..and it’s a doozy.
When I was graduating high school (in which I was miserable, like most) I planned on going to a bible college with other bible nerds like me. Alas, I was woefully financially unprepared. My folks didn’t have the money for college and I unwisely set my sights on one that didn’t have financial aid.
So I took a year off, worked, fished a lot, and then went to the local junior college where I began to have the time of my life. I joined the paper staff and within a year became the editorial editor. On the first day of the second year, we had our first staff meeting of the year. We sat in a big square, four old tables all up next to each other. It was August 24, 1989 (near as I can remember). Across from me was a tall skinny young man (and I mean tall. And I mean skinny) whom I later spotted through the glass in the cafeteria. I decided he needed to eat with me. By the end of lunch, it was all over. For him.
I had never dated in high school but college? There was a lot of interest. I dated a creepy loser for a while, and this relationship–on and off again–was about to come to a close when Skinny Guy volunteered to help me with my landscaping at my first house. After digging up some wild hedges, I decided I would go out with him: wild hedges are a bitch. I mean, bad.
Sometime within this framework he invited me casually to come out to his place and go fishing–his parents would be out of town. So I showed up. Just showed up. He was astonished. We never did fish, but I did bake him brownie blondies and manage to leave enough shed hair (it was really long back then, and I had acres of hair) that his mother noticed. Crimey.
Anyway, we started dating and six months later, we broke up. By we, I mean him. And by me, I moved on. Like, fast. I married the idiot creepy boyfriend. That didn’t last.
Then I left for California. This, at the time, was the only viable option for me, living with my aunt in the Los Angeles area or living with my cousin up in Lompoc. Second choice, please. During my stay, letters started coming. They were really beautiful, all dated 1991-2. After a tumultuous year out on the coast (where I made some of the best friends of my life) I came home. Chris was waiting, with a dainty gold cross necklace he gave me in the McDonald’s parking lot.
I left, again. There was something about our relationship that I just didn’t think would work. I moved on, and married someone else. So did he. Fast forward 18 years. The man I thought I would never part with decimated our lives: he moved us cross country on bad checks and ill plans. I lost everything, and went from lake house to homeless in four weeks.
After settling near my mother and my dear stepfather (they’d only been married a few years) I realized that he still cared for me. Last December, we were married, 24 years and four months after we met. I remember what he said to me when we went to pick up my last few things from my temporary home: “The way I see it, I’m bringing you home to heal.” And that he did.
So now we’re raising my son, Aslan, my stepdaughter, waiting for my early-twenties daughter to graduate college and keeping watch over a seemingly a ton of animals including the Clandestine Chickens. This blog focuses on how good life can get (cause it can be Brutal, I know) and the domesticity that rules my existence.