New Orleans/Mountain View Courtship – (April A-Z M/N)

This was composed for the 2016  A to-Z April Challenge. I thought I’d make my April A-Z challenge some sort of autobiography.

Here are chapters M & N:

french-quarter-557461_640New Orleans/Mountain View Courtship

So, I met this fantastic man on the internet…I was almost 50, he was almost 60.  So we started courting.  He’d fly to New Orleans and I’d fly to Palo Alto…some  suburb I’d never heard of near San Francisco…surrounded by redwood forested hills.  A half hour from the Pacific Ocean.

I wasn’t sure I liked it there.  The French Quarter is cement and bricks, too, but everything is so old and I know the history because my family is connected to it and I’m not quite sure what a proton is because I’d filed that into a file in my brain I was certain I’d never have to open again and,

somewhere around there,  you asked me to marry you and I said yes…I’d move out to California with you – you had two children living here, I’d never had kids plus the job field was scarce, in New Orleans,  for atom smashers/engineers  and I could be a secretary/poet anywhere – so I said okay to California, and that I hoped you’d be able to find us an apartment with some grass and trees around it.

The last time you visited New Orleans – before I moved out here – we were cuddled together on my futon.  A mule-drawn carriage was passing by.  Hooves upon cement echoing through the french doors and all round my studio.  Click-clack.  Click-clack.

We’d spent so many peaceful slow days together in New Orleans.  We both knew the different life paces we lived.  Click-clack.  Click-clack.

“You’re going to miss this sound,” you whispered.

I don’t really miss that sound..see,  if the mule shit, out front my gate on a hot, sunny, mid-July afternoon, it smelled pretty bad …pretty fast.

Or maybe you were just being romantic and wondering and hopeful.  Sounds are romantic.  It rains a lot in New Orleans…rain drops led to long, lazy afternoon naps.

And you did find the grass and the redwoods and bamboo and our balcony overlooks the last empty wild lot in town…where we’ve lived all these years in our tiny condo.    in mountain view – a suburb near san francisco.

The wild grown lot will soon be developed.  The redwoods will remain almost all round us.  We laugh a lot.  We argue.  Sometimes we don’t agree.   That’s was the hardest part.  To just not agree and get on with loving.

Click-clack.  Click-clack.

Ellespeth 

ps..cuz of my arm, i prolly won’t post again for a few days…i want to spend time visiting other blogs, and I can’t do both.

 image via pixabay

The Internet & All That Jazz – April A-Z (I)

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The Internet & All That Jazz

😦  i’m sorry i can’t be here so much right now.  my broken arm is really upsetting so many levels of our life.   over supper and champagne, we recall the importance of the letter ‘I’ in our lives.  Our faces ache from smiling.

My arm doesn’t hurt.   I’ve come to record this…

We’ve been married 15 years now.  You 10 years after a 17 yr marriage and me a few years after a 25-year marriage …others we’d met and dated since we were ‘suddenly single’, but…  what drew us to each other was our refusal to give up on love.

i was almost 50.  i was living in the new orleans french quarter.  louisiana.  i’d lived there, or near there since the day i was born.  you were 60.  you lived in palo alto, ca, and grew up in los angeles, ca.

sometimes, the world is so much smaller than one could ever imagine.  sometimes the heart’s hopeful whisper aches for attention.

our introductory internet text conversation:

me:  (after discovering what was proper to ask) so what do you do?

you:  i’m a nuclear physicist.

me:  (oh brother, yeah…right)  you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to have a conversation with me.

you:  (just as though you hadn’t noticed my slight)  what do you do?

me:  (this probably won’t go over so well but here goes) i’m a poet and a  secretary.

and here we are…15 years later.  married.  who we said we were…seeking the softer ground of acceptance – just like any other married couple…i think, anywayz.

ellespeth 

image via pixabay

Fiber Optically Yours

I can’t remember when we last had a decent internet connection.  For months, I’ve been rebooting our modem several times a day.  Then there was that week the cables, outside our condo building, fell to the ground.  After that was fixed, we thought – for a day – that things were better.  And then…we slowed down to a total crawl.  And the rebooting the modem issue became worse.

