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New Beginnings :
Update from Southern Colorado

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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 3:00 AM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

My 19 year old son was getting ready to go play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends on Saturday night while I was getting ready to head out for an evening with Teacher. I teased him about having fun with his nerd friends, he smiled and said, "You're going to a play, that's old people nerd stuff!" We laughed because we both knew he was right.

I told teacher about it and she agreed. We had a big laugh with the friends we met for dinner. I am the youngest in the group at 59. Anyways, we had a wonderful time at dinner then headed toward the theater. As an aside, the group of oldsters I play music with meets at this theater (a repurposed old church) about once a week to play and giggle, so I sort of know my way around and was the navigator from the meal to the show.

The show was hilarious. We laughed and gasped the entire time and then about half way through the final act, the lights went completely out, except for the emergency lighting! The show went on for a few minutes in the dark until the director came up and suggested that we wait a few minutes and see if they would come back on. After about 10 minutes the director said the prognosis was it would take about 3 hours for the city to replace the transformer that went out and blackened about 6 city blocks and asked if we all would like to use our cell phone flashlights to provide stage lighting for this pretty small venue. So we did. The show went on and we laughed and laughed.

I haven't been in a play since my oldest was baby and he turns 32 next month, so it's been a while. I feel like I can say I was in a play this weekend and take that off of my to-do list.

The evening ended with goodbyes to our friends and then off to Teacher's house for some just us time (well and playing with little Molly as well).

Great weekend!

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8779717
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:13 AM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

CD, you're my hero. I'm very envious. Great update.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8779739
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 6:21 AM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Retirement is great, but I'm pretty young and well, I can only play my guitar and ride my bike so much and boredom starts setting in. So I succumbed to the pressure a few months ago and signed up to be a substitute teacher and have been having a fantastic time. I'm subbing at schools I have never been around and despite my previous school's attitude about them, they are both really nice schools with great students and staff.

Teacher and I are both pretty busy now, so getting together is a little more difficult but we make it happen. Last weekend we went and watched "Cocaine Bear". What a ridiculously silly movie. Teacher is a little squeamish about the frightful and gory parts, so she kept burying her head in my shoulder as the good stuff was happening! But we had some great laughs.

Last night I met an old friend I've known for over 40 years and her husband for a visit. I had 3 of her 4 daughters in class and she used to help me chaperone some trips with students. It was nice to catch up. Teacher and I visited after and made a coffee date for the next morning.

Coffee was nice and then we went and purchased a few books for a "baby" shower for friends who are adopting a 6 month old girl. We'd already met the baby and talked about how we both missed seeing her. Baby sure wanted to hang out with Uncle Dirt, so I got to carry her around for quite a while amongst the crowd of relatives of the mother and father. Auntie Teacher also was popular with baby so we were quite the baby hogs. As we were leaving the 2 hour long event, I snuck in to get just a little more baby time while Teacher said goodbye to the parents. The father asked, "Where's Dirt?" Then he realized that I was over hogging the baby and told Teacher, "Man, that guy is good with babies!"

Afterwards we returned to Teacher's house for some just us time and had a wonderful evening.

Man, things are going well!

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8781689
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:13 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

I do wish I could have a NB like this. I really enjoy reading your updates.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8781793
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:26 AM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

Thank you leafields!

I never really expected to be at this spot at this point in my life. Last night we were visiting while snuggling on her sofa after a night a local play and we became somewhat tickled that both of us had decided at the end of our first marriages that we would likely never date anyone again and, at least in my case, I declared to my son that I would probably end up dying old and bitter and alone. And then this relationship came about - slowly and with a few hitches and hiccups along the way, but here we are.

I found myself looking back at some old journals again - sheesh, when I read them, I think I'm a pretty good writer, but then my good sense kicks in and I realize that I'm just pedestrian at best. But I look at the journey I've traveled over the past almost 8 years and I sort of think I'm a better person because of it.

Teacher asked me this weekend, as we caught our breath from a time of intimacy, if XW was every satisfied with intimacy since she discovered/decided/realized that her orientation was different. I honestly said that I thought she was since XW always said that our intimacy was amazing (which it was) even if it always seemed like I had to put in extra effort. Teacher said, "Well, I'm certainly the better for you having to work so hard!" Yep, that made me smile even more than normal.

