Page's Turn

Second Term For Our Marriage

January 20, 2021

Unlike President Trump, our marriage is getting a second term. But like the past four years, it hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly when it comes to politics. I’m a moderate Democrat. He’s a staunch Republican. And as fate would have it, we were married on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017. We voted for each other, but not for the same President. 

 

A second marriage for us both, we blended six children, three black Labs, and two households in two different cities. Two of his adult children were already married when we tied the knot. One of his sons has since married and two others have had added four children in four years to our growing modern family. My youngest daughter is now in college and my oldest has recently graduated. 

 

As for our dogs, one of his sadly passed away last year at 14, but the other two are hanging in there. Although Angus, my 141/2-year-old Lab who does most of his running and pooping in his sleep, is giving us both flashbacks from when we had newborns.

 

“Your turn,” my husband will say when we hear Angus’s throaty bark each morning. We alternate feeding and cleaning duties.

 

“He knows nothing but love, “ I always joke when speaking of Angus. I attribute his longevity to love, attention, treats and walks—a good recipe for humans as well.

 

“I wish I could get treated as well as Angus,” my husband kids (sort of). To which I reply, “Maybe if you voted my way, you would!”

 

Humor helps when you don’t agree politically. Not watching the news together also helps. The only channel we agree on is CNBC. Ironically, Squawk Box keeps us from squawking at each other. But these past few weeks have been a different story. While my husband remains a steadfast Republican, even he couldn’t deny the tragedy that unfolded in the Capitol and the leader who incited it. We both agree this is a time for healing and growth—for the country and our marriage.

 

When your anniversary is on Inauguration Day, it makes you reassess. How will we handle our second term? What is the state of our union?

 

Does our constituency of family and friends have faith in our leadership? Are we helping our children, grandchildren, aging parents, friends, pets, neighbors, strangers? Are we compassionate, kind, courageous?  I’d love to say most of the time, but there’s always room for improvement.

 

Despite everything that happened at the U.S. Capitol,  I am grateful and reassured that it is still standing and still functioning. As Abraham Lincoln said when he was criticized for continuing to build the Capitol during the Civil War, “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.” The Capitol can be seen as a metaphor for marriages and minds. It’s taken its hits, been renovated, rebuilt, expanded. And it’s still “going on.”

 

As with the citizens of this country, we may have different ideas on how to get there, but we do want a more perfect Union—and union. Voting records aside, my husband and I have hope that our new President will be a unifier. 

 

Plus, he has dogs. 


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Escaping a Gray Winter for a Sunnier Palette in South Florida

March 2, 2020

Last week, I had the good fortune of covering the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach as a guest writer for Lee Prince’s blog, “Elegant Mayhem.” It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!

(Photo by: Page Evans)

The Show House, filled with rooms created by the some of the country's top designers, ended March 1.

(Photo by: Page Evans)

But their chic and innovative ideas continue to inspire. 

(Photo by: Page Evans)

Take a peak at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House here.

(Photo by: Page Evans)


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Fun is Better Than Perfect

December 24, 2019

The girls had just finished putting the finishing touches on their gingerbread house when disaster struck. The white frosting must have lacked the necessary adhesive. I’d love to say I left out a key ingredient on the homemade icing, but, although it was a long time ago, I can pretty much bet the farm that it was store bought and scooped straight out of a can. 

 

Peyton and Katherine (Photo by: Page Evans) Peyton and Katherine

A sugar-coated green gumdrop tumbling off the roof was the first clue of impending disaster, followed by an orange Skittle. Both girls vigorously pressed the candies back into the fluffy white roof. It seems a more gingerly approach was needed.

 

In the snap of a candy cane, the cardboard-colored walls came down. Our house of confection turned into a house of horrors, looking as if it had been struck by an F5 tornado. 

 

Katherine, around seven at the time, shrieked “Why, why!” And instead of consoling her, I did what any good mother would do; I grabbed the camera (this was before iPhones). Meanwhile, Peyton, three years older, did what she still does when things go south; she laughs.

 

Peyton and Katherine, now 23 and 19, recently texted me pictures of our doomed gingerbread house. And it reminded me of all the other doomed decorating or baking events that seem to befall us around Christmas. The time our pumpkin pie literally slid out of the dish as we were taking a selfie. Or the tree that fell just last week on our terrace because I’d placed it in a stand that was way too small (and on sale). Or the Christmas when my brother Rob, in the mid-70s, accidentally pushed over the tree as he “helped” my mother place the star on top.

Homemade angel (Photo by: Page Evans) Homemade angel

 

“I give up,” I remember Mom saying, in a mix of exasperation and anger. She actually always seemed frazzled at Christmas. And I see why. Unlike me, she made literally hundreds of homemade lemon cupcakes to give to friends, along with paper mache angels sprayed in gold. She later taught us all, including my children, how to make the angels. But ours looked like victims of the same tornado that struck the gingerbread house: wings askew and nearly decapitated styrofoam heads.

 

I’m determined to learn how to properly make one of my mother’s angels or bake her cupcakes. Though I’ve been saying this for years now, so who am I kidding? This homemade thing may have skipped a generation. I will have to leave it to my daughters.

 

And I will remind them of Sheryl Sandberg’s great quote: “Done is better than perfect.” I know it’s not the most positive, but it’s realistic. Things may not look like the cover of Bon Appetit, but at least there’s food on the table.

To this day, my mother still laughs when talking about the Christmas tree fiasco. And seeing that old photo of our collapsed gingerbread house makes me chuckle. It’s a great reminder that hectic, imperfect holidays are the way to go.  After all, fun is better than perfect. 


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