For the past 37 years, my husband John left our house every Monday through Friday and headed south to Boeing for his job in public relations. I worked at home.

It was a good fit for both of us. I like lots of quiet time to write and draw and follow my thoughts. He likes the interaction of communication around issues like airplane production and financing and the intricacies of the Export-Import bank.

But now John has retired. We took a celebratory hiking trip to Lake O’Hara, British Columbia, but beginning today we will both be at home.


Hiking near Opabin Lake above Lake O’Hara.

Luckily, Julie Larios’ husband Fernando retired a few years ago. He offered John a surefire strategy for sharing space with a wife who gets lost in her creative ether: wear a cowbell. That way, he explained, your creative cohabitant hears you coming and does not jump out of her skin when you clear your throat and she is suddenly aware of your presence.

Perhaps some of our BATT blog readers have more suggestions for John and me as we begin this new chapter? I am all ears.

Maybe that’s the problem. Ironically, as I write this, I am distracted by the radio playing in the kitchen. Argh! To calm down, I remind myself it is John I have to thank for the idea of this blog — and for cleaning up the kitchen…

P.S. If you are in the Seattle area – a wonderful event takes place this Sunday noon to 4 at Dunn Gardens: Mallets in Wonderland, http://dunngardens.org/upcoming-events.  John and I are running the White Rabbit’s Zucchini Racetrack. The gardens are transformed into a magical Alice’s Wonderland with croquet courts, beer & brats lunch, lots of children’s events and sunshine. All for a good cause: the preservation of this historic Olmsted-designed estate.





6 responses to “A NEW CHAPTER

  1. If your house has two floors, it’s good to be separated that way. And good to close your door. Maybe discuss sound on the radio and other sources – that is, keep it down! Or get a white noise thing for your studio. Distance is all. And discussion of needs.

  2. Oh Laura, I hope you get many suggestions. Mark is going to retire in four years and I’m already worrying about how we’re going to manage things. I get a taste of it every summer since he’s a teacher, but it always results in my summers being very unproductive. I can’t imagine what it will be like year-round! And I don’t think he’ll wear a cowbell, but I love that idea! 😉 Best of luck and keep us posted on how you manage having a hubby at home full-time.

  3. I’ll have to pass the cowbell idea on! Thanks!

  4. My friends who are both musicians wear noise reduction headphones. They got the super good ones that totally cut out sound. One in the couple is also a writer and painter, so she is able to concentrate even when her husband is doing scales on his trumpet.
    I’m super jumpy too. I’ve never found a way for Joe to not scare me, but the cowbell is a great suggestion. I wonder though, if this will set off the dogs…. sigh. Hey, we’re lucky we still have this problem!

  5. laurakvasnosky

    thanks for these suggestions! the great seismic shift is upon us. there is a definite upside: bike rides in the afternoon, sleeping in, instant feedback.

  6. Oh no, you’re not the best at tuning things out? I would go absolutely mad! Well, that doesn’t help… & the cowbell seems to be a nuisance. lol. I would suggest your lovely husband join some type of subculture/community/group/club of others with some like interest just so he can continue to enjoy his social pleasures? That was my attempt to be useful. Wishing you well this summer! 😀

    ♥ | http://www.connect-the-cloths.com | xoxo

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