HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARRY!

I’m sorry you’re not feeling better to celebrate. It’s raining and cold and you’ve got to spend half the day at the doctor. I wish I could make you feel better and convince the sun to shine for you. You deserve it!

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You look great. That’s definitely worth something, right? And we have birthday cupcakes to eat this evening when we get home. And home-made chicken pies and a couple of presents to open … the ones I haven’t already given you. I’m so bad about giving presents. I’m a little kid who just can’t wait!

I bet you’ll be feeling better by the weekend and the sun will be shining. Big hugs and lots of love!

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THE GREEN MONSTER

ENVY? NAH.

Jealousy or envy, the big green monster. Unless you live in Boston, in which case it’s a big, green, left-field wall. Just saying.

I’m not much given to envy. With the following exceptions:

  1. People who live near ancient ruins. I want to dig!
  2. People who grew up with horses. I want your childhood.
  3. Anyone who has a house with no stairs. I’ll swap you.

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So, I’m pretty much good to go. I’ve got problems, but so does everyone else. Life hasn’t been easy, but it has also been incredibly interesting. Rich with experiences. I’ve got a great marriage, a few terrific friends, dogs, a home, a good little car, lots of books, and a huge, high-definition television. And we live reasonably near Fenway Park.

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If someone would like to round out my life by donating a largish sum of cash, I’d give you a big hug and a thank you. Beats out what you’ll get from donating the same amount to a some politician’s PAC, doesn’t it?

Otherwise, I’m good. So is life.

BABY YOU’RE THE BEST

When I married Garry, it was my third marriage, his first. It wasn’t because he hadn’t had relationships. More than enough of them. Just never married any of them.

43, on our honeymoon. At Loch Gill, Isle of Innisfree.

43, on our honeymoon. At Loch Gill, Isle of Innisfree.

So, there we were. Me at 43 and he at 48 years old. Really getting married. Wow. We had a not-so-small advantage in that we had been friends and lovers for more than 25 years, but married? I never thought he would marry anyone.

Scene: Epiphany Lutheran Church, Garry’s home church in Hempstead, New York. His brother was singing as were two of my friends. A bagpiper was there to pipe the guests in, open the ceremonies, and pipe us on our way.

Garry In Cong

Twenty-five — almost 26 — years later. We old dogs have learned a whole lot of new tricks. Garry — the fussy bachelor — has turned into a great husband and a pal. He shops, launders, and lots more. All the things I can’t manage, he takes care of.

But more than any tasks or work he may do, he has become my rock. As my health declined … I’d have thought I’d bottomed out, but apparently not … he was, is there. Always.

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How do you say thanks for that?

You’re my better half, so much better than I ever dared hope. Baby, you’re the best.

MULTIPLE CHOICE

I do not know how many times WordPress has run this prompt. This is an edited answer I wrote the first time it came up, in 2013. 


If you’re into science fiction or quantum physics, life’s road is full of forks — and each fork creates its own reality. Our real choices are not between less or more traveled roads, but between realistic choices. Rarely do we have a genuine option to veer off the main road into uncharted territory. It’s more about figuring out where we want to go, then how to get there.

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We make our choices under a lot of pressure when we’re too young to know what we want. Such is life. Before we’re of drinking or voting age, we make the most important decisions of our lives.

My first big choice was what to choose as my college major. Music? Something useful? Can I just screw around until I figure out what I want? How about all three?

I went with “all three.” Technically, I was a music major. Unofficially, I was a comparative religion major (now there’s a practical choice). Mostly, though, I majored in hanging out at the college radio station. It turned out music was fun, but I lacked sufficient talent to make it my life’s work. Religion? Fascinating, but it’s not a profession for me.

The radio station, for which I got no credit and where I had a blast with all the other misfits who found each other in the dank, tiny studios in the basement of the Little Theater, moved me along the path to life as a professional writer.

That’s what I was going to do, no matter what else I chose. It was me.

The point is, we make choices. During the summer between my junior and senior year, I got a three-way choice.

