Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Happily married in two separate condos

My husband and I live in two separate condos on the second floor of our condo building in Largo. We're practically still newlyweds, having said our "I do's" and signed the papers in June 2012 when I was 66 years old and Jack was 75.

We lovingly refer to it as our "geezer wedding."

We sleep at his condo, where most of my clothes and jewelry live. We go to water aerobics across the street six days a week from 9 to 10 a.m., then come back to his condo for breakfast.

Right after that, I walk 57 steps to my condo, the place I call home. It's where I work as a writer and where I prepare my speeches for my other career as a professional speaker. It's where I prepare our evening meal (because I like my own pots, pans, utensils and dishes better than his). I also like being in control of having at least one meal a day that's nutritious for both of us.

My condo is where I play on my computer after my workday is done. It's where I read books, pay my bills, paint my toenails, organize my stuff, make photo albums, read my mail, paint jars, watch TV and entertain our houseguests, who always sleep at my condo.

Sometimes my husband will watch a TV show or two with me, but the minute a baseball, football, hockey or basketball game comes on, he gets that look in his eye that makes me smile sincerely and say, "Bye, honey … see you around 11. Or maybe I'll be over earlier and we can play cards while you watch the game." I can almost see the relief on his face as he gets up and practically trots out the front door.

When I moved to Florida in 2004, I left a six-bedroom home in Oak Creek, Wis., the home in which I lived for 24 years and raised my four children. I sold or gave away two-thirds of everything I owned before moving here.

I brought only the things I loved and wanted around me for the rest of my life, including some antiques and heirloom furniture that my parents had given me during my early marriage years. I wanted to display the hundreds of brightly colored jars I'd been painting for years. I wanted my crock collection.

Jack, on the other hand, is a more modern furniture kind of guy. He actually has good taste when it comes to decorating …it's just not my taste. I love being head of my household. I like knowing that I can buy new bookshelves for my office or new, expensive windows without even discussing the price with Jack. I pay for everything that involves my condo, and he pays for everything in his.

Another reason we live in two condos is the fact that after raising four children, mostly as a single parent and spending most of my life running, running, running to various activities that my children were involved in, I have come to discover that I love being alone. Alone in a quiet condo. No music, no TV, just me and whatever I want to do.

I'm sure Jack would say the same thing about his alone time during the day. As president of our condo association, president of the small pool and clubhouse association, and head usher at our church, he has plenty to keep him busy during the day in his own condo.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband with all my heart and do enjoy the time we spend together … always from 11 p.m. until 11 a.m., plus back and forth between the two condos many times a day. By late afternoon, I look forward to seeing my man come in the door to have dinner with me.

And I think he's always happy to hear me come in his door at night ready to stretch out on our comfy king-sized bed and do what we do every night of our married life: Kiss good night and reach for each other's hand before falling asleep.

LAT: Living Alone Together

Some 1.7 million married couples, not legally separated, in the United States don't live together — and 730,000 of them (43 percent) are 50 and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Information on older married people living apart is limited, but reasons include jobs in different cities, being entrenched in a household that's too complex or settled to give up; online dating that allows people from all over the country to meet and marry; and technology such as cellphones, Skype and Facetime that allow a virtual closeness that makes separation easier.

Patti Ewald and Caryn Baird, Times staff

Happily married in two separate condos 06/02/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2014 2:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  2. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  3. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  4. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott