Arm in arm
Durable and reliable
Levi to Levi
Arm in arm
Durable and reliable
Levi to Levi
We fit together
Not in the puzzle way
More like nooks and crannies
Nothing tops us.
My husband would never admit it but he is often a lot like me. We sometimes talk to one another for shock value, just to make sure the other is listening. It’s an effective way to measure our attention level.
My husband of 27 years entered the kitchen and stood next to where I was writing at the table. I looked up to see why he was standing still. His eyes met mine as he said, “I never thought it would come to this but I bought some marital aids.”
I put down my pen, turned toward him and said, “I’m listening.”
He took a step back, reached into his pocket and gave me a big smile.
What he produced was not what I’d imagined. I quickly turned my back. I also continued to write as he put in a new set of orange ear plugs.
His shocking behavior had my attention. I have to admit, the joke was effective. Richie walked back outside to blow the leaves and I laughed my ass off, comforted by our sense of humor.
When the chicks leave the nest, there’s a relationship dynamic that needs to be rediscovered and rebuilt with patience and a whole new respect for one another. For example, this year I remembered my husband is artistic. Now that I am his aged wife, I admire his commitment and discipline to his most recent medium: oil on canvas.
When we first met I knew he could draw and create. I enjoyed watching him sketch with his younger brother in the dining room or produce strategic military scenarios in the sandbox with his baby brother. Nowadays he and I go on Friday night dates that include a 40-70% off canvas sale or a quick stop to replenish an oil color. Our early Sunday mornings usually consist of old episodes of Bob Ross or the Jenkins. When Richie is in his own makeshift studio, I love seeing his art come to still life.
This past weekend we went into one of our girl’s abandoned bedrooms to view his gallery that is taking shape. Christmas presents and potential future sales adorn the walls. We took our conversation across the hall to our other daughter’s abandoned bedroom, to view all the stored art supplies. My artist husband was like a kid in a candy store. He excitedly counted his canvas inventory, by size, as he considered his next subject.
My more analytical perspective concluded, “At the rate you are turning out finished pieces each week, you still have a two years supply of canvas!”
“But I bought them all on sale!?”, he replied with an appreciation for commerce I wish I’d seen more of over the last 27 years.
“Yes, hon, and I know you’re excited to transform them but your storage costs will break you in the end.” Although I’d considered our gallery ambiance as romantic and thought about the Picasso series, Genius, we’d recently watched, I was unintentionally a buzz kill.
My perpetual inventory comment ruined the creative mood, so we walked outside to enjoy an Indian summer on the deck. Our preparations for winter were viewable at the back of the garage: bagged coal, stacked wood and kindling piles. We milled about watering the plants that were still enjoying the warm weather, rehung the hammock that isn’t quite ready for winter storage and added Halloween decorations to the yard.
I retrieved a fall slate for the back door, came back out on the deck, and as Richie raked wood chips near the railing he announced, “I need another 8×10.”
I became impatient. “Are you kidding me? You’re addicted! Didn’t we just have this 2-year stockpile conversation?”
He looked hurt.
Liked he’d lost respect for me.
“A tarp. I need an 8×10 foot tarp for this last small pile of seasoned wood!”
It’s our dynamic.
It doesn’t need to be rebuilt.
Our relationship is still a blend of old habits and new beginnings. I have a lot of respect for my husband’s hobby but must continue to work on the art of conversation. After all, in our family, the chicks are gone, the cock does more than a-doodle and I am still the mother hen.
I have a train friend that was born and educated in the Middle East. We know one another professionally and continue to learn about each other’s family and background.
My electrical engineer sometimes seat mate is married and has a new granddaughter.
On the flip side, he knows I have two daughters and grew up in the town where I board the train.
I explain that my husband grew up here too.
He had more questions and I answered:
“Yes, our families know one another; Richie and I went to grade school together.”
He concludes his thoughts and restarts our conversation on a new track, “Oh! So it was an arranged marriage? ”
Our two very different upbringings are translating across the miles.
Late Sunday morning my husband returned from taking his mother out to breakfast. With the day promising 80’s sunshine in mid-September, Richie said he’d be outside. He saw my heart was elsewhere, “I’ll be out in a bit. I’m writing.” He knows me too well, recognized that was an indeterminate amount of time, and took advantage of the situation. When I finally went out on the deck, I felt betrayed by him, her…and a fellow writer:
Even though I’m married, I have to admit he’s easy on the eyes. He has a dark complexion, is well-dressed and sweet. He comforts me. The only negative thing is that he’s wrapped too tight. Literally. You can see his nuts. That overlooked, he is full of goodness and tries hard to please. What more could a woman want? My life is better when he’s around. Al Mond is a joy.
Here in New England, when the gardens start to overflow, is one of my favorite times of the year. Relatives share their food before it spoils, neighbors leave treats at the door and country roads have home grown garden centers. Beautiful green zucchini for bread, yellow squash for stir fry and beautiful red tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. It doesn’t matter how much they weigh, frugal yanks all across the county are charging ‘two for a dollah’. Our money goes far during the ‘Honor System’ self check-out season. I can’t wait to taste the wonderful meals these beautiful, affordable, local, fresh vegetables will make…
I just need a little help from a friend. “Hon! Richie!? Look what I found doing errands today…!” This time of year my love grows by leaps and bounds.
Now maybe our bathtub will drain!
Man cannot start a new year without Eve nor a new day without Dawn.
For added strength, he relies on Dolly.
Christmas is decorated by Holly and Carol helps him sing onto the Lord.