We all have any number of second chances in life. After my wife died in September 2007, and after a year of grieving and recovery, a lonely time spent soul searching in my beloved Grande Ronde Valley, I had to contemplate whether I wanted to spend the rest of my life alone or if I wanted a companion for the journey, for the adventure. I chose companionship and it has made all the difference.
I had a second chance at romance and wanted to make the most of my opportunity. I contemplated what had worked and what could have been better in my 24-year marriage. I thought about how, even in the best of relationships, couples begin taking each other for granted. Perhaps I could find a way to circumvent that.
I thought about the what ifs. What if I took an average day, my Groundhog Day, and added features that kept the relationship nurtured? A morning and evening kiss? An evening walk? A family meeting when needed? What if I found a woman who wanted to be the subject of this Grande Experiment? What if she wanted to join me as this lifestyle adventure evolved?
Some relationships implode because of 30-year lifestyle problems. Many more relationships thrive, because a healthy lifestyle is part of the template. I wanted to build that template, one that could evolve for the rest of our lives.
Teri turned out to be the kind of intensely creative soulmate I needed to find to make the Grande Experiment a reality. If life is a rut, why not make it the best rut possible? That's the challenge ahead for Teri and I. The Grande Experiment continues.