photo from The Post Hotel, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
I am flying back to New Hampshire today, spending a few days in chilly New England visiting friends and family, and then making the drive back to Florida once again. The first time I drove down, back in late January, I was traveling with a friend. This time I am driving with my husband, in his Toyota Tundra, hauling a trailer. It will be interesting to compare the two trips, the girlfriend versus the husband. I will of course be chronicling the events.
My husband and I were married twenty two years ago this past February. We eloped to the Canadian Rockies. He skied, I hot tubbed and cruised the mahogany trail (for those of you who don’t ski, that’s hanging at the bar in the ski lodge). We took our vows in front of the fireplace in the photo above, at the alter of the moose.
We have had our ups and downs over the years, like most couples, and some of the funnier stories made it in to The Reverse Commute. I don’t think he minds that his life has been fictionalized but he hasn’t read the entire book from start to finish. He’s afraid to, although I told him I was kind to him. He’s just counting on a movie deal. It’s his retirement plan, otherwise we’re working until the day before we die as a Fedex guy once said to me in some godforsaken office I was working in on my climb down the ladder to the cubicle.
My husband is a carpenter and house painter and had committed to a big, long term job before we sold the house. He had to stay until it was finished. I couldn’t take another day in the cubicle. Emotionally, I was skating on thin ice. I had published the book and needed to devote time to marketing it. I had book clubs planned throughout New England and could never have done them working forty hours a week with no vacation time left. After the house sold, there was so much to do. We’d lived there for twenty two years, the stuff we had accumulated was mind blowing. We got a dumpster, had a moving sale, and gave things away.
So now it’s time for my husband to join me. I have enjoyed my time alone. I’ve almost finished my second novel. I’ve reached the denouement as my friend and “publisher” Sandy says. I will soon be ready for editing and tweaking. I started blogging for the Huffington Post while I was living alone in Florida. I’m worried about finding time to write now that he will be joining me but he does love to golf and he will be working. This is no retirement. We don’t have the money for that. Remember, we’re waiting for the call from Hollywood? Or the Colbert bump.
My husband is having a harder time making the break. He has been back to the house several times since we sold it. We were supposed to close on a Thursday but the new buyer was waiting on approval for his construction loan. The closing was moved to Friday. A large wind storm blew through town Thursday night and knocked a tree down on the roof of the barn. It was still our tree and after the closing on Friday, the new owner still held us responsible for repairs and removal of our tree. (If you’ve read The Reverse Commute, you’re probably thinking, she wasn’t kidding about those squirrels in the bathroom and other calamities that befall Ray and Sophie. Truth is stranger than fiction. You can’t make this shit up.) My husband went back and cut the twenty foot white pine into manageable size logs. Then it snowed twenty inches and the smaller logs where buried under the white stuff. When it finally melted six weeks later, he removed the tree. Each time he went back to the house, he looked in the dumpster to see what the new owners had put in there.
“They threw out the brand new shower unit I installed two months ago,” he said, dejected.
“Stop going over there and torturing yourself,” I replied from sunny Florida.
“I’m responsible for removing the tree,” was his answer.
“I could debate you on that. The closing was not contingent on the buyer securing a construction loan. You were being the nice guy,” I shot back. Arguments ensued so we stopped talking about our old house.
I am the kind of person who makes up her mind and goes for it. No looking back. I rip the band aid off. My husband on the other hand, gets attached, has a hard time shifting gears and moving on. Removing the band aid is a slow, painful process.
I hope he likes it here in Florida. The weather has been spectacular this winter. I guess we still call it winter here, although it’s like no other winter I’ve ever experienced. Of course, the days are getting a little warmer, just in time for my husband’s arrival. But he seems enthusiastic for this new adventure because after all, in the end his sense of adventure overrides his sentimentality. We travel well together, on the road and despite our differences, on the journey that is our life together.