Tag Archives: marriage

I need to define my life

Greetings, readers. What does that mean; define my life? It means that right now I feel like I am spinning my wheels in thick mud. I am going from day to day doing all of the necessary tasks just to get by. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I sat down at the computer and wrote a story for three or four hours. This blog entry might sound like a broken record in places, and I will apologize in advance. However, there are some things on my mind today that I need to purge. So, here goes.

When I was much younger, I thought that I would graduate from college, marry a college sweetheart, be father of two or three children, and own a house with a white picket fence and a nice SUV. Ha-ha-ha. Like, that happened… not. I can see my family now. I would marry an attractive, intelligent woman, who is just as old-fashioned as I am. We would raise our two children, hopefully a boy and a girl, teaching them morals and values which would make them loving, caring and productive members of society.

Back to defining my life. On July 13th, I’m going to be 54 years old. I have held two jobs, each one lasting only one year. Yes, I do have my published books, and that’s good. I need more. Somehow, I have to break this mold, go out into the world, and make my mark. There are plenty of places in town which are hiring right now for summer and fall. I’m going to try to line up a job which I will begin after I get back from Maine in August. I also need to become more social. I am not saying that I’m going to hang out at bars. I have recently joined the local Presbyterian Church, which offers many opportunities to get closer to the Lord, and also to socialize and meet people. Of course, I did not join the church to find my next girlfriend. That would be crazy. Am I one of those souls who are destined to go through life alone? Well, I’ve got news for you. Through my friend Dave and his family, I have enjoyed being Uncle Joe to all the nieces and nephews, and now to their children as well. I have been quite blessed. Perhaps… just perhaps, God gave me that family to go through life with. I have been honored.

I don’t think anyone’s life turns out to be exactly what they hoped it would be. We all just have to do the best we can with what we’ve been given. I have numerous health issues, but I firmly believe that the Lord does not give me anything I can’t handle. It’s tough sometimes, but with a good therapist, wonderful friends, and a fantastic personal assistant in Rebecca, everything I need to get done gets done.

Lastly, of course I have my kitty cat, Princess Josie. I will be posting a photo of her here on the blog site ASAP. So, keep a lookout for that. Until Wednesday, I bid you a wonderful Sunday, have a great start to your work week, and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of things I’ll love about being married again

Greetings, readers. In June of 2018, I plan on tying the knot for the second time. My fiancé Traci and I are enjoying being engaged and our relationship is progressing nicely. There are a few bumps in the road as with any couple, but I feel we can work those out well before the big day. Here’s a top ten list of things I’ll love about being married again, in no particular order.

#10. Making decisions about vacations together. [Both of us hope to, at some point, take a cruise together. There are websites where good deals are on offer. A nice five to seven-day cruise to the Bahamas and back would be a lovely introduction for Traci to be on a cruise ship. I’ve been on them twice.]

#9. Companionship on a full-time basis. [I am so used to being able to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. As much as I enjoy this, there is a nice feeling of going to bed together, seeing each other the first and the last thing of each day, taking long walks, and enjoying stimulating conversation.]

#8. Partner for the tough times. [Undoubtedly, there will be tough times now and then where one of us will have to rely on the other. And also to discuss what is bothering the person and allowing the other to help. We can’t be so proud that we can think we can solve our problems by ourselves. In fact, having a partner means that we are not alone when facing life’s challenges.]

#7. Inspiring each other. [We have already begun to do this, even before the wedding. Both Traci and I have personal issues to overcome. We both egg each other on and are there for support of the other when times get tough or we have a setback. We have each other’s back.]

#6. Holiday visits with family. [For the last several years, I have celebrated holidays either by myself or have taken a trip to New Jersey to be with David’s family. Now we have the opportunity to spend time with Traci’s family and friends, as well as my buddy and brother’s family. This also affords the chance, if the opportunity arises, to have both families present on occasion, i.e. the wedding and reception.]

#5. Making up after a fight. [Neither of us like to fight, but it is inevitable that in close quarters we will disagree on something from time to time. I expect all of our fights to be verbal since I was raised to not put an unloving hand on a woman. I expect after all is said and done and the anger vented, we will come to a solution to our issue and make up. That is the part I will look forward to in this situation. Will I pick a fight just to make up? No. Although I’ve heard some people do.]

#4. Growth of relationship in close quarters. [At present, Traci and I only see one another when we eat out, run errands, or when we visit each other at her apartment or mine for coffee. When we are married, we will live under one roof and we will have to learn to accept each other’s quarks and habits. It shouldn’t be too difficult to do if we keep the lines of communications open and share our feelings.]

#3. Intimacy. [I shall admit to you, my readers, I was never one of those teenagers who had sex in high school. I was shy and awkward and so sex and intimacy came much later in my life. I’ve been divorced now for over ten years and have not had a serious girlfriend before Traci. So I am looking forward to making strides in our intimacy.]

#2. Sharing life stories and memories. [I know I have a gazillion stories from my childhood, and years with Dave, that can make Traci laugh and lift her spirits. People say laughter is the best medicine. She can also make me laugh, she has a good sense of humor. I’ll admit sometimes I can’t tell when she is kidding. LOL.]

