Ain’t love grand

Ryan and I have been together for almost three decades, a time during which our relationship has changed.

After being with the same partner for decades, one can’t help but reminisce.

If I venture into the Wayback Machine, I’ll see the dating part we carefully maneuvered through, a heady time when my sweetie pie and I were still strangers who worked hard to impress one another, when I’d primp for every visit, and stare at the phone waiting for the call that said he was still interested. We always looked our best and tried to avoid controversial subjects, still we broke up periodically and always reunited in a few days.

It was exhausting.

Later on, after the shiny-new-romance part dulled a bit, we became more comfortable in each other’s company. We’d do battle over our differing opinions on politics and religion and dealing with relatives—yep, it could get loud around here—each of us standing up for what we believed in.

At some point we decided bickering about things was not productive, so we worked hard to soften those discussions, taking time to consider the other’s opinions, while still sticking to our values. (I’ll confess this part is ongoing and not always easy, but we’re trying.)

Ryan and I have been together for almost three decades now. We’re both retired. We have four kids, with the youngest still home facing her senior year in college. His mother has dementia. His father and step-mom struggle with health issues. My mom will soon be 96. So, it’s family members and our responsibilities to them that now populate our discussions.

Every once in a while, if only for an instant, I miss those wacky, romantic, early days. Though Ry contends he would never go back.

“If you died, I’m done,” he’s said more than once, pointing out that dating is grueling.

And it’s hard to disagree. Listening to our kids—25, 24, 23, and 20—talk about the trials of courting is enough to make me swear off dating forever.

At this point, we both eschew gifts on the supposedly important holidays, as there is nothing we really want or need. He finds joy in cooking. I find joy in writing. We both love scuba diving, traveling, history, British mystery TV shows, and the four-footed furry friends who live with us. What we look like is no longer important. And still the romance remains. It’s just different now.

Here’s an example. We were just in St. Croix on a trip where we could think of nothing we’d rather do than leap into the Caribbean Sea to go diving. But I was still recovering from rotator cuff surgery and was under doctor’s orders to stay out of the water. Still, I told him to go and enjoy himself. When he returned from the dive, he excitedly told me about the tiny peacock flounder he swam with, one of my favorite ocean creatures that has beautiful turquoise spots when swimming but, like a chameleon, changes color instantly to blend in with whatever it alights upon.

Then, he creased his brow and looked down.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“It wasn’t any fun without you.”

Ain’t love grand.

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A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND

AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.

Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb

Fight back against the Spandex revolution!

As a Covid prisoner, I hadn’t been out in a long time. Then, after being a good girl and taking my shots, my sweetie pie and I booked that trip to St. Croix we’d been pining for. Now, you wouldn’t think that much could change after a year in seclusion, but as soon as we got to the airport, I realized a revolution had occurred.

A recent vacation made me realize that Spandex is taking over.

The entire place had been overrun with Spandex.

Don’t get me wrong. I too have donned the synthetic fiber favored for its elasticity. I’ve worn under garments made of Spandex and I’ve pulled on stretchy leggings and shorts and bathing suits for a workout. But the visual assault of multi-colored and patterned elastic in a public place like an airport was quite overwhelming.

First, ladies—since we are by far the biggest Spandex offenders—let me point out that all that flexible fabric doesn’t really look good on anyone. Not even super models, which sadly most of us are not. And there’s only so much supporting Spandex can do. I saw more practically naked body parts at the airport than I do when I’m in the health club locker room. And it’s the nature of Spandex that even when we’re covered there’s little left to the imagination.

You might be interested to know that the product behind the Spandex brand was invented in 1958. The post-World War II era had DuPont searching for a market for their textiles and they settled on women’s bras and girdles, which apparently needed an upgrade from rubber. (Rubber underwear? Don’t make me shudder.) They hired famous stars like the lovely and lithe Audrey Hepburn to wear their new products, though what that wee woman would have needed with a girdle is beyond me.

The lovely Audrey Hepburn donned Spandex-type products in the 1960s to encourage other women to do the same.

In any case, somewhere along the line Spandex became the “it” fabric. I suppose we can blame being stuck at home for our desire for comfort and I do understand the allure of sweat pants and baggie Ts and other comfy wear when there’s no need to head to work. I’ll also admit that I’m not one to dress up to go shopping. I’ve only worn makeup a handful of times over the last year, and the holes in my pierced ears are threatening to close since there seemed to be no reason to wear jewelry.

However, it used to be that people took a little more care with their clothes while traveling. When I was younger and unattached airports were rather fun places for meeting new and interesting people. But no one seems to care about that now.

Some of you may think I’m just an old prude. Not so! I hemmed my Girl Scout uniform to within an inch of my butt back in the good old 1970s. I wore halter tops and low, hip-hugger jeans, all of which had my mother rolling her eyes. I fully understand baring body parts in a formal gown or on a Saturday night out, but now said skin is on view everywhere all the time. (Just head to the grocery store, if you don’t believe me.) I’m not sure of the message we’re sending. Seems a bit desperate, a cry for attention, maybe.

You’re probably thinking that I’m picking on my fellow women here, and perhaps I am a little. As a high school teacher of 20 years, I was called on daily to deal with dress code issues of just this type, so maybe that’s why I noticed. Note here that traveling men look no better than women. Most wore sloppy old T-shirts, raggedy shorts, athletic shoes, and ball caps. Had I been young and single, I wouldn’t have found any of them appealing enough to chat up.

After noting that the U.S. has become a nation of slobs, I found myself mesmerized by Burt Lancaster in a cream-colored suit.

Recently, I watched a snippet of a movie, an old black-and-white film that had been digitized. A stunning Burt Lancaster appeared in a fabulous cream-colored suit. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I tried to remember the last time I saw a man in a suit. Nothing came to mind.

I’m now wondering what fashion changes will be next. Perhaps ladies will go back to Victorian Era coverups, since there’s not much more we can take off. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, consider this: clothing containing Spandex ends up as non-recyclable waste, so these garments contribute to polluting our world and take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to decompose.

Here’s hoping the trend ends soon.

A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND

AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.

Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb