A Month of Goodbyes

April was a month of goodbyes at my house. Everyone already knows I lost my twenty-some year old tree. The yard just doesn’t look the same without it. It’s depressing out front. Strangely enough my next door neighbor (the nice one on the other side) told me how great the yard looks without the tree.  Why don’t people like trees? I don’t get it. I thought people were all buzzed about the environment these days. Aren’t trees part of that? Everyone I live near hates trees. They hate the leaves, and they hate the birds and the squirrels that trees attract. Maybe I’m just unfortunate enough to live in a neighborhood of old farts who worry more about their perfect grass than they do about the wildlife.

My tree really had changed for the worst. I looked back through photos, and just five years ago it had a trunk, and it had a defined space that it stuck to. Sometime over those five years, it split down the middle and the trunks were more or less laying on the ground, one side reaching for the street and the other side banging up against my house and destroying my gutters in the process. So my tree had to go. It still hurts that it is gone. It still hurts to see the pile of wood shavings. I’ve smoothed most of it out and spread much of it around in the gardens as mulch. That’s the best I can do. If the neighbors don’t like how it looks, I suggest they look the other way. I’m done with caring.

A week ago there was another sad goodbye. I started out in 2007 with a one year old 2006 maroon Ford Fusion. The Ford Fusion was new to the world at that time. It was sharp and it was different. No one else had that design. It was innovative and it was fun. I drove it for six years and put 40,000 miles on it. When hubby’s SUV died, we liked the Fusion so much we bought my current car, a 2012 Fusion. The 2006 went to my husband, and he put another 60,000 miles on it.

It still had life in it, but it was starting to nickel and dime us. It had at least a couple of thousand dollars worth of repairs coming up. The air conditioning quit years ago, the door latch was broken (you had to roll the window down and open the door from the outside to get out of the driver’s seat), the transmission was going, and the front end was making noises. So with 132,000 miles on it, we traded it in last weekend. I cried. Yes, I cry over cars (and over trees). It was like saying goodbye to an old friend, and I still didn’t have my 2012 Fusion back from the repair shop yet. I felt bereft.

Hubby had always wanted a small pickup truck. He mentioned a Ford Ranger, in particular. I went online, looking, just for the heck of it. I found a 2010 Ranger with only 38,000 miles on it. We believe some older man had it and used it to tow a small camper in the summer, and that’s all he used it for. It’s pristine, and it drives like a brand new car. It has less miles on it that my 2012 Fusion does.

So on Saturday, a new Ford appeared in our driveway.

Then on Monday, a repaired and beautiful Ford came back home, too.

We are a two Ford family again. I miss the old guy, my 2006, but my hubby loves his “new” truck. My car looks like she’s new again. I was so excited to get her back.

Things are looking up around here, and April with its sad goodbyes is just a memory now.

 

Reclaiming the Wild Child

My hubby recently celebrated his sixtieth birthday. Yes, I’m married to a sexagenarian. Makes him sound like a pervert, doesn’t it? LOL. In our case, I think the pervert label fits me better than it does him, but I’ll never tell.

I’m sure everyone sees it anyway. I’m the one with the ink, the pink hair, the foul mouth, the preference for metal music, and the penchant for smutty romance novels. Hubby is so normal I often wonder just what it is he sees in me. He’s a trucker, and he’s the kinder, gentler half of this couple. I’m not sure even he knows what to make of me half the time, but this is who I really am. I stifled this for years; it had to come out sometime.

Hubby was the catalyst for releasing the inner wild child I hid so well for a quarter of a century. In my mid-20’s, I was attending metal concerts on a regular basis, and I had long, curly, blue-black hair. Then my cousin moved away and I lost my wild best friend, the one who attended concerts with me, and the one I laughed the longest and loudest with. I’d always been shy, but with her I was louder and more alive. I grieved her moving from New York to Texas to join the rest of her family. A short time after she moved, my father suddenly got sick and he passed away, and I suffered another crippling blow. I was twenty-eight, single, and still living at home.

Knowing I could lose my mother, too, at any time, I decided I needed to meet someone with whom I could possibly share a future so I dialed back who I was. I settled into normalcy. I cut my hair; I went back to my normal, boring brown. In essence, I grew up. I had a steady, decent paying job, and I was ready to settle down. Unfortunately, I altered who I was to fit in at work, as a partner and wife, as a mother, and in life. Giving up my wild side, I hated who I was, and I didn’t even know it. I thought it was just my natural reserve that always made me feel so damned inadequate.

