We’re still together. April Fools.

Thirty years ago today MrWI64 and I moved in together.

That it was April Fools was lost on nobody, least of all on the couple who helped us with the move.

You need to get a grip, said the woman (whose name I can’t recall because I haven’t seen her since) as I whispered what am I doing on the way to the new shared domicile.

He and I were the most unlikely of couples and I’ve no doubt friends and family were putting odds on how long we would last. He, a dignified older man with a back story; me a fast moving, fast writing mom of two. He liked flowers in the yard and single malt by the fire. I liked independence.

How we came to this point was hardly the stuff of romance novels. I’d sold my house in order to buy a newspaper in a town an hour away (Please, not there, Mom, pleaded my girls. It’s the middle of nowhere.) But precisely one day before my house sold, the newspaper was purchased by a corporate chain. It was a seller’s market at the time and I couldn’t afford to appropriately replace the home I’d just sold. Enter MrWI64. He and I were drawn to one another and the idea of pooling resources seemed a natural progression.

If he had misgivings, he didn’t let on. Mine were wide-eyed and out there.

God knows why he stuck around.

He handled the pecking order at our house with grace: girls, dog, cat . . . him.

Discouraged from fully unpacking, his boxes of crystal and china were ferried to his family’s cottage up the coast.

For five years he kept a packed leather bag by the front door. Every once in a while, he and the bag would disappear for a few days.

Many mornings I’d wake up and find with grateful astonishment that he was still there. In residence.

Life was bumpy, but not all the time. We were crazy about one another, although I was crazier about maintaining equilibrium for my kids.

He wanted to get married. He was that patient he was willing to commit for the long term. I couldn’t project ahead like him.

But then one day – I remember the moment – it all turned around for me.

He was singing in an afternoon event and as I watched and listened, my heart swelled. It’s a physical thing, heart swelling.

We later went for a drive.

Pull over, I said. Then: I think we should get married.

He looked down. Then out the window. Everywhere except at me.

Let’s just leave things for now, he said.

What the hell? Was he rejecting me? Blowing me off?

This was not the response I’d expected. So now I was on a campaign.

We should get married, became my repeated refrain. We’d been together for 10 years by this point. Surely he recognized I was ready.

Why are you pushing this? he once asked.

I persisted. If the age difference was the issue, it didn’t appear I was going anywhere. Would I be there for him in his old age? Looked that way.

We went to a house party one evening and I bridled as I watched the hostess flirt with him. Shamelessly, I thought.

We should get married, I said when we got home.

We should, he said, which surprised us both.

So we did.

A few things have changed since this photo was taken by Rebecca Kirstein. But not the important bits.

Thirteen years after that chaotic, stress-fraught beginning, we married in a church wedding at which my then 91-year old mother escorted me up the aisle pushing her walker.

A year ago, a property developer knocked on our door and made an offer to buy the home we’d purchased together 29 years earlier. After some backing and forthing we sold and a few months later confirmed the purchase of a 1910 bungalow that, with copious renovations, is becoming the perfect home for an aging couple in a 30-year loveship.

The boxes of china and crystal sent to the family cottage are here now. Here and unpacked.

Given time, we both came around.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane says:

    Gery and Graham – looking forward to bringing something over to pour into that crystal and toast a wonderful couple.

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Yes please. Soon.

      Like

  2. Sheila says:

    This put a big smile on my face. What a wonderful story. Congratulations!

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Oh, I’m glad. Thanks, Sheila.

      Like

  3. Lynda says:

    Love this story of a delightful couple. Much respect and admiration for you both. Wishing you many more good times! Happy Anniversary!

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, Lynda; We’ve surprised even ourselves. Lucky in love we’ve been.

      Like

  4. Oh Gawd – how good is this – the writing had me guffawing several times.
    It has potential for anything from a skit to a series. I especially loved your Mom with her trusty walker. Soon I’ll be needing one myself.

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      I aim for guffaws. Thank you, Marion. Good to hear from you.

      Like

  5. Leslie Lundgren says:

    Beautifully, beautifully done dear SS. ❤️❤️❤️

    >

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Than you, SS. Means a lot. xxx

      Like

  6. ridykun says:

    Lovely piece, Gery!

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, Rick. Appreciate it.

      Like

  7. LINDA HUGHES says:

    What a sweet love story! Sent from my Galaxy

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thanks, Linda. Never thought of it as sweet . . .but it’s ours.

      Like

  8. Jeanette says:

    The story of your love ship and the love story and life you have shared is beautiful it brought a tear to my eye 🥰

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Ah, Jeanette. Thank you. xxx

      Like

  9. wendy coste says:

    I haven’t met Graham but I’m sure he is as wonderful as you.

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Let’s say he’s different than me. And wonderful.

      Like

  10. Pauline James Curtis says:

    Goose bumps and gratitude– love every beautiful thought and word, Gery, even re: the packed suitcase at the door. It’s the perfect love-story, with a new beginning written at the end. Even more perfect that way. Looking forward to the next epistle when the soft wind blows from the south on an unexpectedly warm, magical day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, dearest, for your encouragement and support. I mean it.

      Like

  11. Sparky514 says:

    Love this love story! So well written. You pulled me right in and kept me glued to the end….as I suspect you did with MrWI64.😉 xxoo

    Like

  12. Pat Ardley says:

    So much love and happiness over so many shared years! Enjoy this new adventure together! And Fun! Have Lots of Fun!

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      You’ve been there for all of it. Before all of it. 🙂

      Like

  13. Karen says:

    Congratulations🥂 what a lovely story ❤️

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you for reading.

      Like

    2. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, Karen.

      Like

  14. Rick says:

    Gery! Graham! Great piece as always…!
    I vaguely recall that one of you just had a birthday.
    Me too: I am half-way between puberty and death.
    Cheers, Rick

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      If you’re just half way you have a long way to go, Ricky. I thought of you a week and a bit ago. Recalled your age was advancing and meant to call. Let’s lunch.

      Like

  15. Lesley says:

    dearest friends – it’s about time to plan the honeymoon in Oslo Love to you both! XO

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      It sure is, Les. Lvu

      Like

  16. marilynatlegacytelusnet says:

    I meant to tell you how much I enjoyed your When I’m 64 this week. Will we have a “When I’m 70” next year?❤😊

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thanks, Mim. When I’m 64 forever!
      xxx

      Like

  17. Jayne says:

    A beautiful story told with grace (as usual), a beautiful couple I feel privileged to know xxx

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, pal. xxx

      Like

  18. What a great (and honest) love story Geri. Made my heart swell reading it. All the best to both of you. 😍 MaryLou

    Like

    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, MaryLou. What joy to see your name. I hope you’re well, my friend.

      Like

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