Home | Contact Us | Facebook | Subscribe | Advertise
The Noblesville Times 24-7
  • 12/3/2019 My husband, Peter, and I have settled into the little house we are calling home for a month in southern Spain. The house is old and quirky—but I’ve come to believe that all homes are quirky in their own way.
    Whenever I spend time in another person’s home, I realize there are a lot of different ways of doing things that would never have occurred to me. 
    When I was young, my family would drive to visit my great-grandmother. She had a neighbor named Mrs. Johnson (I never learned her first name). Mrs. Johnson had a pug and when I uncurled the pug’s tail, he caught sight of it and chased it until he was exhausted. This was endlessly entertaining as an eight-year-old. But my other vivid memory of visiting Mrs. Johnson was the way she ate pears. Mrs. Johnson took the pear and banged it on the table—side to side and top to bottom—until the whole pear was soft. 
    “Why are you doing that?” I asked. 
  • 11/22/2019 When my husband, Peter, and I met, we each had a dog. 
    Peter had a collie named “The Pretty Boy,” (Yes, “The” was part of his name) and I had a pound puppy, part golden retriever, part border collie mix named “Milo.” The Pretty Boy died shortly before we were married, about five years ago, and Milo died just over a year ago. 
    We talk about getting a new dog, of course, but all the good reasons not to have a dog prevail. Extended travel—actually travel of any kind—is enormously complicated with a dog. So, for a year now, Peter and I have stuck to our guns and only for a moment here and there been seriously tempted. But this doesn’t mean we have stopped loving dogs. 
    I see dogs every day and I no longer even hesitate to interrupt some poor person’s walk to talk to their dog. I talk to the dog and the dog lets me know if it is shy or finds me a little tedious or would prefer to keep walking or, in some cases, is really excited to meet me. 
    Being less focused on my own dog and more aware of other dogs has given me a new appreciation for all the breeds of dogs I never noticed before. In the great universe of dogs, I no longer play favorites. And I think this is a good thing because, the more dogs I meet, the less difference I see between dogs and people. 
  • 11/14/2019 Peter and I are packing for our annual trip again. 
    My husband, Peter, is retired and I write, so we are able to travel now. Getting married late in life, this might have posed some problems because Peter is exactly the opposite sort of traveler I used to be.
    “I’m packing two separate bags—one for Spain and one for on the way there,” Peter informs me. “This will mean some duplication, but it will simplify things when it’s time to fly!” Peter is obviously pleased with himself. 
    I used to take pride in traveling light. I fit all my clothes and everything I needed in a small backpack or a carry-on suitcase and hit the road with little idea of where I was going. This was a lot of fun and I had some fine adventures. Then I met Peter. 
    “Should we bring the paella pan?” Peter asks. We bought the pan in Spain. We are going to Spain.
    “I think they’ll probably have one,” I say, knowing that (if they do not) Peter will insist on adding a paella pan to the list of things we bring overseas every year.
  • 10/30/2019 My parents live in a cabin deep in the north woods. I know this sounds like the start of a fairytale. Sometimes it seems a bit like one.
    There are bear in the woods. Deer run in herds. The seasons are far more pronounced and extreme than those I am used to. After a day of glorious autumn sunshine on my bare arms, I woke in the middle of the night and saw, in the moonlight, that snow had covered the ground, turning the green grass white.
  • 10/23/2019 Peter was up before anyone else—as he often is. 
    My husband, Peter, gets up early in order to have enough time to brood before busybodies like me expect him to engage in cheerful conversation. But this morning we were staying at my parents’ cabin and there was a glitch in the plans. The coffee jar was empty. 
    Obviously, a person can’t brood without coffee. Peter quietly opened one cupboard after another. No coffee. My parents are great planners so there was no chance they were out of coffee, but where they might be keeping it—that was another issue. 
    Peter stealthily crept around the kitchen opening one cupboard after another until finally, far in the back of an upper cupboard, Peter found a bag of coffee.
    “Bingo!” Peter said (silently, of course.)
    Peter put coffee in the coffeemaker, pressed the “start” button and only then did he take a good look at the bag. 
