While on our 2nd outing to our cottage this spring, I thought/wrote as I have periodically since I was about 10 - the age when many youngsters begin jotting in a diary. More times than not, I'd think what I would write while I was in a vehicle; but usually being without pen and paper, I'd just think it. However, I've also scribbled on all sorts of scrap paper when emotional distress, or the pressing need to solve a problem, has dominated my mind.
Here at the cottage, I thought, as I had many times in the past 17 months, of how much my life - and Tom's too - has changed. I've reflected on different aspects of the various changes but have not recorded them in any regular fashion beyond letters and e-mail to close friends and family.
So, this corner of MoreLife will house my frequent reflections on various aspects of my life with Tom - an individual unique from all others, I realized when I came to know him personally in December 1999.
Tom came over to me as I scribbled the introductory words for this page on a paper notepad (no computer at the cottage) and declared "An essential secret to keeping alive is to always have more things to do." He was in the midst of one of many tasks we have listed to be done at the cottage over the next unknown number of years. After almost 30 years as an "absentee owner" with his daughter acting as caretaker for approximately 2/3 of that time, Tom has found new interest here. He's taken on maintenance jobs that have gone undone, reworked some that were not to his liking, and has plans for numerous others. I'm in a sensitive position of semi-cheerleader/timekeeper. It's wonderful to see him this energetic regarding the cottage, and it was reassuring to consider his statement, "...always have more things to do." As our last day drew to a close and the sorted piles of tools and building/maintenance supplies were still spread over the kitchen table, desk, and part of the living room floor, I reminded Tom that he'll just have "more things" to do on our return in 2 weeks. He cheerfully agreed and kept on puttering at full speed from living room to kitchen to outside finding new homes for the enormous collection which occassionally grew as he found something more - like the bag of nails under the house. When time grew short, Tom simply brushed the still unsorted items into a box "for next time".
Tom isn't one to start a task and leave it unfinished (and when that does occur, he often is discouraged), but life - in order to stay "unfinished" - must have a never ending goal or a constant stream of challenges. Our cottage and MoreLife are the two major challenges that will keep our lives from being "complete" in the foreseeable future. One of my "jobs" is to remind Tom of this when, at times, the tasks comprising those challenges seem staggering. Then I roll up my sleeves and take out the pom-poms. ;>)
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