Shannon here: Inspirational author, Linda Rondeau shares insight into her real life romance plus chance to win a copy of Snow on Bald Mountain, a novelette sequel to Miracle on Maple Street. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
Never Ending Role Reversals by Linda Rondeau:
“Two-minute warning,” he says. In husband speak that means dinner is about to be served. My job is to come to the table, pick up a fork and start eating, after grace is said, of course. Everything is put on my chef’s satisfactory presentation.
Most of our married life, nearly forty years, has been a roller-coaster ride of ping-ponged household and child-care responsibilities. Who did what most often depended upon work schedules and parent availability. Demands determined which spouse was responsible to complete necessary tasks. However, for most of those years, I was primary cook and housekeeper. A role I never minded, though temporary respites were welcomed. I loved to cook for my family. My husband never complained about what was served … not even when I occasionally overcooked the roast or served hated spinach four times in a week.
Life changes. The kids grew up, and I retired years ahead of my husband. He loved having a stay-at-home wife. I did it all. Though I took up the craft of writing, I always had dinner ready when he came home from work. At this time of our lives, my schedules revolved around his. I made sure when he wanted to do something, like play golf or go to a movie, I was available. Life proceeded in predictable rhythms … for a while.
Then came a short separation. Health needs required that I leave the cold climate of Northern New York
before the hubs could retire. I became trail blazer for our new life in Florida. Eighteen months went by faster than either of us imagined; and we were ecstatic when we could be a boring couple again. Long distance marriage was not our cup of tea. I think the hubs looked forward to my spoiling him again. Not having to wash dishes, cook, or mop the floor. Playing golf and lots of time to do the things we wanted to do.
Within a month of his retirement and relocation, I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. For the next few months, the hubs took on full responsibility … groceries, cooking, cleaning, and being my chauffeur. I suffered from what was termed chemo brain, a condition that mimics dementia. Thankfully, I recovered, and the dementia dissipated. I was gradually able to resume most of the household responsibilities, allowing the hubs to take on a part-time job. Once again, my life revolved around his schedule.
A few years later, and roles reversed once more. This time, the hubs underwent knee replacement and was dependent upon me for the next few months, a role he despised. He hated to let me drive, to do all the cooking, take out the garbage, prime the a/c unit, and general maintenance needs. In his mind, those were his jobs, nor did he trust me to do these things to his expectations.
We were both happy when life resumed to normal.
Not for long. Another move and our roles reversed once again.
Now, I’m the one who is surrendering my identity as primary homemaker. Not because of illness, but because of changes in our lifestyles. Rather than resume a part-time job outside the house, my man wants to be a househusband. Something he truly enjoys doing. While some men build hotrods, my husband prefers to don the apron, run the vacuum cleaner, and go grocery shopping. Except for laundry, my contribution to the workload, he does it all.
Some women are envious. However, for me, this has been a difficult transition. I don’t know how to manage my day anymore. While it’s nice to have a man around the house, twenty-four/seven has proven to be a challenge. My writing responsibilities take up a substantial portion of my day, and I’m fortunate to have a dedicated writing area in the house. However, I am used to planning my day around my husband’s day. I feel guilty working while he does “my job.”
I’m gradually accepting the beauty of our newest role reversal. Change is the defining ingredient in our never boring marriage.
About Linda: Restoration and reconciliation are recurring themes in RONDEAU’s literary works. Although currently residing in Jacksonville Florida, the author spent thirty years in the Adirondack region during her long career in human services. When not writing, she enjoys theater, hiking, and golfing. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.
About the book – Snow on Bald Mountain:
Ryan McDougall still has much to learn about this life called Christian. When his wife tells him she is pregnant, he looks to make a change, especially since Ma’s cousin Millie has moved into the already crowded house on Maple Street. Ryan takes a job as caretaker for a Bald Mountain estate owned by an eccentric, elderly woman. He hadn’t expected to become attached, not only to the natural beauty that surrounds the property, but to the owner herself, the widow of a famous politician and the daughter of an early 20th century petroleum tycoon. As the McDougalls befriend their generous employer, Bald Mountain bursts with new energy until a Christmas blizzard and pregnancy complications bring Ryan to his knees yet again.
Question for Readers: What changes in your relationships have posed a challenge for you?
Come back Oct 10th for Darlene Franklin!