We've been pretty circumspect about not using the words "dating". A few weeks ago, I posted a facebook picture from back in 1982 to commemorate National FFA week and my year of service as a state FFA officer (Future Farmers of America). Teacher's sister (who I've mentioned before in this thread) asked which one I was and then laughed when she realized that I had hair 40 years ago. But, one of her professional education contacts noted that one of the other young people (former college roommate) in the photo was her cousin and then sister told facebook that I was dating her sister! Guess it's hard to "hide" it from the world! laugh

[This message edited by countrydirt at 4:27 AM, Monday, March 13th]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8781911
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:17 AM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

CD, I'm a country girl and know what FFA is. (The Napoleon Dynamite scene grading milk is hilarious to me.)

Your NB journey helps me realize that I can hope for a great and normal relationship at any age.

Plus, I enjoy hearing about your music, outings, and everything. While you think your writing is lacking, there is gold in the portions you drop here.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8781914
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:18 AM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Thanks @leafields. I appreciate your kind words. I've trained a few dairy food products teams in my day and always use that Napoleon Dynamite scene for motivation.

Spring break for Teacher started on St. Patrick's Day. She had all the fixins for corned beef and cabbage so I picked up things for dessert and headed over. When I arrived she had just gotten out of the shower so needed to dry her hair and I put together the meal and popped it all on the stove. While we waited for the corned beef to cook, we enjoyed cheese and crackers and pears. Let me tell you, Vermont goat cheese with blueberries and ripe pears are a delightful treat.

Just as we were dishing up the food, one of her friends from the east coast sent her some photos of a new granddaughter and asked what Teacher was doing, so she sent a picture of me plating up the meal. This caused many texts to be sent asking about who I was. Friend asked if I was her boyfriend. Teacher said she didn't like the term boyfriend at her age. So they settled that I was "her guy." I like that title.

We enjoyed the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots quite a bit and finished off with chocolate pudding and whipped cream and green sprinkles. Then we watched the season premier of Ted Lasso and had some wonderful snuggle time.

On Sunday we ventured out for a final cold weather hike with a group of friends. We were going to an area that we haven't been to before in the winter (even if it was the last day of winter) so packed more gear than we needed. 17F at the trailhead! Snowshoes, ice treads, poles, etc. I decided to not even bring my snowshoes and it turned out fine. We only hit a few patches of packed snow and ice and while gingerly stepping along, I realized I didn't need the two pound ice treads and heavy trekking poles in my backpack. And by the end of the hike, we were all peeling off layers of cold weather gear.

But we had a wonderful hike. I've hiked and played with 7 of the folks that were along and made 3 new human friends and 5 new canine friends. One of the new human friends hiked with us for about a mile on the long uphill climb out of the canyon and she asked how we had met. So I told her a bit of the story of matching online, meeting on a group bike ride but it took us a while to actually talk and starting doing things together. Teacher chimed up that she agreed about our hesitancy, but for her, it all came together about 7 months after we started doing stuff when she went to Thanksgiving two years ago with my son and I to meet my family and decided that since I came from good people, maybe I was okay after all.

That brings me to our upcoming plans. Teacher and I got together to try and plot out the remainder of her spring break. She wanted to make sure and spend some time with her sister and nieces as well as trying to get in another day or two of skiing. As we talked about ski areas closer to her sister, we settled on one along the Front Range. She pointed out that we could maybe go see my parents on this same trip and as we looked at maps it became clear that my folks are sort of on the way to the ski area. It didn't surprise me that she wanted to include my people since she just fits in like she belongs with them. While we were planning, I went ahead and called my folks and they said they would be tickled to see us. We'll go spend the day and night with my folks, go skiing and then go to her sister's house for a few days.

Teacher said, after the call, "You know, I just love your parents and always want to see them!" Made me smile even more.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 4:22 AM, Tuesday, March 21st]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8783286
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 8:36 AM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Thank you so much for this! I’ve had a bit of a night, so speak, with worry about family, but I have sat here and read this entire thread, and you have made me smile many times over!

I’m so happy for you and Your lady. May there be much more happiness on your horizons!

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8192   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8783294
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 2:43 AM on Sunday, March 26th, 2023

You're welcome WhatsRight and Thank you.

We had a fantastic time. We really enjoyed time with my parents and helped my mom with some computer things so she can make a couple of art quilts. Then I inflicted a few songs using my dad's dead string guitar and my lack of memory of a few old songs - Teacher later said, "Wow, you're really good! I'm not surprised, but (whispering in my ear) I'm thrilled I get to sleep with a guy that plays and sings!"

