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Posts Tagged ‘love’

The day audibly begins at seven am, nearly every day. I hear a greeting, or a bump on the floor above my downstairs apartment, and know that one or both of the dear people upstairs are ready for the routine that puts them above and beyond any married people I have ever known personally.

The sounds morph into a stair creaks, and two sets of footsteps that stop for the next half hour. I know where they stop. It is at the double recliner love-seat that is well named. My daughter and her husband are sitting there in bathrobes with their bare feet up and the morning paper out. If the TV is on, I don’t hear it.

What I do hear is two voices. TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER! Often there is just a comfortable burble of sound, intermittent, and reciprocal. Sometimes, like this morning, there is an outburst– I don’t hear the words. It sounds heartfelt, but I can’t really tell the nature of the passion… excitement, assertiveness, or consternation? Can’t tell.

What I do know is that these people spend the first half hour of each morning at a regular meeting with coffee, newspaper, and each other. They share the news. They offer their opinions. They don’t always agree. But they always talk.

My daughter and her husband have been married for 33 years. They are dynamic, opinionated people with an inbuilt portion of “feist” that is not boring, and is sometimes volatile. They have powered through serious differences of opinion, and some big weather-changes. My own marriage did not survive such stresses, but theirs has.

These two are evidence that love is an action verb.

Living with relatives is a dicey matter sometimes. And I am mindful of the stresses to my own marriage caused by the in-house residency of my own mother in years past. No doubt my former husband suffered somewhat silently. We didn’t talk to each other every day at seven. Sometimes we didn’t talk to each other at all…other than in passing. We lasted 20 rather passive-aggressive years.

Neither of us found success in remarriage. We never learned how to “love”, v. trans. Not at least the talking back and forth kind of love.

Today there was an outburst…just about fifteen minutes ago. Footsteps went rather loudly up the stairs at 7:30 am…to the shower. As usual.

Outbursts are not terminal here, with them. They are fearless about communication of nearly any sort. They work the muscles of this marriage. Sometimes they get sore.

But they talk to each other. And answer. Every day.

I am in awe. And not walking on eggshells here. Seems as if their stability will withstand the presence of a mother-in-law. If not, they will say so. I count on it by now.

Old Swimmer

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Notes from the hearth: Being settled in the safe and sane confines of a vintage trailer is good for the wayfaring Senior. A few stepping stones away is the doorstep of my eldest daughter who is running, essentially, a boarding house for family refugees, and such a place one would never wish to graduate from! She’s a magical homemaker, serving up vittles worthy of royalty on a regular basis… and smoothing all the ruffled feathers brought to her home, and turning her husband to on a thousand fixit needs that effectively bring her foundlings into the bounds of self-sufficiency, step by step.

She points out to me that living in a trailer is a great training grounds. She knows…she lived in this very trailer with her husband for three or so years while they put their own house through a vast renovation some ten years ago. Her husband, a contractor, of course did these improvements “in his spare time” (read “hardly any time to breathe, actually”). So it took a long time.

The place has everything one needs for living, but in such efficiency that one HAS TO put things away where they go or else one cannot walk. Like a small boat, you have just enough room for your needs, and no extra. If you need extra room, you have to dump stuff out of your life. One pot, one pan, one whisk, etc. Use, wash, put in cupboard. Soon you are like a short order cook, reaching automatically to where the pot lives and finding it there every time, since there was no place to put it other than where it fits.

For a haphazard soul like me, this is the best boot camp imaginable. I always did say I liked simplicity. Now I get to really orchestrate daily and immediate simplicity or I die of “stuff” in the way. And the more I succeed, the more I like myself!

Will I be able to do this same thing in my new shop? That remains to be seen. The garage at my other daughter’s place is full of boxes containing my working materials and tools and supplies. Really a LOT of it.

Time will tell.

But for now I am remembering a precious meal with family last night with my littlest grandchild prancing around in her auntie’s very high heeled shoes pretending to be a grown up, and my eldest grandchild confident and wise chatting with two of his younger cousins about cars and computers and life. My children scarfed up traditional and original and new culinary wonders with abandon and lots of appreciation. We love each other here, in spite of being very much individual eccentrics, most of us. It’s just GOOD.

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A friend is someone who sneaks around in the kitchen late on a Sunday and makes a celebration even though her housemate has been sick and in bed and disgruntled all day and is sleeping even though she knows a party was planned.   A friend does it anyway, and leaves a nice envelope near the cake so that the sickie gets up and sees it: it says: “Happy Birthday to our Beautiful HouseMate Susan.  We’re so happy you came into our life(s) !!

The card is perfect, as you can see.  Jade and I do a New Joisy accent routine that is made up to fit any occasion with thick accents and very ethnic gestures and big attitudes all the time.  This is perfectly like us, except that Jade (the shorter one) doesn’t have that shape at all, but is petite instead.  However, the hairdos are good, and the clothing looks pretty authentic.  I love the horses very much because they are blessed friends too, lucky to have each other to go through slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with.  (I’ll bet those horses are glad to have the cowgals off their backs!)

Anyway, I , the grouch, am so touched with these perfectly beautiful deeds and gifts.  We will remember this party forever– not for the grandeur or the guests (though I shall put a picture of the one guest who crashed the party), and not for the venue or the fancy getups.  We will remember this because it happened at a dark time of year with some dark things happening to folks we know and some uncomfortable times for us too.  We were happy at this party.  And so was the cat. (He liked the vanilla ice cream the best.)

old swimmer

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