#1. The wedding reception. [Every now and then, both families will be under one roof for a social occasion. The first one will be our wedding reception. We will be sending out the save-the-date magnets for people’s refrigerators approximately six months prior the wedding. With the reception that evening, both families will mingle. I see everyone getting along splendidly. Dave’s whole family adores Traci, and Traci’s sister Roni always gives me a big hug too when Traci and I are leaving our coffee outings.]

There is my top ten list of things I’ll love about being married. If anyone would like to add some that they experienced, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Next week, Rebecca will be here on Wednesday and my schedule for Thursday is still up in the air. If we don’t work that day, one of us will put the Thursday blog up so there will be two next week.

Until then, have a super-duper weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Top ten list about being in a marriage

Last Wednesday, Joe posted a top ten list on being a bachelor and today I am following it up with a list about being married. My list is more about observations than about likes and dislikes. In no particular order, here is my list.

#10. Sharing responsibilities. My husband and I split up some chores and alternate doing others. Darren takes care of anything to do with the car, which he drives more than I do, so I don’t even think about checking the fluids or the tire pressure. I take care of getting cards and/or gifts for holidays and birthdays and he just has to sign them. Other chores, like taking out the garbage and recycling, we either do together or alternate; Darren did the vacuuming the other day when I was at work. Sometimes neither of us will be in the mood to do the dishes, so they will pile up until one of us looks at the sink and thinks, holy cow that can’t wait another minute, and then does them.

#9. Companionship. We both have someone to talk to when we get home. Darren and I share how our days went, and we have someone who cares to listen when things go wrong. There is someone to celebrate good news with.

#8. Sometimes I don’t have enough time alone in the apartment. When no one else is there, I can control everything in the environment, including the television channel, light level, if a fan is on or off, and I can follow a thought all the way to the end without being interrupted. It is nice. I do get a few hours of time alone in the living room at night since Darren goes to bed before I do and that helps a lot.

#7. Expanding horizons. I have experienced television shows, films, and books that Darren introduced me to that I would never have chosen on my own. Some are too violent for my taste and I am getting really tired of shows with dark lighting, government conspiracies, and/or dystopian world views. Some I do enjoy, like The Walking Dead and Constantine. Darren also introduced me to role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, that I love playing. My life is richer because I am sharing it with someone with different tastes.

#6. Tendency to cocoon. It happens that both of us like to be home and settled in for the day by 6:00 in the evening and we are rarely out past then. This means that we don’t see a lot of other people or events that might broaden our life activities. I see almost every member of my immediate family on Sundays, and I love having that time with them, as I also enjoy my time with my mother-in-law every Tuesday. But I don’t seem to have much time to give my family outside of those days, partially because I am so content to be home half-way through my waking hours.

#5. Sharing the bed. My husband and I are pretty smug about something we started doing soon after we started living together. We each have our own blankets, so if I am cooler and want a second blanket while he is warmer and need to just have on a sheet, then we don’t have to bother the other one with our choice. I get another blanket and he takes one off. So that is good. We highly recommend it to anyone. We do have to stick to our side of the bed and that is where it gets tricky sometimes. I come to bed later than Darren and he gets up earlier than I do, and sometimes he is a little bit on my side of the bed when I come in. I just scootch in and he wakes up enough to shift over. In the mornings, I will wake up just enough to see if he is still in the bed, and then stretch out if he is out. The other morning, I rolled over half asleep thinking he was out of bed and bonked his hip with my knee. Oops. He didn’t wake up right away, but he got up shortly after that – and then I fell asleep again because that is how much I care when I am still sleepy.

#4. Keeping on schedule. Joe said today that living with someone (married) would help him stay on a schedule. I don’t usually think about that aspect, but he is right. Darren and I have our routines when we first get up, when we are ready to leave to go somewhere, when we eat, and when we go to bed; I just realized that over the years we have arranged things so that we match schedules to accommodate each other.

#3. Having a sounding board. This ties in a little with companionship. Being married means having someone listen when we are upset, ranting, or telling a story. Sometimes this means listening to the same rant about the same issue more than once over the years, and still encouraging the spouse to get it off his/her chest. There is a cartoon that one of us saw one time – I don’t know the artist or the source and I will have to paraphrase the captions- where an old couple is talking and the captions are, “We’ve had this conversation before.” “We have been married for 50 years, we’ve had every conversation before.” Darren and I quote this all the time, because even after just 10 years of marriage it is already so true.

#2. Grocery shopping together. It has worked out for the last few years that we can go to the grocery store together once a week and that is good. We usually get the same stuff week to week, but a few items are different. Darren writes up the list for us. We don’t eat every meal together and most of the time we don’t cook for each other. Darren does cook one meal a week for both of us, and every once in a while I try my hand at something. By the end of the grocery shopping, we know what the main meals are going to be for the next week.

#1. Physical closeness. This includes sex, but also casual touching outside the bedroom. When we are sitting next to each other, like when we are watching television, it won’t be long before our arms touch, or one of us puts a hand on a knee. Often when I am standing next to him, even in public, I will kiss his shoulder or we will hold hands. It is so natural for us. Contact in the bedroom is important too. Our spouse is the only one we can do sexual things with, and by now we know each other very well. We are struggling with how to keep it fresh and exciting, but it is nice to know that we are with someone we know and trust so well.

