Aging Well 2, the Sequel
Next week, Sandy and I will celebrate our second anniversary. Our time together has been at least as good as I could have imagined. Sandy says that she loves me as much as ever and maybe more. I know that I love her more. I still keep finding out new things about her that delight me. Our lovemaking is as frequent and uninhibited as ever. Knowing each other better helps us to do things that please the other more. We still run and shower together. That may get old some day but it doesn't seem to be close to that time yet. We spend almost all our time together and that's always a pleasure.
Two months ago, we took and passed our Extra tests for ham radio. We had mounted a HF radio in the convertible and made many contacts as we traveled in the past almost two years. Traveling or not, we try to meet with Dad, Mom, Bert, and others just after breakfast our time. We have just had our new call signs confirmed via QRZ as NJ4SN for Sandy and NJ4JN for me. We are in the "4" region and wanted very similar calls. It took some looking to find these. When we applied, we got them both. We are still getting used to them.
We have also found that we love camping together. The first summer, we toured the northeastern United States and eastern Canada avoiding the heat and humidity of middle Georgia's summer. The Icom 7000 radio in the car with a long black antenna called a ham stick mounted on the rear deck did a good job of transmitting and receiving. You change out the black part of the antenna for different bands. It felt big on the car and made our traveling as hams very obvious. For VHF and UHF, we had mounted a dual band antenna also on the rear deck. When camping, we frequently would put up a wire inverted "v" antenna for HF. We have helped many county chasers while we traveled and had become well-known on 7.188 MHz as a mobile couple. Our trips were slow and lazy giving us a great opportunity to cover all the new ground thoroughly. Our traveling is always great fun. We have met new people, finding that campers are great people. We also met in person many of the hams who we had met on the air.
We still own both condos. When we're in town, we live in the one that had been Sandy's.
We're still loaning mine to my daughter though not for much longer. She is to marry Mark in two weeks. Sandy will be her matron of honor and Mark's brother, Ed, will be his best man. Pam and John will be attendants. I will give away the bride. We were a little surprised at the long wait but Pam explained that it was work. There were rules about co-workers even dating. Their boss, Ron, wanted to be prepared from his position before they married and the relationship could no longer be disguised.
Pam is very pregnant. She and John will make us grandparents in another six weeks. We're staying in town until after the baby is born. That will be the longest single time for us to be home since we married.
My former wife had moved to Texas after the house sold. We would hear a little bit about her through John and Becky. She seemed to be making a new life for herself out there until around six months ago. According to Becky, she will be in town for the wedding and is not doing as well as before. We have no details. It worries me but I stay out of her life.
Becky reports that she plans to return for the birth of our grandson also. I have explained to both John and Becky that I have no desire to even see her though know it's not possible to totally avoid her. After talking with Becky and Mark, Reverend Robert, and Sandy, I will walk Becky down the aisle but there will be no formal "giving away" of the bride. I will not sit with my ex either. I will sit back with my family who will be there in force. I haven't been in touch with my ex's family since the divorce and have made no attempt either. Becky is handling all of that. I have met Mark's parents and they are great people.
We are having fun getting the kinks out of the condo and establishing a routine again. Sandy has been teaching me to cook on a more sophisticated scale than I had ever known before other than as an end-user! It's fun to cook with Sandy because of the rewards for doing well! So far, we haven't burned anything.
We have also maintained close contact with Chastity and Gretchen. After talking to Sandy about it at length, we will offer them a chance to rent my condo at a rate that is lower than their apartment. Both have reached the point where I am no longer a target for their affections. I am now a pseudo-dad to both of them, particularly Gretchen. It took them a while to emotionally realize that my only romantic involvement was ever going to be with Sandy. Strangely enough, it took Gretchen longer to reach that point though I am now solidly on board with her. They both run with us frequently when we're in town. I am Poppa Jack and Sandy is Sandy Mom to them. Gretchen occasionally doesn't use our names and we're just Poppa and Mom. That's okay with us. She is a lovely young woman.
Everything of mine that we want except for the camper is now in our condo. We had switched some furniture and moved Sandy's painting that I had framed into our living room.
Sandy continues to paint and sells her paintings regularly through Ben and his frame shop. He has shown her paintings through some of his connections and even sold a number that way. One of the trips while we are in town will be to see him. We sometimes have supper with him and his wife, Teresa.
Church is doing fine and I have filled in for Don as Sunday school teacher a number of times. No one has thrown anything so I guess it has gone okay.