We also watched a bit of television until Teacher fell asleep on the sofa. We really enjoyed our time in the big king sized bed in the guest room as well (I think that is the first time I've been intimate in my parents house since way early in my first marriage)

A leisurely breakfast and coffee with my folks was followed by a nice and calm drive to the mountains for a few hours of skiing and we had a great time making turns and not falling down. After we arrived at her sister's home, they asked to take us out to dinner, so we agreed. We enjoyed a local musician then back to the house for more visiting and catching up. Teacher's niece is just a few years younger than me so it was nice to visit with her as well. She is developmentally disabled and we've just hit it off very well. Teacher's sister told me that it was special that I had conversations with her every time I was around. That's easy for me, she is neat lady and very interesting.

We toured the area and went to a small museum and had a great time. Lunch time came and I was very easily able to snatch the check and pay for it. Teacher and I talked later about how "funny" it was that her brother-in-law had no problem with me paying, but would have had a fit if she tried to pay. Gender/family roles and expectations are pretty interesting. Her sister and brother-in-law married when Teacher was 6 and right after Teacher's father passed away, so he is not only her brother-in-law, but on of the most important men in her life.

Today we had a nice brunch with them and then started the journey home. We knew that we didn't want to just jump on the interstate and hurtle along at 80 mph, so I looked at a map or two and picked a way that took us through the mountains on some back roads which we had never driven (including about 20 miles of dirt road). That made the normal 2 hour trip stretch into about 6, but we were able to stop along the way and look at the South Platte River, spy some gold flakes in the icy cold water, take a short hike up in the pines and just talk about a lot of things before we got home. I call it little road therapy!

It was so nice. We both commented how great it felt to wake up next to each other for 3 mornings, to have just wonderful intimacy and to spend time with each other's people. She loves my family and I love hers.

Sheesh, this might turn into something! grin

[This message edited by countrydirt at 2:45 AM, Sunday, March 26th]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8784140
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:13 AM on Sunday, March 26th, 2023

Sounds like a wonderful time. Glad you got to spend time with family and just enjoy.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8784146
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 3:36 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Teacher still is working, so overnights and shenanigans are off the menu during the week. But conversations are still on the menu. We always try to talk almost every night and the conversations are always wonderful. She gets to tell me about her day with students and I can regale her with details of composting and yard work. It seems to come together, even if she gets bored a bit with talk about carbon/nitrogen ratios and the importance of moisture for controlled rotting. Who knew that everyone had not read Thomas Jefferson?

But, in addition to the minutia of our days, I booked us an archeology/paleontology tour in northern New Mexico for next, next month. I don't believe that I wrote about showing her all of the arrowheads and stone tools I showed her when when were at my folk's last week and the tiny bit of paleontological knowledge I have, but I peaked her interest and of course she wants to go. Ya know, Paleolithic stone points and pictographs are certainly the way to get a lady's attention! At least this lady!

I've contacted an Uncle to spend the night with and really want to show her the places where my grandparents homesteaded so many years ago. I'll even take her to the graveyard and fallen down post office and school where I got my first name.

It's only March, but I'm looking forward to May!

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8784775
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:59 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

You had me at Thomas Jefferson. I don't like macaroni and cheese, but swivel chairs are right up my alley. I love May, and I hope you have a great time.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8784791
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WhoTheBleep ( member #49504) posted at 2:23 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

After a couple of months away from this thread (thank you, depression!), I have returned, because I am fully ready to feel joy! CD, each update made me smile more than the last. Thank you for continuing to share your happiness with us. This New Mexico trip sounds wonderful. I lived in New Mexico for one year during my college years. It’s such a beautiful place. Please give us the details when you return. I wish continued joy for you and Teacher.

I believe we have two lives: the one we learn with, and the one we live with after that. --The Natural

posts: 4513   ·   registered: Sep. 6th, 2015   ·   location: USA
id 8784809
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:34 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

For me, this isn't only the best thread on SI, it may be the best thread on the entire Internet.

Conquering the adversity of infidelity and finding the good in life your family and your new beginning -- great stuff Countrydirt!

