Tag Archive for: pool

Visions of the Future

He says he fell in the deep end,
thank goodness, or he’d’ve
hit his head on the steps.

Y’all my 65-year-old fully dressed husband fell into our pool whilst washing down the deck. It reminded me of something I’ve seen recently that said “You can tell if you’re old by how people react when you fall. If they laugh first, you’re young. If they immediately run to you to ensure you’re okay, you’re old.”

Well, I did the second scenario with him. All he needed help with was the removal of his hearing aids. Which made me laugh and then our 17-year-old son and I fell into a huge fit of the giggles. My sweet husband may never live this down. It’s been three days and his shoes are still soaked because he won’t listen to me tell him to take out the soles and set the shoes and the inserts in the hot almost-summer sun we’ve been enjoying here on the outskirts of Charleston.

In April he turned 65, which makes this the once a decade nine months of teasing I get to subject him to because our ages are flipped. He’s 65 and I’m 56. I think it’s hilarious. He shakes his head at me a la Desi at Lucy.

Which got me to thinking about the romance that we write, the beginning, falling in love, and getting to know one another. The first time they fart is kinda cute, the “don’t go down the hall or near the guest bathroom anytime soon” is equally adorable but never written about.

When I was a child, our family would go on two-week trips with another couple and their niece and nephews. I usually shared the room with the couple and the niece. Once I caught the wife trimming her husband’s bushy eyebrows. I said, “Wait, is that a thing? Am I going to be doing that when I’m older?” She replied, “Only if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship this long.”

Mary Grace Coker Couch and 
Dud Spiegel (DS) Couch, Jr.

When I could drive myself to Easley, SC from either college in Columbia or home in Charleston, I’d visit with my grandparents once a month of my own volition. My grandfather would wait until I visited so I could cut his nails. He said when I trimmed them; they didn’t need filing. Whatever magic I did, left them perfect. He might have said this so I’d visit more often, but it worked.

My grandfather got very sick toward the end. My grandmother and I would sit at the kitchen counter playing solitaire and not speaking before nine in the morning (her rule). Papa would venture down the hall to the restroom from his bed. Nanny would eagle-eye and sonic-ear his every move. It made me sad but joyful that their intense love affair had lasted over sixty years. She was attuned to his every move.

As I’m writing my stories of the blossoming of love, I’m instilling in that depth of feeling the longevity and faithfulness of many years to come. The stinky bathrooms, the wiry eyebrows, the missteps into pools while fully dressed and while the spouse is on a conference call, the never getting the order right at the drive-thru, the refilling of the coffee cups without asking, the Batman signal of the empty tea pitcher on the counter, the kiss every time one of them departs or arrives, all melt into one beautiful love story that’s lurking in the unwritten epilogue.

When you read a story, do you ever picture the hero and heroine as a long-time couple with all their quirks and habits?

For example, imagine Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in their fifties. They’re 21 and 28 when she accepts his proposal. How will they change but still be in love thirty years later?

What would they be doing to get on one another’s nerves? What would they do to show their deep love? Would they finally be straight with one another and not hide behind their words? Will she still think he’s hot when his dad bod goes swimming in the pond?  Will she caution him not to be reckless on his horse? What’s his reaction when she’s gone on one of her extensive walks and hasn’t returned by tea-time?

Are they enjoying being home together all time, since Mr. Darcy lives off interest income? How do they spend this time? Do they have couple friends? Dinner parties? Travel? Is she exasperated with him now that she’s hit menopause? Is he worried about losing his hair?

My take? I think Fitzwilliam will take joy in his wife being her own person and speaking her mind, I can see him watching her with pride at dinner parties or when she’s taking the lead in community events. And Elizabeth/Lizzy will pamper on him and sit in his lap by the fireplace for years to come, much to their children’s and servants’ chagrin.

I might be embedding my relationship with my husband in their storyline though, what are your thoughts?


Robin Hillyer-Miles writes romance of the contemporary, magic-realism, and cozy mystery varieties. “West End Club” appears in the anthology “Love in the Lowcountry: A Winter Holiday Edition.” She’s writing “Cathy’s Corner” a 45,000-word contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Marion’s Corner, SC.

Robin lives near Charleston, SC where she works part-time for the YWCA Greater Charleston (she took this photo <<< on 12/11/2020 her first day on the job) and gives tours of downtown Charleston (when there’s not a shutdown because of a pandemic). Her yoga instructing has fallen by the wayside but she strives to continue her home practice (it’s fallen by the wayside too, honestly).

She and her husband of 24-years love working from home together. Their teenage son enjoys finishing his junior year of high school online. The dogs don’t know what’s going on but they are digging all the attention. Her husband insists she needs a pool wherever they live, and she’s been enjoying the heck out of it during this stay at home order.

