Karen and I forgot to give each other the anniversary cards we bought before our 51st anniversary on November 29th. Why did we both forget?
Because we shared a tumultuous life beginning casually at dinner on Nov. 14 when Karen shared the pressure she was feeling as President of the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center’s Board. This is my personal story and does not reveal Museum business.
She said the Museum needed to hire an Interim Director for two-to six months before Director Brenda Abney left on December 9 to serve in a new position in Tempe Arizona.
Each Board member was soliciting people who could serve.
I listened to the qualifications and on impulse said, “I could do that.”
Over the 51 years we’ve been married, she’s responded to my impulsive claims with calming perspectives, such as ignoring them or saying, “What?” or “You’re kidding, right?” I depend on her to temper my irresponsible impulses.
She said, “I think you could.”
Her response stunned me into silence. She wasn’t intimately sharing. She was soliciting.
I’ve steadily improved my retirement skills for 13 years. Why would I abandon retirement?
Because she thought I could help, that’s why. I’ve served on boards, know finance, raised funds and could make myself available immediately.
I emailed my resume to Abney on Nov. 17 and said, “If you and your search team think I could possibly serve effectively as an Interim Director, I’d be willing to discuss it…”
Once I crossed that Rubicon I imagined reading headlines about my new challenge, but quickly imagined being responsible for thousands of artifacts I didn’t know how a Museum acquired, preserved and exhibited. A Museum staff member had stopped me from touching an historical display.
I’d have to suspend and postpone commitments such as writing for the Empire Press which I love to do. Could I give up sleeping late and napping in the afternoons?
Eliminating morning walks with my dog Haley and Karen would cause problems. Karen would have probably overcome pain from her hip to walk Haley more often. Haley would be alone more often. I’d get less exercise.
All of those were bad, but we’d manage if needed.
I decided the Board wouldn’t need me.
Karen was silent as the Sphinx except to say they had a good pool of candidates. One day she made telephone calls for the Board behind closed doors in our bedroom. I’d volunteered and been excused.
The Board’s consultant called me to set up an interview.
The morning of my interview was weird. Karen wouldn’t attend my interview but was interviewing other candidates. She kissed me and said, “Good luck with your interview. I said, “Good luck with your interview.”
The Committee made a recommendation for Board approval on Monday at noon after Thanksgiving. Karen and I left to celebrate an uninterrupted Thanksgiving and our anniversary with our family. Both of us forgot the anniversary cards we had for each other.
Monday morning I walked Haley, finished my Empire Press articles and ate lunch. I was relieved and about ready for my nap.
Gil Sparks called to offer me the position on behalf of the Board. I went to work the next morning. Our neighbor graciously offered to take care of Haley when needed.
I found Karen’s anniversary cards for me on my computer keyboard one week after our anniversary. That reminded me to put hers on her desk.
I won’t be writing Clear Skies for a while, but hope to share some light hearted thoughts in Fuzzy Skies columns for the next few