My husband frequently says, “I could live here for the rest of my life. I love it here!”. He means it, he really does. He loves Bratislava. But we’ve been married a long time, and I know what he is really saying. “Please, can we settle somewhere, anywhere?”. You see, he’s a root person. We had to cut down a Sycamore tree at our home in Raleigh. Those trees have tap roots which burrow straight into the earth. After days of digging and chopping and digging – he realized we needed to hire a backhoe. The tap-root would not budge. That tree wasn’t going anywhere. When we finally pulled it free, the root was as big as the tree.
That’s my husband, he grows roots – long and deep and stabilizing. His roots involve a house and friends and volunteer work and our kids. So while he does love it here – and he is very happy here – it’s not the real point he’s making. I’m not even sure he realizes this. His point is , please, pick a place and let me lay down my roots.
Me, I’m the lead character in “Papa was a Rolling Stone“. You gotta love the Temptations. “Papa was a rolling stone, wherever he laid his hat was home.” OK, the rest of the song isn’t that applicable to me. But I am a rolling stone – I gather no moss. So there we have it, deep sturdy roots and a rolling stone.
My dad was a stone mason. He owned his own business and made a good living. But he didn’t want to be remembered as a business owner or an entrepreneur. From the time I was little he told me he wanted to be remembered by a single word. He planned to put it on his tombstone: “Mason”. It was his proudest accomplishment, his most valued skill, and it defined him. My husband, kids and I were on our way to Greece when he died. My aunt called. She said to “keep going” – no one loved to travel like my dad. “He would be thrilled to know you are in Greece.”. When we returned, I flew to New Jersey to see his grave. There it was, the tombstone he’d discussed at countless dinners. His last message to me was an acknowledgement of my decision to go onto Greece. After all, I had inherited my wander lust from him: “Harry Holloway, Traveller”. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. My papa was a rolling stone. Give him an airline ticket and he’d be gone. He didn’t ask where the plane was headed.
This makes life interesting. Melding two very different people with very different goals and trying to create one happy lifestyle. Can it be done? Who knows! But we’ll have to try. Pat returned to Colorado recently. He was gone for five of the last six weeks as he emptied our house, moving our past life into storage. I missed him. For now, the Sycamore tree is blowing in the wind. I just hope we can keep it that way because for me, the answer is always blowing in the wind. I’m a rolling stone.
I’ll set this blog to post next weekend while we are out-of-town. There’s a few things I get the biggest kick out of saying:
- “I’m going to take a walk up to the castle – be right back”,
- “Sorry, I’ll need to cancel my dental cleaning, I’m living in Europe at the moment” (I love that line on a few levels). AND
- “I scored two airline tickets to Venice for 75 bucks – how about a long weekend?”.
Look for my Venice blog when I get back. Ciao…..