You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobinHillyerMilesAuthorTourGuideYoga

The anthology is offered on Amazon in paperback or e-book here:

What We Love/Loathe About Summer

Stepping atop a soapbox in stilettos isn’t easy. But the whole Gang has climbed on up, and we’re ready to raise our voices on plenty of different topics. We won’t always agree, but that’s what makes life interesting. And we want to hear what you think, too. So join in our soapbox conversations the second Friday of each month, with a preview today and then regularly beginning in September. Now without further ado, our summer loves and hates…

MAGGIE: I love summer, plain and simple. I much prefer heat to cold. The humidity does wonders for my dessicated Irish skin (not sure if that adjective applies, but you get my drift) and my straw-like, over-processed hair. I love a delicious hamburger fresh from the grill…we hardly ever eat red meat in the fall/winter/spring months so we go to town in the summer. I love a cold margarita and some spicy guacamole. (Ok–how did this turn into Maggie’s Ode to Food and Drink?) I love the riverside concerts in the park that’s walking distance from our house. I love the beautiful pink petunias spilling over the sides of my window boxes. I hate, hate, hate the mosquitoes. I always say that I am the human equivalent of a citronella candle…you don’t want to get bit, come sit by me. I alternately love not having a schedule and hate not having a schedule. I do enjoy not having to make lunches every night, though.

MARIAN (aka the Northern half of Evelyn David): I love, love, love…Snowballs. The Baltimore treat, not to be confused with Italian ices found in New York or orbs thrown at younger siblings. These sweet confections of my childhood were crushed (not shaved) ice, flavored with sweet syrups. My favorite? Chocolate snowball with marshmallow topping and vanilla ice cream (layered). When I was eating them I was too young to worry about the calorie count – and if I could find one now, I wouldn’t care if there were 2,000 calories in the cup, the sheer bliss would be worth it. Roses. I have a black thumb and can barely keep ivy alive. But I love the smell and look of roses and remember, with great delight, the rosebush garden that my mother, the original Evelyn, had in our backyard. The ocean at sunset. There’s something about seeing the sun dip beneath the horizon, the fierce reds and yellows slipping out of sight, that’s inspiring. Sure the sun sets in the winter, but in the summer, after an exhausting, sandy day at the beach, sunset is longer, brighter, later, and means that the nighttime fun can begin. I hate, hate, hate…The humidity. When my hair has its own zipcode, you know it’s summertime and the humidity is back. The wrinkles. I’m not talking about my skin, but my clothes after an hour in that humid summer sunshine. The smells. It’s nice to remember the roses of summer but, not to put too delicate a spin on it, there’s also the fragrant aroma of garbage, and frankly, other people and myself sweating when walking in the Big Apple. In a packed subway? Oy!

MARILYN loves summer because: Lots of kids come over to use the swimming hole in the river behind our house. (I don’t go down there anymore, but it’s great to hear all the happy sounds.) Life’s frantic pace seems to slow down somewhat. My son barbecues for us. But she hates: All the spiders that decide to come out of hiding. We have some of the ugliest critters possible, big and hairy. I don’t have a bit of trouble killing them. The San Joaquin Valley heat. Even though we live in the foothills and it’s always a bit cooler up here, it’s still way too hot. One good thing, it’s usually a dry heat. No rain. Sometimes we don’t get a single rainstorm all summer long. Electric bills. We have solar which helps, but not enough panels to take care of it all.

MISA gives a thumbs-up to: Lack of a schedule: after the crazy school year, no schedule is great! Staying up late and sleeping in: It’s such a treat! Being with the kids. God love ’em! Husband time. Having him around the house is like our newlywed days. Reading: summertime means permission to read more. Misa doesn’t like: Lack of a schedule: it’s hard to get things done with no schedule to keep me on track! Staying up late and sleeping in: If I stay up late, I’m tired in the morning, unless I sleep in, and then I feel as if I’ve wasted important and valuable waking hours. Being with the kids: I need space!! Husband time: see above (kids). Reading: reading more means writing less, which isn’t always good!

RACHEL loves: Having my kids home from school. They are neat people and I like the down-time with them. The beach. I never tire of the sun and surf. Snowcones. Nothing says “cheerful” like brightly colored shaved ice and the smiles they put on my kids’ faces. Concerts in the park. I love live music and being outside. Sandals. They are casual and fun, just like I try to be. Rachel hates: Having my kids home from school. They make a lot of messes and bicker all the time. Plus, they’re really loud. The beach. I’m not sure which is worse, the sand that ends up in my bikini bottom or the sand that ends up all over my van. Snowcones. Nothing but overpriced empty calories here. A blessing and a curse for any frugal, health-conscious Mom. Concerts in the park. You know how after a mosquito bites you, it starts to feel like a thousand of them are biting you now? I hate that. Sandals. Stop looking at my chipped toe nail polish. I was too busy rinsing out my bikini bottom!

RHONDA (the Southern half of Evelyn David) says “the best of summer has always been”…home grown tomatoes, sliced and eaten with a pinch of salt…the sweet taste of Black Diamond watermelons…fresh peaches from local fruit stands…corn on the cob lathered with butter and salt…going barefoot in the grass…floating on an air mattress in a swimming pool or lake…vacations – full days where you can spend your time however you want…hydrangeas in full bloom bringing splashes of color that last for months. And the worst…mowing the yard and needing to do it all over again in three days…temps over 100F and humidity making the air so thick you can barely breathe…the smell of hot asphaltants, mosquitoes, and wasps invading my space…hot car interiorsdelays and congestion from all the road construction work.

As for SUSAN: What I love most about summer is when it’s over and leaves start turning colors, the air gets crisp and tinged with the smell of chimney smoke, and pumpkins everywhere brace themselves for carving! I am such a fall baby!

What about you? What do you love/hate about summer???