Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay, I'm pooped

I'll say one thing for Angela: she can wear you out! She's one of those "always busy" people. Me, I can sit on my can and listen to the birds twitter from time to time. Once in awhile she'll actually sit down to read for an hour, but most of the time, her reading is in bed or at lunch. She's a morning person too - so, when sun-up arrives, she's out of bed like a shot. That's absolutely wonderful, because on the days we babysit, she's already read the paper and had breakfast before the baby comes over for our babysitting days (Tues-Thursdays each week). I get up at 8. Boy, am I lucky! See, there's another of the Best Things About Being Married to a T - two actually - she's up early and she loves to babysit! It's the other days that wear me out.

She still gets up at the crack of dawn, and she's ready to "get started" on whatever her Project of the Day is by the time I've stumbled out of bed and started my breakfast. I can usually hold her off long enough to get through the morning paper with my coffee and munchies by distracting her with "have you checked your email." Then we're OFF TO THE RACES! Usually, it's the yard that takes the most of our time - 2.5+ acres keeps two ole gals pretty busy, let me tell you. She works on tree or hedge trimming while I'm the pick-up detail. It's great exercise, but I'm ready for bed come bedtime, let me tell you. I'm just glad she can still work the chain saw (Yep that's another Best Thing About Being Married to a T!) I do most of the mowing, because she does almost all of the housecleaning (we recently switched jobs, 'cuz I'm TIRED of doing the housekeeping!), but that doesn't mean there still isn't PLENTY of yard work besides the mowing. We have a garden, as in vegetable garden. What the rabbits, gophers, birds and bugs don't get, we get to share. She's handy with the rototiller, which keeps the weeds down, mulches up the compost area, and softens up the earth for new rows of seeds and seedlings. I do the hoeing, planting and weeding. She helps with digging out stuff - like the corn and tomatoe plants when they're done. We did all that yesterday, then we put up a fence to protect the lettuce plants. So far it's Rabbits - 20, us 12. I hope the fence helps. We'll see. So far today, she's cleaned the fish tank and steam-cleaned the main walkways through the house. She also fixed us two nice BLTs for lunch. Now she's off to Home Depot for the paint for the granddaughter's toybox/desk she's building. Me, I've been working on rearranging a wall sized book case in the family room. So, you can see what I mean, when I tell you it's only 1:30, you'll know why I say. "She can wear me out!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love and romance

I had lunch with friends yesterday. One of the topics of conversation was romantic love. Most thought that romantic love died pretty quickly after the "bloom" was off the marriage. Well, I have to differ. First off, love doesn't seem to just be something that appears and then hangs around without anyone doing anything. Love requires that one, actually two - the partners/spouses - take notice of it. Love is about being able to gaze into one's/each other's eyes and know that truth is there; that caring is there; and that most of all love is is there. Note I didn't say adoration or infatuation. Oh yeah, it's great if your spouse adores you, but I'll take true and honest love anytime. Adoration means being up on a pedistal, and I want to be side by side. My parents touched each other often, in a loving and caring way, and they looked at each other in loving and caring ways. Angela and I do that as well. Oh yes, there are the teasing looks and touches too, but more often than not, there is just that brush of a hand, a kiss, a look that reminds us how special we are to each other. As my friends talked of the loss of romance in their lives, I kiddingly suggested they get their spouses/partners on hormones. I don't see a lot of difference though, between the looks and touches we have now and the ones we had before. You all know that Angela, as David, was critical and compulsive. In those periods, I'll admit there wasn't much touching and looks of love going on; BUT those were PASSING times, outside of those minutes or hours, we returned to our "norm" of caring for one another. Now that Angela is who she has to be, there is no need for those compulsions and need to be critical, because they were driven by her need to make me who HE couldn't be. She IS who Angela needed to be, so both are gone, along with the depression that accompanied that. So, there's lots of romance in our lives, always has been, always will be. You can have a "date" with your spouse/partner at home; you can have one just passing in the hall. Just think what a lift you get when you know that look, or that touch, that says, "I love you," happens. Don't forget to say those words daily too. Romance isn't hard to come by, when you pay attention to it. one doesn't need to be a T to be a romantic, and one doesn't have to be married to one either. But, Angela is, and I am, and I think it's great!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's all about love

Loving a T is pretty easy. Just do it. Ts aren't really any different than the rest of us. They just need to be who they have to be. If you're trying to figure out IF you should love them, the answer is yes, because while they are still the same person you always loved, there will certainly be some changes. It comes down to loving the person or the package. Now, society would tell you, "how could you leave a spouse who had an accident or a stroke that left them changed." Those same folks would ask you, "how can you stay with someone who is making this change." First off, if it's the person you love, then the change will only be for the better, because they will be who they really have to be, and they can stop hiding, and holding that real person down. What freedome that will be for them - and YOU! When we told our families about Angela's transition, which we did in letters, one from each of the three of us - David/Angela, me and our daughter (then in college), this is one of the paragraphs that speaks to this issue:
I like David, I love Angela, and I know making a life with her will be much more pleasant and easy going than at any time with David. I do not regret any time with David. I always knew Angela was back there, hiding, somewhere inside. I knew it then, and I know it now. It was Angela I was in love with, as a part of David, and now as a much larger part of the whole Angela.
David did not tell me about Angela until we had been married 20 years, yet I knew there was someone she was hiding inside because I could see climpses of that real person often. What a difference it made when WE freed Angela. David isn't gone, he's still here in our memories and our hearts, and in lots of pictures around our house. There are pictures of us together as a family, and all of his A.F. awards are in the study - 36 Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross among others. There's no need to grieve the loss of David, because he's still here, as a part of Angela. It's just that the right personality has been allowed to emerge, and it has literally saved our marriage. Now, married more than 42 years, I can happily say that; and I would encourage anyone wondering if they should encourage a transition, I'd answer YES! But, please insist the T follow the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. Everyone we know who has done so has had a wonderful and safe transition. Those who have not, have had nothing but grief, problems, and serious physical problems. Do it the right way, and you'll never regret it. One other suggestion - go, watch the surgery, you'll see that every part is reused, and you'll know what's what and where. Look it at this way, every woman wants a wife!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kathryn the Great

