Right after John asked me to be his girlfriend, he wrote this column for the newspaper. It is still one of my favorites. (You might want to grab a tissue for this one).
A Love Story
My Mom and Dad were married for a very long time.
And it can happen – when a man has been married for a long time – that he becomes a bit low-key in the ways he shows his wife how special she is to him. After enough years of marriage we guys can misplace our flare for the dramatic, and we can underwhelm when just the opposite is called for.
Upon the approach of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary I think that might have been where Dad was headed. Not that that would have been an unforgivable thing, just the opposite really. Mom would have been happy with whatever he did – but then she’s like that. She was happy to be married to the man she loved – if he remembered an important date, well, that was icing on the cake. Continue reading
What does that mean, girlfriend?
On March 21, 2012 John asked me to be his “girlfriend”. I had no idea what that even meant to him.
I’ve used the term “girlfriend” casually and never thought of what it meant to anyone else. To John it was a big deal. It was a step towards “forever” and his experience with forever wasn’t a good one.
I’d met John eight months earlier, and I can say that the best thing that ever happened to us…for us… was the fact that we became friends first. Once the pressure of the possibility of a romantic relationship was taken off the table, we both relaxed and stopped acting like peacocks looking for a mate.
There was no need to try to impress the other in hopes of “pick me”. Continue reading
I’ve clearly been dragging my feet about sharing this next part of my (our) story. But here goes…
It was February 2012 when I had the unfortunate incident with my co-worker at the winery. It was also that incident that got me to pick up the phone and call John.
I knew I wanted to tell him and get his support and I’ll admit, even a hug. Which is exactly what I got.
Over the next three weeks we talked almost every day. We played tennis and hiked and went to coffee and dinners together. Just like we used to.
He was still busy driving back and forth to the valley to get his house ready for the new tenant. But most days we were doing something together. Continue reading
I want to share more of my story, and know most everyone who is close to me already knows all of this. But I also know there are way more people who don’t.
So I’m going to continue sharing.
I left off in January of 2012, with John deciding he still wanted to date around, and me wondering what the hell just happened.
Over the next month our relationship became more and more strained. I knew John was dating other women and I had no idea if he would ever let go of that pattern of casual dating and see what we had.
He was messaging me daily and we still did a lot of things together. But it wasn’t the same.
We planned to meet up for coffee on Valentine’s Day, but the day before while chatting on the phone I asked a question that was on my mind most days.
I asked, “Do you see us getting into a relationship?” He simply said, “No”. So then I asked, “Do you EVER see us getting into a relationship?” His response sank me. “No, Loretta, I don’t ever see us getting into a relationship.” Continue reading
If you’ve been following my story, you know that I’ve finally found my person. It only took me 53 years and 4 husbands. From the time I was young, I could see myself with someone who understands me and likes me. As a person.
John is my best friend, husband, biggest fan and supporter, sounding board, Instagram photographer and my rock. And he knows I feel the same way about him. Being in love feels good. Continue reading
I left off with my story telling you I had met a guy named Mike, who I started dating just before leaving for Florida to help my son, and his family, move. When I returned home, Romeo had dialed up the charm a notch…or two.
I thought I’d share with you what John wrote about that time, with a little commentary from me.
Here is an excerpt from his book, Romeo’s Dilemma:
Relationships can become a little too much “business” at times. You know what I mean? We end up discussing our schedules, bills and finance, and ‘hey did you pay the renewal for the tags on the bike?’.
And before long it starts to feel a bit more like a business partnership than an intimate relationship.
I’ve even forgot to actually look at John. Not only what he’s wearing but actually look him in the eye. He’s just sort of an extension of life.
I don’t mean that in the way that may sound. Continue reading
Today’s “Let’s do this together video” features My John, because it just so happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day we met. We were both on Match.com years ago, and John saw my profile and sent me a message.
He has a way with words, and his profile was very well written, so I decided to meet him for coffee. That, and his photos were pretty handsome too. Continue reading
Learning how to push-off in other ways…
My best friend trusted me to take care of her dog, and I lost him. I was desperate to find him so I ran and ran calling out for Chico, but saw no sign of him anywhere.
By the time I got back to the house, I was exhausted and in tears. How in the world was I going to tell my best friend I lost her beloved Chico?
I called the local Humane Society to report him missing. Bella sat next to me, looking at me with her big eyes, as I called the radio stations and local newspaper. Then I printed up fliers to post and hand out.
