Shannon here: Linda Rondeau shares her recent life journey plus winner’s choice of four of her books – print copy of It Really Is a Wonderful Life or The Other Side of Darkness or free ebook of I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children or her latest light romantic suspense – Days of Vines and Roses. Comment on any post dated March 25 – 29 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: April 6th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
I made my husband only one promise on our wedding day, “Never a dull moment.” I’ve kept that promise for over thirty-five years. Really not so much my doing as the result of our never normal
Lifestyles since we said, “I do.”
Retirement puts a whole new set of challenges on a long-term marriage. The temptation is, “Well, I see them every day…why should we want to date?”
A lot of women whose husbands have failed to find things to do after retirement would sooner shoo the old man out the door for a few hours of relaxation.
I suppose for some comfortableness settles in and routine is the new norm of romance.
Fortunately or unfortunately for us, we haven’t had the luxury of routine. Not even in our golden years.
Nearing retirement, we discussed various pros and cons, whether to sell the house and relocate or do the winter thing as some of our friends have done. Or simply continue in our small town rut, indoor activities during the seven months of bitter cold and golf the remaining five months of near tolerable weather.
My lungs decided for us.
Suffering from chronic bronchitis that worsened each winter, we concluded in December 2010 that it was time for me to experience a warmer climate. But hubby wasn’t due to retire for another eighteen months. Except for work related events and the occasional mission to help our married children, we had not been separated for more than a few days. Could we survive eighteen months?
After much prayer, we put our marriage in God’s hands. I rented an apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, and on February 8, 2011 at 9:00 in the morning, I loaded the car with the bare essentials to start a new life in limbo. When I backed out of the driveway, I got stuck in a snow drift.
“It’s a sign,” hubby said after digging me out. “All systems go.”
Dating your spouse of thirty-four years is indeed a new experience.
I planned for his visits, looking forward to our sparse time together about once every three months. We strolled along the beaches, checked out the museums, golfed and dined. Jacksonville seemed to have no end of things to do. We dreamed of what our life would be when he came to Jacksonville for good and about all the places we would go.
Our house in the Malone sold quickly and hubby moved into his own little temporary apartment. In October, 2011 we bought our retirement home. I enjoyed fixing it up for our future together. Though the months seemed to drag and we missed each other horribly, our snatches together kept us believing our decision was the right one. On June 15, 2012, hubby finally moved in to stay.
We hadn’t expected that we’d soon become one of those couples whose lives revolved around medical appointments. Cancer hit and all the rigmarole that accompanied the diagnosis. Date night became a walk around our housing development circle. Sometimes, I managed a dinner out, a trip to the store or on rare occasions a movie. I feared our dreams of a romantic retirement were dead.
I am glad to report our romance is alive and well. Chemo and radiation ended and with a good prognosis, my strength is returning and my hair is growing back. We are able to take the longer walks to a nearby college campus where large trees are covered with Spanish moss. We once again take trips to the beach, the zoo, and dining out is more routine. We have resumed our talk of travel and adventure.
As in the whole of our lives together, romance has been colored by our circumstances but never ceased to glow and grow. Yes sir, never a dull moment continues to keep our marriage alive and well.
About Linda: Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.
These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press.
Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, and Goodreads or Blogs: Blogs: This Daily Grind, Geezer Guys and Gals, and Writing Across Generations.
About the book – Days of Vine and Roses: When a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband attempt to reconcile, malignant forces and a pending lawsuit seem bent on keeping them apart. After fifteen years of marital disarray, Henry and Sylvia Fitzgibbons (aka Lana Longstreet) independently contemplate divorce, their relationship relegated to Henry’s infrequent visits to the Connecticut estate and their once a week meeting at Chez Phillipe’s in Manhattan. But, not yet. There is the matter of the decaying rose gardens and the thirtieth anniversary party the children are planning. Reluctantly, Henry moves in for the summer, steeled against the hauntings that torment only him. As reconciliation seems possible, the evil forces within begin to target Sylvia as well. Like the strangling vines within the rose beds, Henry and Sylvia have become victims of spiritual neglect. Their only hope remains in surrender to a power greater than the evil determined to destroy them.
Come back March 25th for Linda’s recipe for romance!