Kathryn the Great passed away at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. She was number one dog, and has been for ten years. Only one other of my many pooches surpassed her in holding my love, although there isn't a dog that hasn't been well loved by me. Frankie, a collie, was my sympatico dog, and I swear she could read my mind. Frankie thought she was our daughter's mother, and she was one dog in a lifetime. Kathryn was next, and making her Kathryn the Great was absolutely necessary, because she was great in every way. She was interested in everything from the moment her eyes open each day until they were closed, and woe to anything that woke her at night. She was right there - on the spot - to the the slightest noise or irregularity. Mostly, though she was just the perfect dog. She was pure love most of all. She knew when a kiss was needed, and she knew when doing something silly would have us all in stitches. She had the zoomies at least once a day, and she snuck up and pounced on her ball like a cat. That was because our old male cat raised her, and our other two dogs. She had a pink little tummy she loved to share, and she used her front paws to hold on to everything - me in particular - when she was playing or giving kisses. We had a morning ritual where I lay on the floor with each dog in turn for little morning personal time. Kathryn was always in earnest at this time, as if she knew this start- of - her - day was the most important thing she could be involved in. And, so it was. There was playtime and breakfast that followed, but those were just passing things. She knew what her floppy-poppy ears were, and they flopped about when she bounced or zoomed around. She knew she loved having her chinny scratched, and if she stretched her back paws out, she knew they'd call me from any room in the house to kiss. There was a pink spot on one that made it especially darling. Her pretty-face was so cute and full of expression I could read her mind. She had a particular scent that was hers alone, and it was soft and sweet. She never smelled like a dog, and she loved it when I gave her smooches between her eyes, that was her Kathryn-smell spot. Sometimes, she gave puppy kisses, and even at ten, her kisses smelled and tasted like a puppie's milk breath. She loved a particular ball, and it was her treasure. Now that ball rests with her in her grave by our patio in the back yard she loved. She was the sweetest, smartest, and most fun of dogs, and I will miss her terribly. She developed cancer, and within a week of discovering the first lump, she lost her sight. She was gone two weeks later. I miss her terribly, but it was better that she died quickly rather than suffering. She took two shuttering breaths as she lay beside me, and then she was gone. She, like Frankie will always have a special spot in my heart and memory. She was Kathryn the GREAT!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's about what's right

While Angela and I will not be affected by the defeat of Prop 8 in California, a great many GLBT+ couples will. We remain legally married because we were married as man and wife. There have been too many times that the Bible has been used to deny rights to people, and it's time we stop. The Bible is misused by the religious right when they pick and choose particular verses to follow, without following the rest of them. It's misused when anyone decides that their interpretation is the ONLY right one. It is particularly interesting to me that those who consider themselves evangelists are downright certain that every word is direct from God. A little reading up on the Bible would appall them. The Catholic Church had the primary decision rights as to what went into and did not go into the Bible as we know it. The current evangelical churches, most based on Southern Baptist faiths, certainly do not hold with the Pope, nor with many of the tenants held by the Catholic Church, yet they accept the Bible as it stand unequivocally. Through the years, revisions have had more to do with the politics of the time than with Divine inspiration. Anyone who has been in an argument on politics or played the whisper game know how easy it is for things to go awry. Add to all of this to the fact that time after time the Bible has been translated. Just think how just one word, or a misplaced comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Additionally many things we take as rights have changed. Slavery was accepted back in biblical times, as was subjugation of women. Children worked and girls were expected to be married and bear children at very young ages. Of course, people didn't live as long then, with exceptions such as Moses and Methuselah, to name a few, if you believe that literally. Time after time, those considered "Bible Thumpers" have been proved to be on the wrong side of Right. We have a newly elected black man as president elect. Civil Rights carry the day now. Eventually, having second class citizens will disappear. Unfortunately, in many states, it will take longer than in others. My greatest sorrow is for those of the religious right who will eventually find that a member of there own family is among those they've campaigned against. Too many GLBT+ folks commit suicide because of their second class citizenship, and the religious right should blame themselves. The right to love someone should be something everyone supports, especially those who would otherwise wish to share the joys of marriage. I certainly wish for all my GLBT+ friends and associates the right to marriage in all its glory. I'm blessed to have a good marriage. Support the rights of others - please.