By this time, it was dark out and all I could think of was how was he going to stay warm and dry that night. Had someone picked him up and was he safe inside? Continue reading
Learning how to push-off…
Our little cottage in Napa was so nice, nestled on a hill, covered in trees. But because of its location, I had terrible cell service at home. So during that summer when I was dealing with Judd’s bizarre behavior, I’d take my phone and go for walks.
I would call my best friend and talk things over with her and find support and encouragement from her. And then I’d just walk for miles and miles, thinking.
I’ve always loved to hike and there have been many times in my life that walking was the only thing that kept me going. This was one of those times. My youngest son was training for a marathon and encouraged me to try running.
I laughed and said I never saw myself as a runner.
I left off yesterday sharing my ordeal with a surgery and Judd’s lack of empathy.
This went on for all of June and July, while I was working full-time. In August, I finally felt better physically, but things were still very strained between Judd and I.
With Mrs. S’s blessing for time off, I flew back to Maryland in early August to help my youngest son and new daughter-in-law move all of their belongings to Pensacola Florida. We had a fun trip caravanning across several states, and I loved helping them settle into their new home. Continue reading
It’s probably pretty cheesy to borrow that famous line from Game of Thrones, but it’s oh so perfect for the next part of my story.
Our first winter and spring in Napa would be polar opposites of our summer and fall. As good as things were it’s still hard for me to comprehend the about-face that was heading our way.
I left off telling you we started the summer with an important trip to the East Coast, and that trip was wonderful. My youngest son graduated from the Naval Academy, and the next day, married his high school sweetheart on the banks of the Severn River.
It was all so perfect and exciting.
Our first winter and spring in Napa was so good.
We rode bikes and played tennis every chance we could. The construction on the house I was managing was coming along nicely, and everything was running smoothly. I was happy and content.
Bella went everywhere with me…and her favorite thing to do: bike rides
In October we helped my oldest son move to Santa Barbara, and while there, we camped at Carpinteria State Beach. The campground is right on the beach and we were both in heaven. Continue reading
The day we arrived in Napa and started unpacking our U-Haul, I tripped over a big rock and hurt my leg pretty badly. I was a bloody mess.
Judd grabbed a lounge chair from the deck, and set it up so I had a place to prop my leg up and get some ice on it. It hurt a lot. But what was almost worse was, I was carrying my little Bella when it happened and she flew out of my arms and landed a few feet away. Continue reading
I was going to start this post by saying, I couldn’t believe I was standing in a multi-million dollar home about to endure my third interview, but that’s not entirely true.
I could believe it.
From the moment I first saw the ad for the position on Craigslist, I knew this was going to be my job. I just needed to convince the impeccably dressed, statuesque woman shaking my hand, of that. Continue reading
The day after our wedding, we packed up the car and drove south to wine country.
Being frugal (read: poor) we decided to camp in Napa Valley before my interview the following day.
As a wine lover, I was elated to see so many familiar names as we drove up Highway 29 towards St. Helena. We drove past Chandon, Cakebread, Turnbull, Beaulieu, Beringer, and so many more. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Continue reading
I moved to Bend, Oregon in 1978 and never dreamed that I’d end up staying for over 30 years. I was just 19 when I first arrived in that little town, and so much had changed over the years.
But by 2009, I couldn’t wait to leave. My kids were grown and off to start their own lives, my friendships had changed so much I could barely recognize them, and my business was no longer paying the bills.
It was time to move on.
The first time I went to Ireland and met John’s family I was a bit overwhelmed with their accents, especially those in the North. And it’s not just the way they pronounce words; it’s their colloquialisms.
For instance, when they introduced Sharon to me, she was called “Our Sharon”. And believe me it didn’t sound like our Sharon. It was more like “R Shrn”. So to me, she is still R Shrn.
After that I started calling John, My John.
It was the week after Christmas and we were in Summer Lake Hot Springs spending time there helping out our friend, the owner. He needed to be away from the place for several days, and asked if we would take over for him.
There were four little one-bedroom cabins and a three-bedroom house on the property and he had rented them out for the holidays. Since there would be some turnover, we were to take care of things. Continue reading
I should back up a bit. I left out a lot of important details in yesterday’s post. Not sure why I skipped most of 2008 and went right to the end of that year.
Maybe because it was a year of change.
Working from my home office, early 2008