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Surprises…..Yes or No?

Do you enjoy surprises? I’m afraid that I don’t.

Why? I am a planner and I hate not being organised for an upcoming event or occasion. This may sound boring, but this characteristic was nullified when I married Rick. He LOVES surprises and surprising me!

It began with his surprise proposal, which I refer to in my book ‘Back of Beyond.

A proposal is often performed in a very romantic setting, but this was not to be for us. Here we were sitting on an old car seat nibbling on Jatz biscuits and Kraft cheese in the middle of no-where after a long day, when he turned to me and asked me if I would marry him! That was a surprise of enormous proportions! (I did say ‘yes’)

There have since been many surprises which he takes enormous delight in taking me away from my comfort zone.

I was quietly wondering why he insisted I buy a new outfit for my 50th birthday, tagging along with me while I selected, offering advice on an appropriate outfit. I should have guessed that there was a surprise in the making.

It had been a tough time in our business, and we were being frugal, that is why I was unsuspecting on this occasion.

Dressed in my new outfit, ready for a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant in Toowoomba, I was stunned to walk in the door to be greeted by a roomful of my nearest and dearest friends and family. Many had travelled from afar. I was totally flabbergasted and surprised! It was an amazing night of celebration and I have wonderful memories of this occasion. This was a wonderful surprise.

Living with Rick is a constant surprise. He amazes me with his many talents. He can fix anything and make anything. He is a perfectionist, which I am not. He is spontaneous, which I’m not, and he is now, a total romantic, always surprising me with flowers for no reason, outings, messages, and confusion! Yes, sometimes there is confusion when a surprise doesn’t quite come off. Sometimes an outing will clash with something, sometimes an outfit doesn’t fit or is inappropriate, but the thought is what counts.

When we were in Toowoomba looking for land to build an energy efficient house, Rick came to me with great enthusiasm one day;

‘I’ve found a perfect block of land for us, come and have a look’.

We drove out into the countryside, I was excited. He parked on the side of the country road and held up the wire for me to step through. I gazed at the gently sloping block and the stunning view over the countryside and hills in the distance. I was enthralled and excited.

‘It’s perfect,’ I gushed.

Then I noticed him holding up the wire for me to climb through to the block next door. I stood looked in dismay at the rough, rocky, scrubby land he was proudly showing me. He declared it was perfect for the view and aspect for his dream energy efficient home. I was deflated, not sharing his vision. This was a huge surprise.

However, we did create a stunning home and garden on this rough block. Rick’s vision turned into reality on this occasion, which was not always the case!

His latest surprise caught me off guard, as per usual.

‘Jen, I know you don’t like surprises, but………’ he said. (you would think he would get the message after 53 years together!)

My birthday was imminent. Then he showed me a photo of an adorable, apricot, toy poodle puppy. My response was:

‘Oh, shit!’

He looked surprised and replied that I had always said I wanted an apricot toy poodle! Not so…. I had always said I LOVED apricot toy poodles. There is an enormous difference.

The result is that I fell in love with Molly, who has joined our family and is loved and adored by the family and Jazz, our Cavoodle.

This surprise has a happy ending.

Rick is puzzled why I don’t enjoy surprises. I am an introvert and prefer to be organised. Meeting new people and facing large crowds is difficult for me but if I’m prepared and have the mindset in place, know I have dressed appropriately and had a good stiff drink beforehand, I can deal with the situation, but if I’m thrown into it I am very uncomfortable.

I spend a lot of time packing for a holiday, Rick throws his gear together in minutes. We are different but we work well together.

In the meantime, I’m wondering where and when the next surprise will appear!

Whatever it is, I shall embrace it and the giver, and know it comes from the heart with love.

Bless you Rick!

PS. If you are interested in a toy poodle puppy there are still some available! @oodlesofpoodlestanawha

Jenny Old

Jenny Old AUTHOR

‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’

‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook


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