A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”– Charles Dickens

I turned 50 this week. I didn’t think it would be a big deal because I’ve been rounding up since I turned 48. At about 4 o’clock the morning of my birthday I woke up and realized that my 40’s had departed. Yes, I was in Paris when this occurred. But like any loss, there are stages of grief. For a brief moment, at 4am, I felt shock, then sadness that the decade of my 40’s had passed. Then there was acceptance.

It was a decade of two extremes. David fills my soul. I had a stressful job for five years, then a wonderful job for the next five years. My little dog Cricket died but a new rotten dog, Jersey, found his way to my heart. Our grand cat, Spike, died. My two brothers in law also passed leaving our family with grief for their loss and profound sadness for my two sisters who were widowed far too young. David’s mother and grandmother passed but I am so fortunate to have both my parents alive and near. Our boys, who are/should be men, have been struggling for the past decade to find solid footing.

At home, David is juggling his own job and mine (tax time, the kitchen remodel, Jersey–do not dismiss–he is a real job, and Jake who is reintegrating into life for the living after spending 90 days at a recovery center). Me, I have no routine. Sometimes we have company, sometimes it is just the two of us. Some days we head out early to tackle striking something off of my long list of “must do’s” in Paris and some days I drink coffee in bed. The hardest thing we have to decide is whether we eat in or out and whether or not we wish to challenge ourselves with another bus ride.

The day of my birthday, after a quick goodbye to Marsha and Barb at the train station, I returned to our apartment to see if Joan wanted to go somewhere or do something but she had sequestered herself in her room. So at 11:30am, I went to the fabric market and spent the next 4 hours there. I bought 10 meters of two different double wide fabrics (for the remarkable price of 48 Euro) and schlepped all 18 pounds of it back to the apartment. When I got back, Joan, on advice of her husband and my husband, had purchased me a bouquet of flowers. A new decade begins.My Birthday Bouquet


  1. Oh it is such a rough life for you two. You both deserve it. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Very entertaining to say the least. Love you both. Happy half century. LOL Hey, I can order on the senior menu how about that for a mile stone.


  2. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. It’s so fabulous that you’re spending it in Paris, with your sister, making lifetime wishes and memories come true. Many, many more. All the best, Terri


    1. Thank you, Terri. I am enjoying your blog as well. I love your new kitchen counter top. Would you believe I’m undergoing a kitchen remodel myself and our new counters look a lot like yours. Great minds think alike, eh? All the best.

      Sent from my iPhone


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