I'd only been gone a week to my mother's house and I've only been back a week now, but I'm fully back in my old rhythms.There was a huge pile of laundry awaiting me, the cat box was overflowing and the birdies let me know the second I came into the house that they needed me to attend to their cage, plus cuddle with them.
Jim, and my Siamese kitty Pedro, were the two neediest. Jim was so grateful I was home again that he immediately suggested we go out for steaks. On a Sunday night! Not something we would ever usually do.
The next morning I found that all the salads and meals I'd prepared and packed into the fridge, labeled and organized, were untouched. He didn't even eat the homemade yogurt I'd fixed with raspberries from our garden and he loves that stuff. I had to ask what he'd been living on and it turns out he'd been eating potato chips and peanut butter straight out of the jar.
When I was recounting this to a girlfriend last week she exclaimed, "What, is he twelve?" Well no, he's not twelve, exactly, but he is very boyish even at 63 and I love that about him. He'll giggle when I torture Siri on my IPhone, he doesn't mind doing fun crazy things like water balloon fights and go-carts and he *gets* me.
Having someone that understands you, really *gets* you is to me is more important than things like man that holds the door open for you, or makes a zillion dollars. To have that connection with another human being is just awesomely essential to me.
On the other hand he knows where all the buttons are and has more than a few times pushed a few of them, like almost exactly a week before I left on the trip. He came to bed around midnight after losing all of his fantasy football games (four). He woke me up and proceeded to try to pick a fight with me because of his angst. I turned over in the bed, told him I wasn't going to fight and went right back to sleep.
You can do that when you've reached many years and a deep knowledge of each other.
Jim's hobby is fantasy sports and I like to sometimes tease him that he sounds like a wounded howler monkey when he's watching sports. Just like I love to tease him when he watchs MMA that the only difference between MMA and gay porn is that the guys are wearing shorts and there's not a bottle of lube in the ring. Always makes him laugh.
Funny, on the trip I got together for lunch one day with one of my old friends and she said something about me having married an 'old man' and I had to laugh. Apparently none of my friends understood at the time that his being 9 years older than I wasn't a big deal, that our bond was deeper than it looked. She and I giggled over the fact that we'd both been married now for quite a long time with no divorces, old man or not.
But getting back to the after the trip. I was surprised how mostly clean the house was, besides the laundry and cat box. I just needed to sweep/mop/vacuum instead of do an entire house scrub. I'd been geared up to do a complete cleaning, dreading that part of returning home since I hate, hate, hate housework.
The other part of my week consisted of a class I'm taking and the great fall shoe hunt. Every fall I get a pair of fur lined house slippers, a pair of casual leather clogs and a pair of dressier winter shoes. And fall has arrived here, it's quite chilly. The problem with the shoes is that it usually takes me a number of days to get them because I have super high arches on my feet, which means my choices are very limited. It's always going to be something like a Dansko, or a Clarkes or some other foreign made too expensive shoe with high arch support because those arch support inserts you can buy do nothing for me. I have a set of custom made orthotics from my doctor but those are like walking on concrete. Huge waste of money.
But the best part was coming home to a huge, HUGE, H-U-G-E check in the mail from the federal government. The IRS finally settled with us over their claims I flubbed up the 2010 taxes. Yeah, the IRS is that far behind in examining returns. I did screw it up, but only because our broker neglected to send us all of the pages of our statement, so I had four pages of stocks not listed on our return. It's been a huge mess to straighten out and the IRS even lost our amended return the first time I mailed it.
Having this hanging over our heads for the last two years has been like walking around with a sword overhead, a sword that could fall at any moment. They withheld two years of tax refunds from us so it was like Christmas in in October!
I needed it to be resolved because it was just one part of the nasty stew of stress I've been dealing with the last four or five months. It takes some of the pressure off. Now if the rest of the situations would resolve life would be the best it's ever been.
Margaret and I have reconciled, we've laughed and talked about her various issues and the things I don't *get* about her and her husband's relationship. I did tell her I still didn't approve and some cautionary tales from my marriage to her father, how triggered I'd been by the old memories of his emotional abuse of me. I even told her I'd posted about it on my blog and been soundly spanked. She laughed even harder and told me she knew I would likely blog about it since I've been blogging on one site or another since 1998. She *gets* that I don't hold back, that I speak my mind and she's okay with that.
That class I'm taking? It's a tax preparer class. I don't intend to actually do taxes for anyone else, but I do plan on understanding the changes this year and making sure we never get in trouble with the IRS again. I'll use what I learn to do our taxes. Gotta get going as I have to be there shortly.