My oldest son tells his friends the following: "My dad was lucky, he found an insane woman to marry!" Okay, all you out there shaking your heads in the affirmative, thinking yeah, that Red is one goofy woman, my son was talking about the fact that I married his dad and took on custody of four children at the same time. To set the stage a bit, I was twenty-one, dated my husband only a month and didn't even know how to cook but children have a habit of getting hungry so I learned fairly quickly. Here we are over thirty-eight years later and I think the full impact of my action has only really settled in recently due to a little thing called retirement.
My first question is why on earth do they call these the "golden" years? Let me tell you, I do not know a bank in town that would honor a single day of my life as collateral for a loan on the cost of a candy bar, let alone on anything of actual value! As you know, I have confessed to being an overly organized type person but since my husband has retired, I am only overly organized in my dreams. I managed to raise a daughter and four sons and had hardwood floors that sparkled like the night skies and yet my San Saba hardwood floors could pass for a laundry basket at times with just one retired husband! My son, Shawn, still talks about how I would pick up a toy as he finished playing with it when he was merely two years old and put it away and at seventy-one, I cannot get my husband to pick up any of his!
I believe there are positive rewards in being neat and organized. When my house is clean and uncluttered, I feel much less stressed and Zen about life. I feel free to go out, enjoy and feel unencumbered by my environment. In addition, should I need something, I am immediately able to locate it. I have not been able to find a single thing since my husband retired two years ago and that includes our dachshund at times! The other night, I wanted to have a few slices of my favorite sharp cheddar cheese and some crackers and I searched every inch of the fridge looking for a new package I'd bought. I became extremely agitated because I'd seen my husband eating some the night before and could not imagine what he'd done with it. I felt my heart drop and had that sinking feeling of finding it weeks later growing more hair than my husband's had on his head in years. I opened the cabinet door, picked up the plastic bag with the crackers and who do you know, there sat the cheese all warm and cozy. He had an excuse of course, the dog ate the instructions on refrigeration of cheese products. He actually tried to make himself look good by asking why I was upset because at least he'd put it away!
Before he retired my car had a home and it was called a garage. My Toyota is the last car I will ever have and while I am not a materialistic person, I enjoy taking care of the things I own. Now that my husband is here full time, the garage is filled with "things" and there is no room for cars. I really have no idea why someone needs to own five drills or three chain saws when they have only two hands. My neighbor across the street said when my husband dies, she gets first dibs on the stuff in my garage. They are dangerous tools too. Last September, I was painting away on a canvas and my husband comes up with a towel wrapped around his hand and says... "I think I need to go get a few stitches." A drive to Brownwood and emergency surgery on his nearly chain sawed off finger later, I told him he was never allowed to use power tools again. I am clumsy but I admit that I am and do not always use common sense. I rode my bike in 106 degree temperatures for hours, my odometer read 56 miles that day and he will never let me live that down nor will the metal in my ankle but excuse me, power tool use does not make his accident sensible! I know, I know, I am going into a void, a black hole that no woman will ever understand and I should just be a saw and buzz off.
I don't get bored. We were not allowed to say we were bored growing up. My mom had seven children and if we ever said we were bored, she would say... "Oh no, there are books in every room of this house. Go pick one out to read. In a book you go anywhere you wish, be anyone you wish and do anything you wish!" I have written a novel and am working on a sequel and I paint. I can be in my office deeply engrossed in a chapter and my husband will come in and just stand behind me, watch me type and then ask me what I am doing? It is very difficult to not answer him in a manner that is sarcastic and biting because even our dog, Patches, looks at him in a way that says... "She's typing, stupid!", but I patiently stop and say "working on my book, what are you doing?" You guys will never guess what he answers... "Looking for the cheese!"
I love you all with all my heart!!