When we went house hunting last fall I held my ground on two must-haves----a two-story house (at least!) where I could escape upstairs and do some serious writing and a fenced-in yard for our 70-pound boxer.
I got my way on both accounts. What’s more, our new home also has a partially finished basement. Now that we live in a tri-level home, we’ll need your continued prayers that we can still climb more than three dozen steps when we reach our eighties and beyond.
However, I’ve recently moved my office two levels down from my cozy (and heated) upstairs bedroom/office to my not-so-warm basement. I pieced together some old carpet remnants for my make-do flooring, decorated the walls with my artwork, and fired-up a space heater. Dressed in multilayers and draped in a blanket, I‘m writing in peace ‘n quiet, again (just as I did before my rowdy husband retired.)
Why would I move to a cold basement when I have a warm room upstairs?
In a word, sanity!
With my newly retired husband’s upstairs office across the hall, I needed earplugs to work. The dial on his radio is stuck on AM 550 where right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh visits us every afternoon. My husband gets so riled up, he shouts down the liberals and their global warning doomsday, right along with Rush. Good thing the windows are closed. I’d like to make at least one friend in our new neighborhood.
Now retired, he’s gung-ho, following his new passion. He’s joined Fox Network’s Bill O’Reilly’s cultural warrior crusade, “fightin’ liberals”, as he’ll proudly tell you. He‘s more than conservative; he’s an ultra right-wing nut case. Did I mention he’s the newly elected treasurer for our local Republican party?
And when his radio isn’t blasting out politics, he’s traveling back to a musical past, thanks to Sirius Satellite Radio, a popular feature of the our new Dish network television package.
But it’s not back to our musical memories. “Yesteryear” to my husband is not the “golden oldies” of the 50s and 60s (when we were young), but the World War 11 big band era. The man just turned 60, but he shares the same music as my 85-year-old mother. All songs post-Beatles are too new for him. I’m only in my 50s, but already feel like we’ve cashed in on our nursing home insurance.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m what you call conservative, too. However, I consider myself “balanced.” I’m a channel switcher, periodically catching a portion of CNN’s “Larry King Live”, while my husband never clicks the remote away from channel 205, the Fox News Network, (unless it’s his Sirius Satellite Radio channels.) When it gets warmer and the windows are open, the neighbors will probably hear something like Bobby Vinton’s “Rubber Ball” blaring off the main floor, while upstairs; my husband’s humming to Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star.” Thank God, we do have two TVs (and a basement!).
Now that I’ve moved to the basement, I’ve stopped screaming “Q-U-I-E-T!”. I’m sane, again.
I’ve also found my basement to be a special place to meet with God. In my quiet time, the other day, the Holy Spirit showed me that I’m really no different from my husband. Since I’ve retired, I’ve been writing everyday. My husband has proven himself with 40 years of service as an aeronautical engineer, but I felt left out in the dust. Oh, maybe I’ve seen my byline a few times since graduating college, placed in a few writing contests, but where was my book? I was striving just as hard as my husband is to create my own identity. But God has reminded me that, book or no book, byline or no byline, professional artist or hobbyist, my worth is found in Christ, nothing more, nothing less.
True, my kooky right-wing husband still drives me nuts; I’m still thankful for my basement. However, I think I’m gonna ease off---go a bit easier on him. And, a bit easier on myself, as well.
And, when I do climb up to the main floor and my husband climbs down from his upstairs office, he even turns the radio down (and sometimes off), as well as his “older than older” oldies. It’s then we reconnect. We just need to remember to meet each other, halfway, on the main floor each day, following our separate passions, while sharing those common goals, as well.
It makes for a happier retirement.
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