We’re two rather peaceful laid back people so…we’ve lived like this.  I’m thinking since at least last November.  We’re not in a hurry to get anywhere on the internet.  It was just frustrating as hell.  So…

Yesterday we were set up with some closer fiber optic VDSL something and before we had something called ADSL.   And we went from 3  somethings to 18 somethings.  And no, I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I only know that our internet is so faster and our new modem is working.

You and I met and had a lovely courtship using dial-up internet connections.  We somehow managed to connect and chat enough times to decide to meet in person and eventually  marry.

Our grandparents used to tell us how they walked miles to school everyday.  We’ll be telling our grand kids that it used to take us forever  to connect to  the internet so stop complaining about having to wait 2 seconds 😛

So yay for advancing technology.

Ellespeth  

Remembering My Father – Prose

At the time, I’d been married almost 30 years.  Because it was proper; because I felt safer against myself; because I was saving money for an apartment, I’d moved in with my parents during my divorce process.

My parents, as I had for almost all my life, lived in the French Quarter.  At the time, I was a secretary for a law firm about two blocks from the French Quarter.  I’d sort of lived my life in this tiny French Quarter thimble.  About 5 by 14 blocks or so.  It was difficult – if not impossible – to find men to date.

Shortly after my divorce, I met a man on the internet. A pilot for a major airline.  He seemed so cool.  Smart.  Intellectual.  Liked the arts.  Now and then, his schedule took him to New Orleans.  We’d have a lovely week-end.  Or he’d use some special flight pass and I’d fly to meet him somewhere.  And we were going to marry and live forever together.

And then he told me he was married.  And I was sobbing in my parents’ courtyard.  And I was so pissed at myself.  And my father came out.  And I told him all the sordid details that had led to my sobbing.  And he said:

“You are a beautiful woman.  One day you will meet a man worthy of you.  I hope you won’t stay in this relationship.  It isn’t going anywhere.”

I found a huge amount of comfort and hope in those words.  That I was beautiful.  That he knew I hadn’t given up on love.  That there was someone else waiting – like me.  That I’d been raised with values I believed in.  That fathers  don’t judge.   Fathers hope.

And that was a great gift from my father.  His knowledge of me and his hope for me. ..

And he liked you!

Ellespeth

Day of Reckoning Take One, Two, Three

Take One:

14 yrs ago in a chat room on the internet:
“Have you ever been camping?” you asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“I mean, do you like to camp?”
“I think so,” I replied. I was trying to remember being a Girl Scout and having the Scout Leader ever available for assistance. (“Help!” And some grown up would come figure it all out)

We have a lovely courtship. You fly to meet my family. I fly to meet your family. We marry.

Take Two:
Two years ago (a few months into my retirement):
“John and Sue are going camping in the Sierra’s again this year. They really would like you to come this year. So would I,” you say.
“Oh dear!” I’d been able to get out of this camping trip each year, until now, because I was working. “We would have to practice first.”
“Practice?”…
So, one night, we pitch your tent in our living room. We are quite ceremonial about it. Late that night we crawl into the tent and tell stories by flashlight. Then we cover with the zippered together sleeping bags and go to sleep. I have a nightmare:
RATS ARE RUNNING PAST THE ENTRY TO OUR TENT!!!!
I awaken. It’s 2AM.
“OMG! Honey wake up!” I shake you and shake you. “Wake up!”
“What?”
“Rats at the camp!”
Of course you try to assure me that I was dreaming and I try to assure you that a rat ran past the entry to our tent. Eventually, we crawl out of the tent and sleepily make our way down the hall and into our nice and soft and comfy bed.
Sigh. You went on the camping trip without me and I thought that had settled any camping fantasies you were harboring.

Take Three – Today:
As if it weren’t bad enough that I was having an allergic reaction (see previous entry)  but that….
Sue calls. Another camping trip this year 😦 I was so glad to be alive that I agreed to go.
“We’ll have to practice again,” I say sadly.
You pitch the tent. You turn it away from the balcony this time. You put it an air mattress and I cover it with an old quilt. Sniffles. Tonight we will be sleeping here:

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There’s A Tent In My Study! (real life pic)

We will sleep here for three nights. That is how long I have agreed to go camping and you seem happy with that promise. I, on the other hand…
I shall gather up my Girl Scout Stew recipe and my scouting badges and all of my courage and – sometime in July – head for a camping trip in the Sierra’s. OMG!!!!

Ellespeth