Thinking

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I am middle aged. Forty-two. The hubster and I have been together for twenty-two years. And this very evening, this boyish utterance, in a half-awake state, “I was dreaming about bananas,” though sweet and funny, was hardly a surprise. There aren’t any surprises left. I have seen all of his cards. They are lovely and fine and worn at the edges. Beautiful, even.

This is not about me wanting to be with someone else. The hubster is everything I love in a person, everything, and me being with another would look an awful lot like me with him, because I am not keen on that other jazz. I had a friend who was obsessed with dating a bad boy. Her ex, who was not kind, terribly insecure, and cheated on her, apparently was not bad enough. I dated plenty of them as a young person, men who were unkindly about my appearance or casually told me they spent the night with other women as if they were talking to a wall and not a real-live person with feelings. It was awful, and I hated it.

I just get a little terrified when I think that if we live to be ninety, we will be together for seventy-one years. This is a long time by human standards and sometimes discomforting to think how much more worn those cards will be, down to gossamer and still no surprises. I kind of like surprises, novelty. It is why I watch so many movies (recommendations coming soon!) and know so many restaurants in town. We ate there six months ago. It’s just too soon!

Then I read Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and she kind of rails against married couples talking about how hard it is. But it is! The hubster will never be as detail oriented or questioning or interested in home improvement projects as I am. I will never be as tolerant as he is or love discussing software design. It took me eight hours to update the look of my blog (Did you notice? Century Gothic rocks!), and I was nearly insane with irritation. He does this kind of thing for a living, every single day.

There is no map for this territory. People get married and stay married and don’t really talk about the day-to-day, the boredom, the irritation. Why people take up hobbies and have separate vacations, I suppose. Sometimes marriage is wildly difficult, and I wonder if I am insane to do it. But most days I know I am one lucky gal, plodding along in my peculiar way with the finest human I have ever known and think, seventy-one years is nothing, really.

 

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Hello from Colorado! I’ve been there and back again, a full dance card with not nearly enough slots for everyone and everything dear to me. So I pick and choose and hope not to offend.

I took this photo and the one above at 44th and Tennyson, a gem of a neighborhood with many a fine place to eat (I had really good pizza and spumoni gelato at Parisi’s), sweet and curious shops, and that bit of old that always sends my heart singing.

At Washington Park now, and this Red Winged Blackbird sang its heart out for me.

The hubster grew up across the street from the park, so it is always fun to return and see it from his childhood eyes. He darts about with enthusiasm, gesticulating and speaking rapidly, showing me his his favorite trees and hiding places and soccer fields. It’s like he’s just returned from play and more than twenty years has not elapsed.

Though much has changed, the essence of the park remains the same, with soft stone faces and the snow capped peaks looking down on boisterous children, runners, and scores of of people making new memories.

This is the gate to his best childhood friend’s yard. We stood reverently while he reminisced of epic Star Wars battles, mischief, and fun. It’s much smaller than he remembered but no less special.

The hubster and I met in Fort Collins and spent much of the first two years of our time in and around the city. This is College Avenue.

It has its own fine patina and scores of new places, too.

Old Chigago is the site of our first date. I wore a denim skirt and a cream colored blouse with Indian Head Nickel button covers. He wore rolled up jeans, a rugby shirt, and the most dazzling smile.

Stopping for coffee at the new-to-us Bean Cycle and Wolverine Farm. We sipped fine beverages and bought a lovely book.

I made a friend there, too. Peek-a-boo…

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Thanks to my friend, Marie, for nominating me for a Liebster Award! We have never met in person, but I think that we should correct that, and pronto!

In typical, Colleen does not follow the rules fashion, I am only answering her questions and not nominating any other blogs. Mostly because I cannot think of eleven blogs but also out of laziness and the fact that this took me much longer than I expected. I am cheese-brained today.

1. If you could get paid to do anything, what would you do?

I’d love to be paid for my writing and photographs.

2. Who are your favorite actors?

Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Jimmy Stewart, George Clooney, Michael Fassbender, Matt Damon

3. When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was eight, I wanted to be a pilot. After that, I didn’t think about it, which probably explains a lot.

4. What is your guilty pleasure?

Ooh, I love magazines and have subscriptions to Harper’s Bazaar, Sunset, Kiplinger‘s, and New Mexico. I also find it very difficult to turn the channel when TMZ is on, which is really quite awful, I know. But that guy with the long blonde hair makes me laugh every time.

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Oh dear, I had never counted. Thirty-seven! Which includes gardening clogs, rain boots, and flip-flops. Somehow those last three make me feel better about having so many, but in all honesty, I think it is time to purge! Maybe I can get down to twenty-five?

6. What made you start blogging?

I wanted to be in the habit of writing.

7. What is your most popular blog post?

There’s a way to know this? I am terribly uneducated in this department!

8. What do you order at Starbucks (or whatever coffee/tea place you patronize)?

Being a local-lovin’ Portlander, Ristretto and Albina Press are my favorite coffee shops. I order a small decaf latte, as I am naturally caffeinated. Always a mug or cup and saucer, never a paper cup, I sit down and sip slowly. I also like to lick the foam off the inside of the cup when no one is looking.

9. What is your favorite memory of a grandparent?

Of Grandpa Briggs: holding hands and walking to the Western Motor Lodge to buy candy.

Of Grandpa Marv: sitting on the back porch early in the morning.

Of Grandma Frances: staying up late to play Kings Corners.

Of Grandma Tess: talking on the phone.

10. If you could change two things in the world, what would you change?

That women everywhere be treated as equals.

An end to violence.

11. What is your favorite song?

I could never ever choose one, so a few.

For fast driving: The Doors, “L.A. Woman”

For sheer loudness: Radiohead, “The National Anthem”

For the best jam: The Rolling Stones, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”

For sweetness: Debussy, Suite bergamasque – III. Clair de lune (Andante très expressif), played by Walter Gieseking

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Upheaval

I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life as of late. Nothing major, per se, only the feeling change brings, even if it is for the greater good. The raging unpredictability of edges pricking on the softest of surfaces. Discomfort, occasional cross words followed by tears.

Yet this smile, always. Forgiveness. Kindness. Understanding.

L-O-V-E.

A myriad of shapes. The lump of  hearts swelling. The ropey tangle of legs. The rorschach of backs pressing in slumber. The circle of embrace. The cocoon of spoons. The bubbles of laughter. The stars. The sparks.

All ours. For as long as we both shall live.

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Red

Does this ever happen to you, this kind of repetition? I picked the hubster up from work last night, our weekly gig, his break from bicycle commuting and the sporting of all that gear. We had a dinner on the muy delicioso side, at one of our favorite places, where I order the Guacamole Tostadas every single time, crunchy, cheesy, and warm. We did mix it up with a little something new for the hubster, and left very satisfied. I snapped these two photos on our way home, not intending for this bit of commonality. This red. I kinda like it.

And more red, my book. The little flock is dispersing to the four winds, to other homes, other hot hands. The thought makes me squeal with delight one moment and nearly retch with fear the next. Please, let them like it, understand it, be kind to it, love it for its quirk and honesty and pluck.

Then I remember yesterday’s Bukowski and that “ride straight to perfect laughter.” Let them do what they will. Me? I’m going all the way!

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