I met hubby when I was twenty-nine. We married when I was thirty, and we had our first son when I was thirty-one. Life moved on fairly quickly.

Together hubby and I raised two wonderful, young men. We had our challenges with ADHD, Autism, Diabetes, Celiac disease, Asperger’s syndrome and way too much time spent with doctors, specialists, administrators, teachers and others who all thought they knew what was best for my sons. I stifled a lot over the years to see two young men through the nightmare and quagmire that was the public school system. I bit my tongue so many times when all I wanted to do was swear and lash out. As their advocate, I thought I had to hold my anger inside. I tried to put my boys first at all times. Having to deal with all these strangers who knew nothing about my sons but passed judgment anyway made me more outgoing but it also made me bury all that fury and anger deep inside.

I lost my mother when I was forty-six. Shortly after that my aged pets began to leave me, one by one; not their fault, of course. Everything dies. To get by, I buried my hurt and grief deep along with all that anger. I was probably clinically depressed and didn’t even know it at the time. I was hurting so badly I was barely functioning inside, but I made it through each day.

Something about turning fifty changed things. I hadn’t even realized that my sweet hubby knew deep down inside that I wasn’t a happy person. I was just going through the motions. He pushed. He pushed at me some more. Then he pushed even harder. Over the course of a year, he kept pushing at me. I had thought that we were happy and that we were complete. Being the saner, smarter half of this couple he knew differently. He knew I wasn’t happy, and since I wasn’t happy, he wasn’t either.

Hubby pushed hard, and he told me things needed to change. When it finally occurred to me that something was in fact “broken”, I began to get scared that maybe it was our marriage. He was the one who suggested I needed to do something really different to break out of this funk that I was stuck inside, a mid life crisis sort of gesture. So at age 51, I went back to school to start on my first college degree, and I got my first tattoo. The ink actually came first. It was something I’d always wanted to do but hadn’t because I didn’t want to disappoint my mother.

Gradually, the wild child began to find her way back. I finally opened my eyes and realized I no longer cared what others thought, and I didn’t have to fit into any molds of what I should be. I only have to do what makes me happy. I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

My marriage? It was never broken. I was. My sexagenarian hubby? He loves the wild child. Me? I’m happier than I’ve ever been, pink hair, ink, loud music, bad language and all. I wish I’d realized what was missing years ago. Me.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

To All Those Women

To all those women who have full-time husbands and don’t really appreciate them, you can all go to hell. Yes, I know that’s abrupt and a bit nasty, but I don’t care. This post is aimed at women who don’t know how good they’ve got it. 

I’ve worked with women who whined because their husbands played golf or watched too much football or worked non-stop on the car or on the house. Their husbands were still there beside them every night, but they felt put upon because he had other interests besides them. Stupid ungrateful women.

My hubby was home for just over four hours today. Four HOURS. That was our “weekend”. He came in, we had lunch together, I did his laundry while he showered and took a nap. He watched the Preakness with me, he packed and left again. Yes, this was an unusual circumstance. There was some kind-of scheduling mix-up. This type of non-weekend doesn’t happen often. It still sucks. I’m still on the verge of tears. 
When we first began this trucking lifestyle seven years ago, some well-meaning women friends said how wonderful it would be to have the house/bed to myself and how they envied me. Stupid unthinking women. 

Being married to someone who spends their working life on the road is not easy. Days apart are hard. He’s just a voice on the phone. Some days he’s on the other side of the clock. He’s sleeping while I’m awake. Some days he can’t talk to me when I need him to, and I know there have been times when I’ve been unable to talk when he needs to hear my voice. 

Sometimes things break at home.

Sometimes I can’t sleep. 

Sometimes I cry. 

Sometimes I am not strong.

Sometimes he has a very bad day.

Sometimes he feels lonely.

Sometimes he’s tired and hurting.

Sometimes he needs a hug. 

To all those women who don’t appreciate what you have, you can kiss my behind. Being a trucker’s wife isn’t a situation I’d recommend. Most days I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It’s hard, it’s lonely, and it hurts. 

Being my husband’s wife is all I’ve ever wanted to be. He just happens to be a trucker. 

To all those women who have a 24/7 husband, appreciate what you have, and be grateful. 

Images courtesy of Pinterest