I spent most of my existence in Northern Colorado (although I'm currently in the PNW), but Southern Colorado is amazing (similar scenery and far less traffic!). So, some of these adventures you've reported make me want to get back to those areas and hike some of those hikes.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 2:35 PM, Thursday, March 30th]

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4699   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8784813
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 7:05 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

When I saw this thread come up...I got so excited!! I LOVE reading your posts!!!

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6604   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8784874
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:18 PM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

My brain seems to have lost the ability to reply with "quotes". Thank you all so much for your kind words.

@Oldwounds - I think I've spent less than a decade of my life living more than 80 miles from the Northern New Mexico border, so this end of the world is home for sure. I spent about 6 years in Northern Colorado as well - college/university and teaching, but I always gravitate back to the views of the Sangre De Christo mountains! Since I only live about 60 miles from the hospital I was born in and about 50 miles from where I grew up, I guess you could say that I haven't made it very far in life!

Funny aside, last year I posted something about playing music at a school fundraiser at a middle school about 15 miles east of the city. This coincidently is the school where XW teaches. Welp, they asked me to come back and play again this month, so I will. I think I'm a much better player and singer than I was a year ago, so hopefully it will turn out alright and I have quite a few more songs in my kit now.

I was telling Teacher about this last night. She laughed and asked, "Isn't that where XW is?" Then she teased me a bit about how I told Teacher that XW sat in the front row last year and raptly watched me play and how I studiously avoided looking at her. Small town schools and communities are certainly always interesting.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8785114
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:10 PM on Saturday, April 1st, 2023

I remember you posting about the fund raiser last year. I'm looking forward to hearing your update later. Good luck!

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8785302
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 7:31 PM on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

I grew up listening to country music and later as a teenager and adult became more of listener to rock music - I've done a Zeppathon which is listening to all 9 Led Zeppelin albums in a row without a break which takes about 7 hours. Then as time went along I started listening to country radio and music again. Teacher grew up being a rocker as a child and teenager in the 60's and 70's and has only started to listen to country music recently. But she really likes some of the old country and mountain music I play and sing.

Another friend and I are playing at an art gallery next weekend. He has defined our genre as "Americana" with songs ranging from the 1800's to some things written in the late 20th century. I'm also playing at the school fund raiser this week. I was lamenting to Teacher that I only had about 50 minutes of music I felt really comfortable playing and needed a few more ideas. She gave me some ideas but they were too "new" for me to know.

Anyways she asked about going to a local venue last night to hear music but she wasn't sure who was playing. I looked it up and saw that it was someone new. I'm really glad we did! Fresh and young and the first song he played was by Guy Clark so I knew it would be good. The venue is a record store, so no place to sit, but it was still worth it. And the performance inspired me to learn a few new songs already, so my guitar and voice will be getting more of a workout.

Later Teacher and I talked about the weekend and next week and planning out a summer trip. I mentioned that next weekend when I'm playing, my folks are coming down to watch and maybe we could all grab lunch. Of course Teacher was thrilled to hear it. My son is bringing some of his buddies along to listen as well. It will be a rollicking good time!

So yep, things are still going well.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8788105
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:44 AM on Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

Glad you're getting your repertoire together. I'm looking forward to the updates after you perform. Sounds like you have a great following already. Sounds like fun is in the making.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3312   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8788166
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:31 AM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

Music and relationship update:

My couple of "gigs" went very well. The middle school fundraiser deal was really fun. The band after me was the high school rock band and 3 of the members are former students. It was really nice to see them and they didn't know that I played and sang, so I had an enthusiastic fan section. Bonus, despite the fact that XW was there, I didn't have to put eyes on her. I call that a win.

Today was a little performance at a local art gallery. My parents drove down to watch and Teacher and I had a really nice lunch with them before the "performance". I ended up having a cheering section with Teacher, my folks and my youngest son and one of his buddies. I think we played and sang pretty good. My mom made a point to tell Teacher that she loved her when we all parted at the end of the afternoon.

Teacher told me later that DS introduced her to his friend as "my Dad's girlfriend." We laughed about that since we both somewhat object to girlfriend and boyfriend as titles. I'm her "guy" and I decided I could call her my "gal" laugh She said I didn't need to correct my son on his title for her. But she loves my son and raved about how good it was to see him.

Otherwise, all is really good. In addition to our paleontology trip in May, we're planning a getaway to the Tetons and Yellowstone in June. We recognize that we can travel together in planes and can drive together for a few days, so getting the chance to spend a week or more in really close contact is a fantastic chance to know each other even more.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8788944
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