1) My old boyfriend with whom I could not have a civil conversation, but with whom I had exceptional sex had sent me tickets to join him at his summer stock theater in Cape May. A summer by the sea with all the hot sex I could imagine. Hmm. I was 18. Not an unattractive offer.

2) The guy I’d been dating at the radio station —  who ran it and worked for the university and got paid and everything (he was 8 years older than me) — asked me to marry him. I really liked Jeff. Smart, funny, probably the best conversationalist I’ve ever known. Witty, word-wise and good-looking in a blond waspy way. If I stayed, I’d be married before summer was over.

3) I got accepted into the Communications program at Boston University. Great program. In the 1960s, Boston was ultra-cool. Joan Baez sang in Harvard Square. Comedy clubs featured the future kings of late night. Unlike uncool Hempstead. Hofstra didn’t have a communications program. Yet. The radio station was the closest Hofstra offered to a program and you didn’t get a diploma by working there.

I had to do a lot of deciding. I married Jeff.

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Of the three choices, the real choice was what was right. For me.

I made a good choice. I was where I belonged. It set the course of my life for the next 15 years, after which the dials on that Big Machine sent me in another direction.

In my theoretical science fiction universe, the 3-way choice created three realities: one I chose and two I didn’t. These realities exist on separate planes somewhere in the time-space continuum.

Somewhere, there’s a Marilyn who went to Boston, and another who went to Cape May. If I meet them I’ll ask them how it went.

I bet all of us are here, married to Garry. Some things must happen. Destiny. Karma. Or maybe they are the same thing.

As for the road less traveled, less traveled roads are often dead ends. That’s why they’re less traveled. If you are going to go down such roads, make sure you’re very good at making u-turns in tight spaces. Oh, and watch out for the quicksand.

SHARING MY WORLD – RETIREE EDITION

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #38

What do you do to make a living or during the day if you are retired. If you are a student what are you studying?

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I’m a lounge lizard. Okay, not a lounge lizard because (a) I don’t lounge and (b) my dry skin isn’t that bad. Yet.

As a retiree, many choices are available to me, as long as they don’t cost money. I take pictures. I write this blog. I listen to audiobooks and occasionally, read a regular book. I read other peoples’ blogs and make comments, to the degree that I have time to do that.

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In the company of my better half, I watch reruns of favorite movies and TV shows. I do commentary, he ignores me.

We watch documentaries; I correct the history.

We play with the dogs. We clean while fully realizing the futility of it. We shop for groceries and chat with people at the local supermarket.

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I spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with customer disservice personnel. I “lend” (grant-in-aid) money to my granddaughter. It’s an occupational hazard.

I try to keep ahead of the dirt and I fail. I try to keep on top of the money. I fail at that too. I laugh whenever there’s anything remotely funny and Garry and I count clichés as we watch TV.

That’s life in the slow lane.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

No. But Garry photographed one this summer. Does that count?

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What is usually your first thought when you wake up?

How much do I hurt? Can I move?

Complete this sentence: Look out behind you, it’s a …

zombie. Or a bill collector. Probably a right-wing Republican zombie bill collector.

THE HAPPY COUPLE – FROM COOPERSTOWN TO YOU

We met him in the parking lot of the hotel. He was loading ice into his cooler. We were on our way to dinner. Garry was having trouble with the door lock (this place uses real keys!) … and suddenly, we knew. It was opportunity knocking.

Garry told him that today is our 25th anniversary and could he please take our picture? I gave him my camera.

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He found the on/off button all by himself — a good sign.

Just a stranger, a passerby, in the parking lot of life. From it, our 25th anniversary portrait. We made it. Amazing. It doesn’t seem like that long.

A HORSE WITHOUT A WARRANTY!

I just couldn’t stop laughing when I read this. And right now, I need a laugh. Maybe so do you. Enjoy!

The happy Quitter!

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I am happily  married to 98% of the time. I love my  husband dearly, he is my best friend and the nail to my coffin:-). However, there are days, when I want to whack him the frying pan and I assume he feels the same way. There are days, when we seem to talk two different languages. It took  me 30+ years of marriage, but I finally found the answer:

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