CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND
After several years of my working on the Port Townsend house while commuting to Portland, Bob and I were divorced, and I moved to Port Townsend permanently. The end of our marriage was amicable despite the fact that he sued me for divorce. He did this because I was spending more time in Port Townsend than I was at home and a lawyer acquaintance of his told him: “You need to sue her first before she sues you and takes you for everything you have.” Bob later apologized.
I was actually heartbroken even though I knew it was for the best, Bob being one of those rare men who are asexual. He had been honest with me and I thought I could live with it, but ultimately couldn’t, so in a sense it was my own fault. Unlike my loveless marriage with Howard, Bob and I really cared about each other, which was the very thing that made it so difficult. It was easier to live by myself alone than it was to live in celibacy with someone as desirable as Bob.
Our property settlement was amicable too. He kept the house in Portland, and I the one in Port Townsend. We still went sailing and on other trips together. I love remembering my years spent with him. He was a unique, interesting and humorous companion. We are still friends, and he still sends me illustrated letters addressed to “Sweet Jean.” You may think that sounds like an expletive, like “Sweet Jesus!” but it isn’t–at least I don’t think so :-).
I used my degree in architecture to make a living in Port Townsend and always had plenty of work from the very beginning. My favorite design work was doing remodeling and there was plenty of that to do in a one hundred year old town. The reason I liked remodeling so much was because the house or building leads you. It is sort of like dancing.
I lived there for twenty five years. I had my office in one end of my living room: what had once been the parlor. Toward the end of my time there, it was in the restored parlor.
In these writings, I make it sound as if the work on the house was all done within a short period of time, but in fact it took me almost 25 years because I never took out a loan. I paid for everything in cash.
Those were some of the best years of my life and I will always be grateful for them and for the privilege of having such a lovely house in such a wonderful town.
Going back to the beginning, the following are some of the highlights of my life in Port Townsend.