Sunday, April 19, 2015

WYL #11b Marriage

Knock 3 Times

I was 24 years old when I met Carm and just out of a relationship that left me in tatters. I was living in the ground floor apartment of a two story house, Carm lived upstairs. My old boyfriend, Ken, was only out of the door for a few days when I knocked on Carm's door for some company. Magic must have been in the air that Saturday night as a spell was wound around us.

I had to go out of town for a few days right after our evening together and thoughts of him made concentrating on the conference difficult; when I got home butterflies writhed in my stomach as I wrote in my diary that I hoped he would knock on my door. He did.

He knocked that night, and the next, and the next. Soon the door was no longer closed between our apartments. Carm had a surety and stability about him that was a salve to my battered self. He didn't play games with my head. His love wasn't demanding and greedy but was open and selfless. Slowly I was able to heal in this shelter. Those heady days where we got to know each other passed in a blur. It seemed that my heart would never slow down its frantic, love struck beats.

Only 6 months had passed when we started looking for a house in the country to make our own. We looked at countless wrecks before finding our Limoges high ranch bungalow. It wasn't my dream farm, but it was a good start. We moved all his furniture downstairs to my smaller, 1 bedroom apartment so we could save some money while we waited for the closing date. For the next few months we squeezed around sofas, stubbed our toes on dressers, and tripped over my 2 cats, and by then 2 dogs. We didn't notice any of it, we were in love.

In March of 1988 we moved into our house.  We had fun painting and wallpapering (without fighting!). We built a deck and bought an above ground pool. We got another dog - a giant Irish Wolfhound.

In 1989 we were married in a lavish Italian style wedding with around 150 people in attendance. I don't remember what we ate, but I do remember swirling around the dance floor in my fancy wedding dress. Starting with ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong for our first dance,  each song that played was my favourite and I had to be dragged away to talk to our guests. I've never smiled so much, I didn't want the party to end.


In the years that followed we got first one parrot (an African Grey Congo), then another (a Blue & Gold macaw), then 8 more to start a breeding flock. We still had three dogs (Chetta, Ranger, Max), and two cats. Every moment of every day was filled with activity. But it wasn't enough  - I wanted a horse and a farm to go with it so we started driving around to look at property. Eventually we found what we were looking for (see


We designed our house together and then oversaw the building of it.



Once we had settled in for a few years, my mind turned to horses and so it began with one Norwegian Fjord horse mare which grew to a herd of 11 purebred Fjords over a few years. Carm and I worked hard together building a barn, erecting fences, and all the activities that come with breeding horses.


The parrots and horses were my ideas, but Carm embraced my dreams as his own and worked tirelessly by my side. Without his help the dreams may not have come true - there is something very special about fulfilling dreams with someone you love. The joy in every shared moment is magnified.




The years of parrots and horses sadly had to come to an end and in their place we got a camper to distract ourselves with. It was a good distraction!

Like all fairy tales we did have our share of conflict, but as the years have passed we have learned how to communicate better and be kind to each other even during the rough patches. Together we have partially tamed the wicked witch of bipolar disorder and with Carm's help I have been able to achieve a stability and wellness that I may not have without him.

From that fateful night in 1987 when I knocked three times it has been proven that this was no infatuation but an enduring love that has nourished and at times sheltered me.

Tony Orlando & Dawn ‘Knock Three Times’:

Louis Armstrong ‘What a Wonderful World’ -


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