Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: The Story (page 1 of 5)

Us and Them – The Real Reason You’re on Different Sheets of Music

While I was off visiting my first-born grandchild, John was back home stewing over hurting Betty’s feelings when he told her (after just one week) that he no longer wanted to be exclusive. He told her that before I’d met Mike and started dating him.

But after seeing me having fun and going on dates, he was kind of backpedaling with Betty.

He wrote this one while I was gone and sent it on to me to look over. It made me laugh. I was learning a lot about him, while keeping a safe distance.

I’ll admit I edited out a bunch (man, that guy is wordy!). But I left the part that pertains to him and dating advice.  Continue reading

Flying high

My final trip to Florida to visit my son and his wife Amber was August of 2011. I picked that time to go for two reasons: One to help them move to Mississippi but more importantly, to meet my first grandchild.

In May of 2010 my son graduated from the Naval Academy and married his high school sweetheart the very next day. Then they started their lives together as a military family. By August of that year I was back to help them move to Florida, where my son would begin training as a pilot.  Continue reading

Great Expectations – Rating the Dating Sites

As I was busy dating someone else, and flying to Florida to meet my very first grandchild, John was dealing with his own emotions about dating.

After just a week of dating Betty from the coast, John told her he didn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship with her. He had told me that the minute he said yes to being a “boyfriend” he felt like an elephant had stepped on his chest.

So, while I was off getting to know my granddaughter and helping my son and daughter in law move, John was busy “Rating the Dating Sites”.  Continue reading

Dear little girl…

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I don’t mean in the sense that something exciting is happening, or I’ve got a bunch of big plans. More in the way of it’s a calendar date that I never forget and always reflect on.

It was August 3, 1970 when the world changed for me. And for the last 48 years, it’s August 3rd that I still feel the pain of that day and our loss.

I know there are a whole lot of you reading this now, that know exactly how I feel. Losing a parent, especially when you are a child, is something you never fully “get over”.   Continue reading

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Here is the very first post John sent me to edit (his fourth). I’m pretty sure I am “Debi” and “Tracy”

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” -Gloria Steinem

Gloria wrote that in 1970, and while I’m not a fan of starting my words by using someone else’s (feels a bit like cheating) I really couldn’t put it any better. Women and men have learned to hold many misconceptions about each other – here’s a couple we’ll deal with this week:

Men think women don’t know what they want.

Women think men don’t mean what they say.

And often both sides don’t fully trust each other. Does it sometimes seem as though we are two different species, cohabitating out of necessity, and only really coming together to make more males for one side and more females for the other?

Though it appears that way, it’s just not the case – so let’s see if we can’t dispel some misconceptions… Continue reading

Introducing The Online Dating Coach

When John told me he was dating someone else, I wasn’t surprised. I could tell from our very first meeting at Starbucks that he’d been on many such meet and greets.

He was tall, dark and handsome, smart and witty. And I had been online dating long enough to know he was a rare find indeed. But just because he was one of few, that didn’t mean I wanted to jump into an intimate relationship with him.

So someone else did.

Continue reading

Friends First

First dates are fun, and exciting – and nerve-wracking and scary. But I didn’t feel nervous or scared to meet John for our official first date. As a matter of fact, I think we went to see a movie.

Which is a weird thing to do on a first date.

It’s not like we would get a chance to talk and get to know each other. And, I don’t remember which movie we saw, but I do remember he ordered Raisinets.

Raisinets? Who orders Raisnets?

Continue reading

The meet and greet

After I got back home from Pensacola I decided to get back on Match.com. Things were going good for me, and I wanted to find someone to play tennis with, ride bikes or go on hikes.

I dated a few guys here and there and even made a friend for life with one guy.

But for the most part, I went on a lot of disappointing “meet and greets”.

Continue reading

How to become a magazine editor

My oldest son started a magazine.

Adam saw a need for a place where artists could showcase their work and themselves, and so he created it. Out of nothing.

His goal was to give artists a free published forum and get businesses to sponsor them. He literally had nothing to show local business owners when he went asking for money.

He walked in with a blank piece of paper the size of his magazine, which had yet to be produced, and asked for money. And he got it.

I’m so proud of him for doing that.

Continue reading

A job to do

I am a task-oriented person.

If a job needs to be done, I identify it, find a solution, and then go about getting it done.

It was easy to fix all of the things around me after Judd left. One by one, I got my life back and found peace in my little cottage by myself in Napa.

And as hard as it was, being by myself was exactly what I needed.

Working from home with no one else around, and living in an area where I had no family or friends created the perfect arena for some major reflection. But that’s not how I saw it at first.

I wasn’t just lonely – I was alone.

Continue reading

We did it together

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

Just Loretta

Pick yourself up Loretta, dust yourself off, and start over.

This has been the theme my entire life. And I’m good at it. I’ve had to do it a bunch of times.

Does that make me a bad person?

Should I be judged because I’ve loved and lost too many times?

It doesn’t matter what the answers are to those questions. What matters is, I needed to get back up. After my crying fest, I decided I needed a fresh start. So many things had gone wrong and I needed to clean up my mess.

The day after dropping Judd at the train station, everything started to get better. Continue reading

Just push off – part two

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

Just push off – part one

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.

Continue reading

Winter is coming – part two

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

Winter is coming – part one

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.

Continue reading

Napa in the spring

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

Napa Life

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

When you don’t have a Plan B

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

Wedding, wine and (hopefully) work

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

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