Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Home isn't a place ~ it's a person."

Several of the couples who have been guests at Fern Forest Treehouse met in online dating sites. A few sealed their engagements here. Our latest visitors, Colleen and Dave, met in an internet chat room where people were discussing anything relating to Boston. She was running the vegetable stand at her dad’s farm an hour south of Boston, and Dave lived west of Boston, so their initial dates were virtual ones. Then he came to the farm for a weekend and won her heart. That was thirteen years ago.
Dave knew at once that he loved Colleen. It took her a little longer to warm up to this avid member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. She had all she could do getting along in modern life and wasn’t interested in living in the Middle Ages. But Dave’s kindness and sense of humor eventually won her over.  
Colleen has a son from a previous marriage and when her parents divorced, her mother moved in with her. Dave has two sons and when his father developed Alzheimer’s, he moved his dad into the spare room. His dad doesn’t do well with change, and relocating him to Colleen's house was out of the question. Snuggling three strangers into his own house wouldn’t work either. So he and Colleen decided to keep things as they were.
It’s a sensible arrangement because when Dave isn’t off jousting or sword fighting or cooking over an open fire, he’s a fireman and emergency medical tech on duty three straight days a week. His sisters look after their father and Dave’s sons when he’s at the firehouse.
“I’d only be able to see Colleen a couple days a week anyway,” he says. Besides, she’s busy selling farm produce, keeping up with her massage business, and doing a little artwork. But they talk every day, either by phone or computer, and when they do manage to get together—like a weekend in a treehouse—they revitalize their love on a mini-vacation. There’s no arguing about whose turn it is to do the dishes, who’s spoiling the kids, or an extravagant charge on the credit card.
After more than a dozen years of back-and-forth dating, Dave and Colleen are committed exclusively to each other. She grew her beautiful wavy hair to her waist because he likes it long. When I asked what she loves best about Dave, Colleen said simply, “He’s a good man.”
Actually, now that I think about it, these two may have come up with the ideal way to have a relationship. As author Stephanie Perkins says in her novel Anna and the French Kiss, "For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home." 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Acronyms in the Treehouse

Suzie and her BF Mark are staying in FF Treehouse this weekend. They met in an online dating site. Mark, a SWM, had made several failed attempts at finding a connection, and just as he was about to give up, he caught a glimpse of this SJF who works as an ICU nurse at MGH. Since he’s an engineer at MIT, he liked that she was in a science field and close by. When they came to FF, they’d been dating for 6.5 months.
Both components of this attractive couple are just past the 30 checkpoint, and both live active lifestyles. A few weeks ago, wanting a thrilling adventure for Suzie, Mark took her to an indoor climbing wall. She tumbled and tore her ACL.
 “You weren’t wearing a harness?” I ask.
 “You’re supposed to fall,” she says. “They have soft mats on the floor. But I fell wrong.”
 She doesn’t blame Mark, but she’ll be away from the ICU for a couple months after her surgery to repair the injury.
 Suzie has a good sense of humor about her work. “Nurses in the ED [the ER] have ADD, and nurses in the ICU have OCD,” she says. She explained that in the emergency room, nurses have to handle several patients at once, think fast and multi-task. ICU nurses, on the other hand, work with one critically ill patient for three 12-hour shifts, tuning in to monitors and vitals and attending to every detail.
  It takes a lot to rattle this gal. She was on duty when the Boston marathon bombing victims came in and shook President Obama's hand when he toured the ICU to greet the injured.  
 At MIT Mark is involved in designing a flying car. He’s nearing the production stage with a vehicle he says is similar to a Cadillac Esplanade with wings that unfold for flight. Imagine flying into an airport, taxiing to a stop, folding the wings, driving home and pulling your Terrafugia into the garage without ever leaving the cockpit. By 2015, you can have one of your own for a mere $279,000. Check it out:

      After the Terrafugia “takes off” (ha ha), Mark plans to work on the TF-X, a VTOL vehicle. FLW had that idea in 1940 when he designed Crystal City for Washington, DC. Take a look at his drawing with small helicopter-type vehicles that hover-fly from one skyscraper platform to another. FLW’s concept was massive and included restaurants, stores, 24 apartment towers, park space and a thousand-room hotel, all on 10 acres near DuPont Circle. The DC zoning board scuttled the plan by refusing to waive the 1910 building height restriction of 130 feet.
   But maybe FLW wasn’t so far afield.
   As far as predictions for the future for this bright and genial couple. Suzie says she likes things neat but being a little OCD, she says Mark is a bit messy. 
    “I’m OCD in my head,” he says. 
    In that case, I’m sure things will turn out well.