    “DECAF” it read. “Oh no!” Peter thought. The coffee was already brewing, my parents would be up any moment. 
    There are a number of things a person might have said at this moment. 
  • 10/16/2019 I told my husband, Peter, that our marriage was like stew—and that’s a good thing. 
    This is a second marriage for both Peter and me. We were both married for a long time and then divorced for quite a while. We dated other people and realized how tricky the whole process of finding a new partner was, after habits had been set and preferences settled. 
    When I met Peter, I was ready… I think. I had healed and spent time on my own and figured out who I was—single and over fifty and changed in many ways from the person I had been while married. 
    Peter had also done his homework. He was perfectly self-sufficient in every respect. He just wanted love. As it happens, this is something I had a good supply of. And so, we started dating and Peter asked me to marry him after only two months. We waited a year and got married on the one-year anniversary of our first date. 
  • 10/9/2019 They say that blessings come in disguise. 
    If so, my blessings are poorly disguised. They show up wearing false noses and funny eyeglasses and are instantly recognizable unless I am being completely thick-headed—and it is astonishing how often I am. 
    I had a really bad year a few years back when I lost my husband and my job and my home in rapid succession. All of this happened while I was living in Nigeria (which was not great to begin with). I realized immediately that this was very bad news. But I also figured out, pretty early on, that I had been given an opportunity to start my life from scratch. Nearly every day since I hear of someone else who has overcome tragedy, a dreadful illness, a setback, or disappointment in their life and found new meaning and purpose as a direct result of their terrible experience. 
    Somehow, it is almost harder to live with unexpected good news. “What the heck?” I say. “I wasn’t expecting this!” 
    Part of the challenge of navigating changes at mid-life is that they don’t seem to follow any sensible trajectory. When I was in my twenties, things seemed to move slowly, but in an expected way. Thirty-plus years later, my life hopscotches from one thing to the next in a way that can be disorienting. 
    I started writing in earnest at age 50. I sold a book, started this column, and now am making plans to tour a show (with a musician!) that features writings from the book and the columns. It has all happened so quickly, I find myself feeling stressed and out of sorts.
  • 10/2/2019 I was not popular in high school. 
    Everyone says this. I now realize that no one—not even the most popular person in high school—self-identifies as popular. 
    Lately I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook friend requests from people I scarcely knew in high school. I have a 40th class reunion coming up next year and I’ve been getting friend requests from people who, I am quite sure, would not have recognized me walking down the hall in high school. 
  • 9/25/2019 

    I spent the last couple weeks visiting my parents. 

    I’ve been lucky in the parent department. It’s fashionable to recall some pivotal incident that occurred when we were eight and extrapolate how every difficulty experienced in our life since is a result. But I’ve never seen any truth to this in my own life. I was really happy when I was eight—and I give my parents full credit. 

     
  • 9/11/2019 The surprises just kept coming. 
    When I moved in with Peter a few years back, I brought my clothes, a few books, and some artwork. I rented out my house, gave away my furniture, and everything else was consigned to “things I’ll deal with later,” a pile which—mysteriously—did not shrink with time. These stacked plastic boxes were still in my barn, still waiting for me, long after I’d forgotten what was in them or cared. 
    But I am going to put the property up for sale and it was time for a reckoning with the barn. It took two dumpsters, four days, and two hardworking guys from the appropriately named, “Git-er-Gone Junk & Clutter Removal,” to see it to the end. 
    And, yes, I did think, “Why not just dump it all, sight unseen?”
123
Looking for something older? Try our archive search

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Site Search



Our app is now available!

     
    



© 2019 The Times
a division of Sagamore News Media
54 N 9th Street, Noblesville, IN

(317) 770-7777

life

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved