Amazing “Sighting on the Beach in Bali”…Harmony required for this life!…

On November 13, 2012, while we lived in Scottsdale, Arizona preparing “paperwork” for our travels, we saw this stone sign in Old Town in Scottsdale while on a walk.  It read: “I have found that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them” by Mark Twain. Fortunately, we continue to like one another after 44 months on the move.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

What a sight this was late yesterday afternoon! What a resourceful biker!

One would think we could easily run out of conversation after
being together non-stop for the past 44 months. We don’t.  Somehow, day after day, we engage in endless conversations, entertaining quips, and surprisingly new stories about our lives before we knew one another which in a week will be 25
years ago. 

New construction in the neighborhood.

We laugh when we say that we’ll be able to retell old stories if and when our memories fail us as we age. As yet, this hasn’t happened. Although, at times, I’ll recall telling Tom a story long ago that he’s since forgotten. 

It’s not that his memory is bad. It’s excellent. Instead, it’s as a result of him not paying attention when I originally told him the story. He calls it selective hearing, some kind of “guy” thing. With his bad hearing after 42 years on the railroad, I may have told him the story, speaking too softly and he ignored the entire thing. I’ve since learned to speak loudly enough.

Temple behind the wall. Tom’s head is to the right in the photo.

At this point, I don’t mind him not recalling some of the stories of my life BT (before Tom). Its makes for a great new conversation. And, not to reveal a secret, but when he retells a story he told me 20 years ago, not recalling he’d already told me, I listen with the same enthusiasm as back then. I’m certain he does the same for me.

Yesterday afternoon as we “played” in the pool and Jacuzzi (no hot water, just bubbling air temperature water) we found ourselves laughing and telling stories we may or may not have told one another in the past. We never seem to run out of good fodder.

Makeshift wall supports.

We even go as far as sharing stories of past loves and dalliances, neither of us the jealous types. Some couples never go there. We do so with aplomb.

When a couple spends as much time together as we do, it seems it can go only one of two ways; one, it can be fun, playful, loving, and substantive, or two,…miserably. We opt for the first.

Elaborate entrance to community temple.

Today’s main photo of the stone inscription we encountered in Scottsdale almost four years ago, as we prepared to travel the world, didn’t scare us at the time. We had a feeling we’d have a great experience together. We’ve never been disappointed.

As for Tom’s occasional “overly grumpy” persona, it really doesn’t have an effect on me.  I’ve learned to ignore him during his short bursts of frustration which I’ve discovered seldom have anything to do with me. 

Noisy roosters kept in basket cages.

Usually, he’s feeling frustrated due to a situation over which he has little control, especially on travel days.  Not to excuse grumpiness but hey, we all have our weird moments, and mine, although not centered around grumpiness can be equally annoying.

With each other, we’re tolerant and compassionate, making a concerted effort to avoid unnecessary arguing and conflict. Those who say arguing is necessary for a good relationship perhaps have never experienced the
the joy of near-constant harmony with only a rare “ripple on the pond.”

Most rooftops have a similar design.

Harmony opens opportunities for good decisions, clear thinking, and practical solutions. Disharmony is a breeding ground for impulsive decision making often with devastating consequences. 

This traveling-the-world business requires an enormous amount of self-control, planning, adaptation, tolerance, and quick thinking. In a state of disharmony, all of these can waft away while the parties are wrapped up in
angst, anger, and frustration.

Decorative gates.

To sum it up, we had yet another good day poolside while living in the moment, reveling in the past and looking forward to the future.

May all of you, poolside or not, look forward to the future while embracing your today.

Photo from one year ago today, June 17, 2015:

While on the ship, several Australians mentioned the light color of the ship’s egg yolks. Back on land, Aussie eggs come from free-range chickens and when not fed grains the yolks are dark and dense.  For more food info from Trinity Beach, Australia, please click here.

Too much togetherness???…

  1. When describing our upcoming travel plans, we’re often asked the same two questions:
  2. What happens if we tire of traveling? (I will address this in the next post)
  3. How will we comfortably exist at each other’s side, day after day, night after night, week after week, month after month and ultimately, year after year?
Tom and I met 21 years ago.  On a blind date with a dud, whom I ditched when I went to the ladies room to call a girlfriend to join me at another hot spot for a night of fun. The jerk had lied about himself, was a full head shorter than me (another one of his lies) and was wearing a pair of pink and black zebra zubaz (remember those?)

With no guilt about leaving him behind, my friend and I met at a well-known, now defunct nightclub for a “girls night out” of dancing, drinking and playful banter. That’s the night I met Tom.  Baring the details of our first few rocky years, four years later we decided to marry, much to our mutual surprise.  He always says I married him for his health insurance and I always say he married me for my high heels.

My two sons were adults (my eldest son was living in Las Vegas).  My younger son lived here in Minnesota as did Tom’s adult son and daughter.  We were determined that somehow our families would blend with harmony. After a time, they did.

Having both failed at previous marriages and determined to make this one work, we muddled our way through the first tough few years to settle into what has proven to be an inseparable bond of love, support, compassion and trust.  We like each other.  We enjoy each other’s companionship.  

Along the way, we have discovered 10 aspects of our relationship that have been vital in enhancing our adoration and love for one another and our ability to spend long periods of time together that has worked well for us:
  1. We don’t snip.  Snipping, snapping and expressing signs of annoyance is sure fire “deal killers.”
  2. We don’t nag.  Ask once, ask twice or ask three times.  We maintain a pleasant and genuine sound in our voices. It seldom takes a second “ask” to encourage the other to participate in the task.
  3. Don’t complain.  Whining is a pointless, childlike behavior we choose to avoid.  Although. Tom may whine or moan a little when he’s sick. It’s a guy thing. 
  4. Listen. Tom’s obsessed with  No matter how deeply his head is buried in his computer, he looks up at me and listens when I talk. Over the years I’ve been obsessed with health, diet, fitness, food, technology and of course, the endless array of information on the Internet, now centered on travel. I, too, drop whatever I am doing to listen to him, although not quite as quickly as he does.  He doesn’t complain when I don’t immediately respond (refer to #3 above).
  5. We share our common interests and encourage one another to have separate interests.  We are different.  It is these very differences that make us interesting to one another.  We are supportive of each other’s ideas and opinions, not always agreeing. But disagreeing with interest and support for each other’s passionate viewpoint .  
  6. We make an effort to stay appealing to one another.  We smell good, wear fresh clothes, attempting to look as good as our aging bodies will allow. We try to be playful, tease endlessly, laugh, laugh and then laugh some more.
  7. We kiss “hello,” “goodbye,” and “goodnight” and… for no reason at all, many times a day. We often touch as we walk by, lock eyes or smile for no reason at all.
  8. We are compassionate.  We comfort each other during times of sorrow, disappointment, concern, emotional or physical pain or discomfort.  
  9. We are patient.  I am a “bull in a China shop,” often dropping and breaking things.  He never judges me.  He observes and smiles, glad he didn’t do the breaking.  He is a determined and highly capable “fix it” guy. When frustration sets in, I try to step back and let him figure it out at his own pace.  This is hard for me. I could be very bossy. But, I’m not. 
  10. We dream together.  For us, the concept of building a dream, however realistic, creates lively, animated discussion, shared research and enthusiast speculation. Over the years, some of our dreams, as yours, have “wafted away” as unfulfilled expectations.  

But this time together, side by side, day after day, week after week, month after month and ultimately year after year, we will do more than just “comfortably exist.”  We will enjoy living this dream together