Friday, September 24, 2010


When I wrote the blog about paradigm shifts on Monday, two shifts were taking place at the same time.
The most important one, of course, was my father’s death. On Monday, Hospice told us it was just a matter of days—maybe hours—before his struggle would be over. And on Tuesday, he passed away. No matter how prepared we think we are, the loss of a parent pulls the rug right from underneath us. No matter how old, how ill, how much that person is ready to go . . . we’re left lying flat on our backs on the floor with the wind knocked out of us.

The second paradigm shift taking place on Monday had started the week before. My husband Tom—predictable, stable, conservative, fiscally responsible Tom—had made an offer on a lake home. After living in the same house on the same block in the same town with the same woman for 34 years, Tom “rolled the dice,” as he called it, and bid on a lake house. The property was in sad disrepair but was in our modest price range because of a foreclosure/short sale situation.

I can’t tell you how shocked I was. I couldn’t have been more shocked if Tom had grown a third eye, pulled his hair back in a gray ponytail, and bought a Harley. He was assertive and aggressive as he went after that property. A new Tom emerged before my eyes—a short, French version of the Incredible Hulk.

Disappointingly, we found out yesterday that we were outbid for the house. Tom couldn’t have known that a group of investors with ready cash offered tens of thousands over the asking price. They saw the house as a financial opportunity, hoping it appreciates in value when the real estate market recovers.

Tom and I would have fixed up the house and made it into a nice place for our kids and grandkids to come and visit. Life isn’t fair sometimes.

BUT . . . Tom gave it a good shot and learned a lot (about realtors and poker faces and behind-the-scenes deals) in the process. I, on the other hand, learned a lot about Tom. A guy can surprise you, even after 37 years.

So there was my second (and less important) paradigm shift. Early this week, there was a lot going on at one time for an old lady to handle, but we’re coming through it just fine. And maybe sitting on the front porch in a rocker knitting afghans isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes a person needs to get the adrenalin flowing.


Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

You knit afghans? I don't know why, but this does surprise me. So sorry to hear about the lake house. I bet there is another one that is out there with your name on it.

bd said...

It was not meant to be for some reason-I agree with Dana, the right one will come along.

Jenny said...

My husband, too, became an entirely different person when we were selling/buying a house last year. It's like he suddenly got a burst of testosterone and became way more manly and aggressive than I've ever seen him before!

P.S. I tagged you in a meme on my blog in case you're interested in partaking. No pressure!