Wednesday, January 24, 2018


We've all laughed over this many times: ha ha ha! Ed and I have nothing in common! Ha! And yet, here we are, together for over a dozen years. So perhaps I should modify the claim somewhat: Ed and I have very little in common.

Nowhere is this more apparent than when we are faced with things. He likes his stuff: metal bits, old machining catalogues, tools, scraps, unfinished books, old jacket (you've seen it!), shoes that I swear have no sole left in them. I like my stuff -- things that are perhaps more conventional. You would not be surprised to learn that my favorites right now, beyond the computer and camera are toys and books for grandkids. And favorite comfy clothes to wear, dishes on which I can serve food, pots for cooking it up.

We do have a few common things as well: the new-ish couch. The TV set which we selected together. The chairs on the porch, the bench in the mud room. Am I missing something? Probably not.

Here's where trouble starts: it is terribly difficult to merge lives when your overlap is only that new-ish couch and a bench in the mud room. Whose things fill the rest of our living space?

Up to now, the unwritten rule had been this: he keeps his scraps in the sheep shed (except for the shoes, soleless that they are), my stuff fills the farmhouse.

The problem is, of course, that our time together is in the farmhouse. And so Ed has to adjust. Fit in. Keep things straight. My things.

From day one, I knew that Ed was Ed. (See Ocean side comment.) Adjustment for him doesn't come without a struggle and sometimes it just cannot come at all. Travel continued for eight years and then it had to stop. He had maxed out his "trying to adjust" capabilities.

We had grown so fond of being in each others space that in recent months, he has spent just about all his time in the farmhouse. Ooops -- that's not "in each others space," that's that same place that has all my stuff and almost none of his own.

In the last few days, he has recoiled. I'm hearing more of -- why can't you come over and hang out in the sheep shed? (If you ever stepped into that shed, you'd know instantly why the answer is "because.")

All this to say that living with a person with whom you have very little in common is an interesting challenge. You cannot assume that you know or understand each others next move, next thing, next preoccupation. You learn, you reset, and you both move forward, in some quirky fashion, together. Until the next time when you find yourself wondering -- how do I fit into her world? And conversely, how does he fit into mine?

Breakfast, together, but at the kitchen table. With flowers that are on their last strength.

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And an afternoon with Snowdrop.

She is in a sweet and wonderful mood. For her, space is defined by the people in it. Her babes, her toys are beloved because she associates them with a place where she feels loved.

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Someday, the presence or absence of things may be of utmost importance to her, overshadowing other more beautiful feelings of attachment. May that day never come, or at least not for a long long time. May she forever feel the pull of the farmhouse (or sheep shed) because of the people there, rather than the things within.