Give It Away: ReprisebyJakeRivers©
I'd taken a huge number of photos on my digital camera and when we got back to the cabin I downloaded them to my new laptop, a new Apple Macintosh. It had a huge hard disk -- I could write twenty-four hours a day for the rest of my life and not fill it up.
When we finished the surprisingly good Elk steaks, we walked through the rapidly cooling mountain air back to our cabin. We fussed with Annie for a while until she went to sleep. We then made love for the first time at Mesa Verde. It certainly wouldn't be the last. We learned to love the area. Durango was a friendly city and we always enjoyed our vacations there.
The next winter I surprised Cindy with a trip to Montego Bay. She had no idea until we changed planes in Miami. Our sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce lovemaking healed any remaining wounds between us. It was a special vacation and sharing it with Annie brought us even closer together.
After we returned from Jamaica, Cindy started drawing up plans for a new house. She included in the planning for a complete remodel of the small existing house to use as a place for guests.
I started building in the spring, using sub-contractors as needed. Several times during the summer, Joe and the gang came out and worked their butts off helping out. It was good to have friends.
All in all it took about eighteen months to complete. Shortly after we moved into the new house I received an Edgar for my first novel. I'd been inspired when we were at Mesa Verde. I wrote a two level murder mystery. There were two separate murders that took place. One was during the time of the old ones that built what was now such a beautiful set of ruins.
The other murder was during modern times and involved a love triangle between archeologists working on an excavation for a Harvard project. I even received a nice letter from Tony Hillerman telling me how much he enjoyed it and inviting me down to have lunch with him.
Our life was good. We had two more children, twin boys, and now, in the twilight of my years I look back at all the good and all the bad -- as the old are wont to do.
Cindy almost died last year. She had gone to the hospital for some minor surgery -- some female problem. Somehow she had contracted a virulent infection and gone into septic shock. Her doctor reacted quickly and brought her back from the brink. Sitting there with her in the hospital room called to mind all of our problems and the years of work it took us to solve all of our problems. It wasn't easy, but we both knew it was worth it ... and we didn't have any choice.
Sometimes, late at night, I look at the large painting over the mantle. After my second book was published, Cindy had found a first rate artist to make an oil painting from the beloved photo of our honeymoon. This painting had become the symbol of our trials ... and our love.
As I listen to the grandchildren bickering in the front yard, I thank God daily that when Cindy had asked to me to take that picture and "give it away"... that I hadn't done it.