Posted by: morrowsl | June 11, 2016

On Your Mark…


Being married to a man in the aviation industry has taught me much, not the least of which is that nothing is ever guaranteed.  Oh, the eventuality of a thing is certain, but the journey to or from will never look overly familiar.  Such has been especially true in the years we’ve spent living in separate homes.  He is still, very much, living in this house.  But he’s been living in other places for over ten years.  And that is about to come to an end.

When we married, my husband was just leaving his military career for a civilian job in commercial aviation.  So we had to learn to dance to a new tune.  He’d been flying cross-country for much of our courtship and I’d been a working single mom.  He’d been a happy bachelor and I’d been a deranged woman on the edge.  Somehow, we both decided we could combine our lives and still retain our sanity.  We emptied my little apartment and culled through his bachelor pad until we had a combination of furnishings that made some sense for a family of five.  I remember having so many bath towels the linen closet couldn’t hold them all.

Over time, as the kids grew and our lives moved through the years, we remodeled and refurnished, moved one kid out of state and another into the “big” bedroom, brought the missing kid back and watched another one leave.  We became a temporary home for a niece for a time.  We took on birds and cats and dogs and fish.  We offered shelter to a neighborhood lop-eared rabbit.  We planted a garden and housed a friend’s ginger and plumeria in our greenhouse.  We agreed and disagreed on what color our front door should be.  We replaced electrical outlets ourselves.  We carpeted the living room and painted the hall and replaced every major appliance at least three times.

Basically, we lived.  An ordinary, every day kind of life.

In that time we have both changed jobs multiple times.  And now we’ve circled back to where we were in our earliest years.  On Monday, Mike will begin the process of ending his residency in Oklahoma.  The job is completed and there’s no reason to retain the apartment.

Back in the beginning, as a young mother in a new marriage and my very first home that wasn’t an apartment, I was in love with the idea of creating a space of comfort and shelter surrounded by the things we most loved.  Eventually, I was just happy to not have to step over shoes as I dodged sleeping dogs on my way to the kitchen where I prayed the sink wasn’t overflowing with dirty dishes.  Laundry took a weekend to complete.  I cleaned house in stages that never ended.
Now, almost forty years into this partnership, I’ve been living alone, more or less, for the last ten years or so.  I painted the front door red, because it’s the color the door should be when the brick is gray and the trim is white.  I’ve turned the back bedroom into a “woman cave” where I can do all my little projects without having to move everything to the dining table.  I’ve discovered it’s easier to have ice cream for dinner than to cook a healthy meal that will provide leftovers for lunch the next day, which would mean not having an excuse to eat ice cream for lunch.
And I don’t even want to know what horrid habits my sweetheart darling has developed!
But, by height of summer, we will be back in 1980, more or less.

Already, I am wary.  He’s learned to play games on his phone and I’m learning to go without a shower until later in the morning.  I’ve become accustomed to having a mostly quiet house and he prefers the white noise of the television.  I’m a creature of habit who doesn’t flush in the dead of night because the dog will think I’m up for the day and start begging for breakfast.  He’s a creature of habit who turns on lights to see his way around in the dark of night.  I tend to be up early.  He likes to stay up late.

I’m considering changing the relationship status on both of our Facebook profiles to “it’s complicated” until we’ve managed to live together every day for at least six months without any attempted murder or suicide.

The upside, of course, is that we will finally clean out the garage and he’ll get a real workshop.  A man cave of his own.  And he gets a home office, on the off chance that having a wife haranguing him daily drives him to leave retirement behind almost before it gets started.  He won’t have to do his own cleaning and laundry.

Nothing in our lives together has ever come with a guarantee.  That won’t change.
But the journey is about to get a lot more adventurous.


  1. Okay – two things: 1 – Buy the man a head lamp for when he comes to bed…or do like me, use the phone as a flashlight. 2 – If Jack and I can do it, so can you two!!! LOL Love you both SO much – fingers crossed for a smooth transition!

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