I feel very lucky to have found my partner for life. We are well matched, and that is the key to everything.

….. But I can’t help falling in love with you

Greetings, readers. The other day I was sitting in Panera cafe having my morning coffee, when I heard a song over the stereo speaker which reminded me of a very happy memory from a few years ago. I was still married at the time and my wife Georgia and I were on a trip. I believe it was a dinner cruise. Every so often I get in a romantic mood. Mr. Old-Fashioned comes out to play. There was a wonderful band playing and the band leader was taking requests. I thought to myself, how cool would it be to request a song that Georgia and I could dance to?

I excused myself from the table and walked up to the area where the band was playing. I asked if they knew the Elvis Presley song “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” feeling relatively certain they did. When he said yes, I requested it and told him that I would bring my wife up to the dance floor.

I didn’t get that romantic very often. But the mood just struck me and I thought, let’s throw caution to the wind, as I kept my fingers crossed that she would want to dance in front of everybody.

There were obviously a few requests before mine because it took awhile for our song to be announced. Georgia knew I was up to something but didn’t know what. As the song started to play, I asked her for the dance and we enjoyed a very romantic few minutes. All eyes seemed to be on us.

When the song was over, we went back to our table and people told us how well we danced, and how cute we looked together. As I’ve stated before in my blog, music is a big part of my life. And I will always equate that song with that happy memory.

: ) Reconnecting with friends : )

Greetings, readers. Last evening I had an opportunity to reconnect with a good friend of mine from years gone by. Although our chat was only about ten minutes in length, I savored every second. I’m fairly certain that she did too.

In my lifetime, I have reconnected with friends on a number of occasions; Rebecca, my writing assistant, for example. I’ve known Rebecca since high school. When I was married in the mid-2000s, contacting other women was taboo. So that, along with other reasons, put Rebecca and my friendship on the shelf. I should never have let that happen.

About a year or so ago, I ran into a friend of mine at our local Denny’s who recognized me immediately. I, of course, knew her. I’m going to keep names out of this blog entry, but if she sees my Facebook update and reads this, she’ll probably know that she is the person to whom I am referring. I told her that back in junior high and high school I was a shy kid. I also told her that now I have the confidence to say that she was a pretty girl and is a beautiful woman.

As far as my best buddy David is concerned, we never really lost touch, but there was a point in our friendship when he went to a prep school out of the area and our childhood everyday meetings came to a screeching halt. I adjusted and it made seeing him again that much more special. I’m certain that this is not the last time that an old friend will find me or I will find them.

Yes, readers, if you have an opportunity to reconnect with a good friend or a past love who you are in good stead with, I urge you to do so. It tends to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Life doesn’t have a reset button

How many of us have ever wished that there was a reset button in life? Obviously there isn’t. What I am about to share with you is something very personal that happened in 2006. My divorce became final after a very short marriage. Though I was with the woman I loved for a year and a half, the marriage only lasted eleven months. Pity, I didn’t even get to celebrate an anniversary. I’ve actually pounded my head against a wall a couple of times, going over events that lead up to 2005 and right through when the final divorce papers were delivered in my mailbox.

If I had a reset button, it would have been worn out by now. I would have constantly tried to change my life, undoing the mistakes that I made. Did I love my wife? Of course, that’s why I married her. Did she love me? I think so. But we had problems and it just didn’t work out. Some of my friends tell me that if I had a reset button I should have pressed it when she first arrived.

I was born with parents and grandparents who worked very hard their whole lives and were lucky enough to make the right choices at the right times to become financially stable. Not that I would have used that money as a crutch, but what money was left to me is now gone, due to bad choices I made. Some friends of mine have said that, “She stole from you.” I say, unequivocally, “No. We spent the money together, trying to get a business going.” Here is where I would have hit the reset button the second time. No business venture!

The more I think about it, I actually could have hit my reset button in junior college with my girlfriend at the time. I was shy and awkward and one terrible evening I got scared of the whole situation and suggested that we break up. I shall never forget the hurt look on her face. I had completely misread her thoughts and feelings. Apparently, she loved me and was just as scared and shy as I was. My attempt at reconciliation failed.

People say that hindsight is 20/20. If at ten years old, I had decided that every time I get a quarter in my change I’d save it, and I did, imagine how rich I would be now. I’m going to be 47 this July. That would have been 37 years’ worth of quarters. Do the math.

Well, readers, obviously there is no reset button in life. There is only something called good judgment. That is something I have lacked for many, many years. I keep telling myself every New Year’s Eve, that I shall make my resolution to be more frugal and less “too nice.” In other words, stop being a sucker. But that resolution lasts about three days. The only thing I can do is to try to better myself each day and make fewer mistakes as I go through my life. I guess that is what they mean by people get wiser with age.

A brief word about what’s coming next. I plan on sharing some updates about my writing as to how camp book 2 is coming along. Also, if Keekee does anything spectacular, you’ll be the first to know. Until next week, take care.