Monthly Archives: April 2013

Staying The Course

Dear Friends,

My essay on “those” moments in a long-term marriage is being considered for an anthology on life transitions. The publisher is trying a new thing and has added a social media component to the process. In order to be considered for the anthology, the essay needs to win a certain number of “Likes” on Facebook. I hope you will read it and, if you are so inclined, “like” it. If you are really inspired, please also consider sharing it with your extended community. 

Thanks for your help and support.

He picked up my kayak and pulled it to safety too...

He picked up my kayak and pulled it to safety too…

Staying the Course

By Lisen Stromberg

I didn’t think we would do it. We’d been blustering at each other all day, surfacing old wounds, adding a few new ones just for good measure. It might have seemed like typical power-struggling between a long-married couple, but somehow the cuts felt deeper this time, more definitive, more dangerous. So when my husband called out from the kitchen, “Time to kayak,” my instinct was to say no. But perhaps old habits do die hard because it can only have been habit that had me grabbing my oar and heading to the water; it certainly wasn’t him.

For the past decade, we’d spent the month of July in a small summering community called Annisquam. It’s about an hour north of Boston, far from our home in California. For the first half of the month, the children and I would settle into a hazy routine of sailing camp, tennis matches, and idle afternoons swimming and sunning at the beach. Then, during the last two weeks of July, my husband would come and stay. On those evenings when the tide was right, he and I kayaked together along the coves and inlets around the bay near our beloved summer home.

During the winters in soggy California, we longed for those seemingly innocuous excursions. The picturesque coastline, the stolen moments alone, the chance to talk through the deeper issues.  While our oars dipped in and out, we discussed careers, money, children, family, friends, life. It seemed, each year, big decisions were made out there on that generally placid water. Summer kayaking had become our own marital catharsis.

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