We celebrated our anniversary quietly but very enjoyably going out to dinner and dancing during the week. Sandy wore her wedding dress that she had modified. It looks very sexy on her. We enjoy the looks she gets from guys half her age. She was returning from the ladies' room when a young man tried to pick her up. She looked at him and smiled, "I'm sorry. I'm here celebrating my anniversary with my husband. We're about to be grandparents."
"Wow! You look barely old enough to be a mother, much less a grandmother!" She gave him a hug, kissed his cheek, and thanked him. It made her night and she made mine!
On the next weekend, we had an anniversary party with my children and our foster children. They liked being called our love children usually adding a wink and a smile. It was all in good fun but did get us an occasional funny look.
Now, it's time for a wedding! The two weeks flew by! Becky's, Pam's, and Sandy's dresses were all made by my wife. My shirts were now mostly all originals by her also. Becky is learning to sew and has become good on outfits made from patterns. Making something from scratch or, more usually, a picture is still beyond her. I have watched Sandy cut out a new dress without a pattern. It's an act of creation that is awesome.
Becky had decided upon blue as the bride's color and her gown was a lovely shade of light blue. Her gown emphasized her bust more than dresses Sandy usually made. I mentioned that to Sandy. She said, "Becky has a very nice bust and it's possibly the best part of her figure. She's right to emphasize it in a tasteful manner."
"What do you consider your best part?"
"Legs and butt. That's why my skirts are a bit short and fairly tight."
"Well, your gown looks great and it's the same pattern as Becky's, isn't it?"
"It's the same pattern but it fits my body with less cleavage and it's a little tighter over my bottom."
"It's such a delectable bottom, too!"
Laughing, we went out the door to the car and I drove us to church. It was a beautiful but chilly Saturday afternoon so the top was up. A late season cold front had gone through the day before leaving the air clear but unseasonably chilled. When I pulled in at the church, I went around to open the door for Sandy. She said, "Thanks for leaving the top up today."
"It's chilly. We have plenty of opportunities to ride with the top down." Holding hands and smiling, we went into the church. Once inside, the first person we saw was my ex. There was no way to avoid her. Keeping Sandy's hand in mine, we walked up.
She said, "Hello, Jack." She was using her sexy voice but looked bad.
I wondered what was going on. I said without emotion, "Hello, Mavis." I made to continue toward others at the church.
She said, "Jack, aren't you going to seat me? I'm the mother of the bride."
She was ignoring Sandy. I said, "No. I am not your husband. John will seat you. I have other duties."
"As parents of the bride, we must give Becky away."
"Becky will be escorted but won't be given away."
I was beginning to be irritated and could feel Sandy holding on to me. "Mavis, I am very happily married. I'm not sure what you are trying or thinking but we are over. We have been over for years."
"Oh, Jack. I'm just trying to be friendly."
"Don't." I moved around her and went to the rest of the wedding party. I noticed one of her brothers and his wife as well as her father enter the church and speak with her. Her father walked over to me. I was now alone because Sandy was in the bride's room with Becky and Pam.
Mister Roberts came up to me and said, "Hello, Jack. It's been a while."
"Why aren't you standing with Mavis as parents of the bride?"
"Mister Roberts, we are no longer married. My wife is with Becky as her matron of honor. I don't want to be impolite but there is no longer any connection between your daughter and me. There won't be in the future either."
"Jack, I've always been Ron. You two have children together. You..."
I interrupted. "Mister Roberts, there is nothing further to be said. This conversation needs to end before one of us says something unfortunate."
John came up behind me. "Grandfather Roberts, Dad is married to a wonderful woman. Becky and I both love her. The divorce was because of mother's constant adultery even after she had promised many times to stop. Leave dad alone!"
"My daughter never did anything wrong. Jack owes me an apology and so do you."
"No sir," John said. "Neither of us owe you anything but you are about to never see or hear of your great-grandson. That, by the way, is not a threat. It will be a promise."
His head jerked back almost as if he were struck. He said, "Jack, we've always tried to advise you and help you socially and financially even though you usually ignored our advice and monetary offerings. John, you can't do that. And you should never have sold that fine house. That little one where you are now is below your state in life."
John's face went red. I took his arm and led him away. I said quietly, "He doesn't get it and probably never will." We had moved away from him. He slowly made his way to my ex and his son. I said, "John, put a smile on your face. The man is a fool and won't change. I always limited my dealings with him and never became dependant upon him for anything."
John nodded grimly. "I understand why now."
We pasted smiles on our faces and rejoined people. Chastity and Gretchen came up on each of my sides and squeezed my arms. Gretchen said, "Daddy, you look so good!"
Chastity added, "Poppa Jack, you look good enough to eat!"
