Bill and I bought our home with Jen as our equal partner in 2010, when the housing market was tanking. We got a smokin’ deal, and haven’t regretted it a bit. Because Bill and I are both retired, we have been able to spend more time here than Jen, who is still working hard for her money. She never complains. She knows her time will come.
Because Bill and I were here by ourselves so much of the time, I set up the kitchen as I liked it. When Jen would come stay for a week or so, she would simply ask me, “Where is the skillet?” or “Where do you keep the can opener?” It worked, but it probably made her feel as though she was a stranger in her own home.
We bought a house that — though it’s small — has a split master bedroom. This way we each get our privacy. Bill and I have the master bedroom and Jen has a bedroom and bath away from ours. It is very private, and both Bill and I work hard to respect her privacy, as she does ours.
One thing that used to niggle in the back of my mind (because GOD KNOWS I can’t go for any length of time where I’m not worrying about something) is how we all will get along when she, too, is retired and spending her winters here. In particular, I simply couldn’t imagine how we would make cooking work for us. Would I buy groceries? Would she buy groceries? Would we set aside a grocery budget? And how would the cooking part go? Would I cook for Bill and me and let Jen fend for herself? That seemed unwieldy and a waste of time. Would one of us cook and the other clean?
Wow. And Biden thinks HE has things to worry about.
As it turns out, Jen has spent the bulk of the past two winters (this one included) here in AZ because she is working on becoming a robot (or so her grandson Austin tells her). She had a knee replaced in January 2020 and a shoulder replaced in November 2020. We call her the Tin Man. If she only had a heart.
Guess what? My worries have been for nothing. We simply fell into a routine. She buys groceries sometimes and I buy groceries sometimes. We take turns cooking. Whoever doesn’t cook that day cleans up the kitchen. We each decide on what we’re going to cook, and mostly agree.
We worked out any differences we had on Festivus during the Feats of Strength. (By the way, I kicked butt since she was still healing from her shoulder surgery.)
Every year, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to not worry about things over which I have no control. It never lasts for more than a week, because worrying is what I do. I even worry about how much worrying is affecting my health.
The good thing about worrying is that when it turns out that I had nothing to worry about, I’m so glad.