Last week I left you at an Oregon motel contemplating my future. Married to my partner for almost 43 years, I now felt a sort of security and familiarity and mature love that comes with the good times and not-so-good times that bind two people into some kind of comfort zone in making major life decisions. After 43 years, marriage survival techniques have already been established and hopefully understanding your partner’s dreams as well as your own have been voiced and noted.
We met in high school. Our parents were in the resort business. Both of us worked on the lake with customers who loved fishing, hunting, hiking the Ozarks and boating. My family owned boats all of my life, so I practically lived on the water working and playing. My husband’s family owned a store, fishing dock and cabins for weekend customers. We talked many times over the years of our desire to only view the water after the long hours of dealing with the public. We owned a few boats throughout our marriage and fishing trips did happen but not to excess after the early exposure, associating work with the craft.
Suddenly, planning retirement brought back the good memories of those times and my husband began talking about boats again. Part of choosing a new location for our newfound freedom was to fish again. I love the outdoors but get very wiggly after an hour in a boat; but bringing along a few artist’s paints and a small canvas to paint a picture keeps me a “happy camper.”
Now back at the motel after a long day of house hunting, I have phoned our son and daughter to explain our latest adventures on looking for a new location with good Feng Shui, a lake nearby for Dad’s fishing and a three-car garage. My usually calm mate was becoming increasingly hot tempered as he listened to my view of the days events, especially when I mentioned a certain housing development on the north side of the community. What was his problem? I could not get him to ‘fess up at his apparent disapproval. As I was teasingly explaining his grumpiness to his children, a roar of explanation suddenly erupted behind. “There are no bass fish in that northern lake and I’m not going to drive clear up there to fish for the wrong kind of fish,” he roared. I began laughing, thinking he was teasing, which made him worse. He has fished for all kinds of fish, but I did remember him saying many time, “bass are fighters, they are a challenge and I love a challenge.”
Suddenly realizing the location of my next home teetered on a bass, I became speechless. “Life is weird,” I surmised. Sitting on that bed with the phone in my hand, I decided I was living with a stranger. Who was this person that couldn’t drive 15 minutes to a southern lake to bass fish? We have driven seven hours in Arizona to spend six hours to fishing for trout. A simple divorce seemed appropriate, or maybe I should sleep on it.
We went to dinner next. He talked happily throughout dinner as I sat quietly, only observing his facial expressions, as he now seemed unburdened by his confession about bass and the water of the northern lake being too cold to foster the species. Also knowing the flip-flop of this man’s behavior, he sometimes changes his mind at the drop of a hat. “Yes, I will wait until tomorrow to announce my plans for divorce,” I thought. I was as calm as a cucumber as I calculated and rehearsed my speech for dividing up the assets before this next phase of our life became too complicated. My reaction bothered me somewhat as it seemed a shame to split after many years, but it was more than the bass, it was “Who am I?”
The next morning rain sprinkled, the wind blew and we ran to the realtor’s car. An ocean lot was our next stop. Raw land, he decided, was the way to go. Driving toward the property, the trees lay tight against the earth, all facing away from the ocean where the wind with its constant force shaped the bare exotic branches. A smile filled my partner’s face as he “walked” the next piece of a sand dune. Don’t get me wrong, I usually go with the flow, because around every corner is another adventure, new people and a lot of purpose. I began to see the sparkle in his eyes. “Okay, I can do this,” I thought. “Plenty of room for a three-car garage, good resale and location, location, location.”
Back in the car and out of the wind, I asked the realtor for the land maps checking the shape of the lots and plots with lucky numbers. Feng Shui is very definite with the energy of mathematics. Numbers play a big part in choosing the correct combination. My husband has long been convinced of the Art of Placement’s advantages, watching over the years the success of choosing places with good Chi. Our realtor was becoming fascinated with my selections and was full of questions. “Oh, please come to our town to live, I want to learn all about Feng Shui.” “Okay,” I replied, “just help locate an office space, I think my husband is happy with the lots, let’s make a bid.” Looking over my shoulder, I could see he was thinking again, as he gazed out the back window of the deluxe automobile. Not a good sign!