Tag: togetherness (Page 2 of 2)

The Engineer and The Artist Walk

Rock

Every morning we walk up the falls together, and when we come to the fork in the road, he goes left to walk down to the lake, and I go to the right right to walk up the Way Big Hill. This morning he invited me to join him, and I did – reluctantly. While The Engineer likes walking downhill first (says it warms and loosens him up), I prefer to get the hard stuff out of the way first, then go downhill all the way home. He starts hard and finishes easy. I prefer starting hard and finishing easy.

He listens to music while he walks, I enjoy the sounds of my own thoughts, and the music of the falls. This morning I had three impossibly good ideas (or just impossible, depending on who you ask).

He carries a weight in each hand, and for the life of me I don’t know why, but I always like to have my hands free and uncommitted. Ready.

Then there’s this: I like to stop and take photos. Enough said.

Feather

Purpleflowers

Tree2

Tree1

The Engineer and The Artist: Protection

DahliaFlirts

“Where do you get gas masks?” I ask Him this morning as we eat breakfast, him reading stories on his iPad and me with my pencil and paper. “Haven’t quite finished my list yet, but looks like I need about forty-four or so. Do you think they offer quantity discounts?”

“What in the sam hill do you want with gas masks?” he asks.

And here I thought this was a relatively easy question. “I think the reason for gas masks is pretty obvious,” I tell him. “I just need to know: where do I go to get some?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugs. “Maybe an Army/Navy store.”

“I don’t want leftovers from World War II, and I don’t want any that have little pinholes in ’em. Don’t want any seconds or military rejects. I just want some good, tight, operational gas masks that I can give out to the people I love. I tell you what: this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, making this list. I mean, what about That Hussy in-law. Now that she and her mama are both out of jail, they’ve made up on account of how they have something in common, so I figure I have to get her a gas mask cause she’s an in-law (maybe I could get her one with a few pinholes, though, now that I think about it), but does that mean I have to get one for her mother, too, so she (the Daughter) won’t worry the stew out of us? Mean and Stupid are a bad mix, and I frankly don’t want to be known as The Woman Who Preserved That Tramp And Her Daughter The Hussy for all posterity. Anyway, I’d like ’em to fold up real small so they’re easy to carry around – the gas masks, I mean, not the Hussy and Her Mother – and it sure would be nice if they came in cute little bags. Oh, and they need to come with a warranty, too, of course.”

Right about then is when he remembers he has some hammering to do outside.

[ :: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers can remember when he stopped for breakfast on his way into work, and she didn’t eat breakfast at all.

The Engineer and The Artist: Trees

“We need to take some trees down before they fall on the house,” he says.
As he points to this:

Trees4

and this:

Trees5

and this:

Trees6

I see this:

Trees2

and this:

Trees1c

and this:

Trees1d

And yet again, we look at the same thing
differently.

[ :: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers (who some declare got thunked up side the head one too many times as a child)
is still getting used to her husband (the retired engineer)
being home 24/7.

Sands Through the OURglass

Out1

Forty years ago, I publicly promised to spend the rest of my life with this one man named Andy – a man I’d known a scant six months at the time. I’m still married to him though we don’t look the same and neither does our marriage . . .

Then we vowed to stay with each other in sickness and in health with only some romanticized notion of what that meant based on movies we’d seen and books we’d read. Now after his stent a few years ago and my recent bout with staph infection, we have a clearer idea of what that means, the patience it requires, the commitment is demands.

Then we spent a lot of energy finding ways to be together. Now that we’re together 24/7, we find ways to build some space in our togetherness – even if it’s only agreeing to work on our separate projects for three hours then meet in the kitchen at noon for lunch.

Then we looked forward to the weekends for the romps and recess they offered. Now that the structure provided by careers and children is gone, we create our own weekends by doing something outside the normal routine, even if it’s simply dropping the dog off at the spa then taking ourselves on a walk through the local village green to look at the new art sculptures on display or taking a leisurely trip to the local museum.

Then we were high on the thrill of discovering everything we could about each other. Now we deliberately find ways to lay out the welcome mat for surprise in general, even if it’s something as simple attending an art lecture on the Spiritual Language of Paintings and practicing our new vocabulary and pondering our new perspectives over pizza afterwards.

Then we held hands everywhere we went.
We still do.

Then we laughed as often as possible.
We still do.

Then we made it a point to argue and disagree in ways that don’t require follow-up apologies.
We still do.

Then we knew we’d spend the rest of our life together.
We still do, though we now know that forever isn’t infinite, and that makes all the difference in the world.

JeanneAndy07319173framed

a wish, a big, fat, juicy wish

Treetreasure2

once upon a decade
i wanted him to leap onto his white steed
grab his longest sharpest sword
and gallop off
to lop off the
ugly heads of the man who raped me
and the man who abused me.

in another decade,
i wanted him to say something
anything,
though it had to be anger.
he had to show me
with his words and his tone
and his venom
that he understood
as best he could,
that he hurt for me,
with me.

and now
after 40 years of togetherness
i am content
to have him quietly by my side
saying “you better get started”
to every idea that comes through
my bones.
to have him gently kiss me every night
EVERY night, i tell you.
to have him say the words “i love you”
in more ways than i can count.

it’s not our anniversary.
i usually only write about him on the day we met
or the day we married.
then again
maybe it is an anniversary of sorts.
an anniversary of recognizing
of setting aside
without ever forgetting, mind you.
of publicly declaring
that this man called andy
is number one
and takes up more space in my life than the other despicable men
will claim ever again.

[ ::: ]

i can’t wish it all away for jane doe
it happened
period.
i can’t wish her to set it aside,
this will be with her every hour of every day
of her life.
the best i can do is wish her a husband who may
never be able to talk with her about it
because he can’t fathom how men could
commit these vile acts;
a husband who may squirm when she writes or talks about this,
something she simply must do every now ‘n then;
a husband who might cringe when she yells at the tv
because he can’t go to the store
and buy something to fix,
to repair
what happened to her.

i can
and do
however
wish for her a husband
who,
even after 40 years of togetherness,
takes the dog for a walk and
returns bearing
a lacy leaf
or a heart-shaped rock
or a piece of wood
he thought she would like.

14,600 Days or 350,400 Hours or The Blink of an Eye – It’s All the Same to Me

JeanneAndyFormal1974

Forty years ago today, I walked into a bar in Underground Atlanta with a girlfriend and walked out several hours later with the man who would, in a mere six months, become my husband. Our forty years of togetherness have been marked by much change. We’ve birthed two amazing people, and we’ve buried too many to count. We’ve laughed and cried . . . and eventually laughed again. We’ve pursued our own interests and always come back home to tell each other all about it. We’ve shared interests, cheered each other on in individual pursuits, and worked side-by-side on all sorts of things.

An engineer by training, he views, interprets, and goes through the world in a more linear way than this quirky Aquarian. He is patient, I lean towards impulsive. He is literal, I see and hear metaphors everywhere. He is formulaic, I live like like a pot of soup, pulling sparklies in from every whichaway. He is quite thorough, I want immediate results and have a tendency to get bored and move on. We are good for each other.

It’s not always been easy, but it’s always been the two of us together, and that sure helps. I am not the same woman I was forty years ago, and he is not the same man who mixed me that Tom Collins. But laughter, space in our togetherness, listening, and holding hands continue to define our way of loving each other.

As he says, I’m the best he could do with the car he was driving at the time. And as I say, he’s the best I could do with the boobs I had at the time. Here’s to at least another forty, Andy.

Clink.

Cheers.

JeanneAndy1980sRes

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