Gretchen said, "Yes. Positively yummy!"
I said, "Hello, ladies. It's good to see you two. You know John."
Chastity said, "John, it's good to see you. We just love your dad and Sandy Mom." She looked at me. "May we sit with you? We will keep you company until Sandy Mom is available."
"Sure, ladies. I will take you down and seat you with my parents and brothers and sister. I will join you later. They will like you." They nodded happily. With one on each arm, I took them down to Mom and Dad, introduced them. Mom and Dad knew them by name and knew of the connection. I headed back. My actions didn't go unnoticed by my ex and her father.
We seated others as they came in. Mark's dad inquired about my almost confrontation. I explained that it was my ex's father and that he couldn't accept the situation or his daughter's fault in it. He just nodded and shrugged. He had heard the story from Becky.
It was time for the ceremony to start. Pam and John went down first. She gave me a hug and a kiss before leading out. Then came Mark's brother, Ed, with my beautiful wife. I received a hug and a longer kiss from her. Next was Becky and I gave her my arm. She gave me a kiss. I walked her down the aisle and then I immediately went to sit between Chastity and Gretchen and next to my parents three rows back from my ex and her family.
Reverend Robert began the ceremony talking about the importance of marriage, of two people becoming one, and of God's part in the relationship. Becky and Mark exchanged vows and rings. It was obvious to me that they love each other very much. They walked down the aisle after being introduced as Mister and Missus Walls. Sandy went by with a special smile for me. Pam and John followed looking very happy together. Reverend Robert had told everyone that the reception would be in the fellowship hall. I had to stay for pictures and my two guards stuck with me only giving me up to Sandy.
I had told Becky that I would not be in pictures with my ex. She honored that. While I was posing with the rest, my ex approached my two pretty guards asking them, "Who the hell are you?"
Chastity is shorter than Sandy and is slim. Gretchen is different. She is almost six feet tall and not in the least bit fat but her body fits her height well and is unquestionably female. Her blue eyes were flashing when she got in my ex's face and responded. "We are friends of Becky and Mark as well as Momma Sandy and Poppa Jack. We run with them regularly. You look like you need to run and try to get some figure!"
My ex stepped back with a gasp. She had gained weight. Her once toned body looked flabby and older than her fifty-six years. I really was embarrassed for her because she had once been proud of her looks. She then made a mistake. "I guess all of you bitches are screwing my ex-husband."
We all heard that statement and saw Gretchen slap her face hard. "If he would let us, we would. He won't. He is totally faithful to Sandy but you wouldn't know much about being faithful, would you?"
Everyone gasped and my ex's father started to approach the three. I hoped he would stay out of things because Gretchen was a martial arts enthusiast as well as a runner. Gretchen was capable of breaking him into very small pieces.
Becky looked very troubled and began to walk toward the three with Mark beside her. Still five feet away, she said, "Mother, you are an embarrassment. You need to leave. I'm not sure I ever want to see or hear from you again."
My ex gasped and stepped back into her father's arms. She began to sob. Gretchen, Chastity, and Becky were lined up ready to do battle. Through her sobs, you could make out her saying, "I just want the best for you. I'm so lonely. No one cares about me."
Becky tried once more. "Mother, people care about you but you push everyone away with the wrong and hurtful opinions that you express. You are jealous of anyone being happy if you aren't. We will not devolve to your level. I should never have invited you. I believe that Pam and John will have to consider how much of your disruptive presence they will tolerate at and after the birth of their son.
"Now, leave or I will have you removed." My ex's father led her out of the church still sobbing. Chastity and Gretchen followed at a distance.
Becky went to Sandy and cried for a moment while Sandy patted her gently. She shook herself and straightened up. "Mom, thanks for being here for me and for showing me how a lady should act. Mark, give me a second to repair my face. We will go to the reception and forget this unfortunate incident."
She went to Mark who hugged her and kissed her. We all went out of the sanctuary and the ladies went to the ladies' room to freshen up.
Gretchen and Chastity stood next to me until Sandy came out. We had watched the Roberts' car leave the church. The girls stepped back when Sandy came to me, smiling at them. "Thank you for watching him for me."
Chastity grinned. "We'd do more if he were ever interested."
I said, "It's not that you're not interesting but I'm totally hooked on Sandy." Sandy gave my arm a hug.
With my ex and her parents gone, the reception was fun. One of my ex's brothers was still present but he and his wife were always considered black sheep by the rest of the family. I always liked him and had found Tom to be intelligent and kind. The other guests enjoyed themselves. It was mostly my family, Mark's family, and our church family. We saw the happy couple off and the reception wound down.