of sloppy wet weather that you really don’t want to be out in at all, let alone for an hour or two.

I also appreciate the passion she shares with her husband, how they spend their spare time pursuing a common vision, how they give themselves for others…and how she refers to her Jim as my beloved husband.

Jim on his home page describes his wife as the incomparable Ducky. I’m sure she is 😉 and after meeting her on the Web, I look forward to seeing her in person later this summer…

Tags: marriage