Tuesday, April 25, 2023

In Pursuit of...Life

 In Pursuit of…Life


If you follow my blog you know that after eight years of widowhood, I recently remarried. I am now Mrs. Michael Tyler. And yes, I changed my name. (If you missed that post you can find it HERE.


Mike and I traveled to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for our honeymoon. It was perfect. We took his bay boat out to a sandbar three days in a row. Each day offered a new and wonder-filled experience. 

Our Sweet Blue Bay Boat!


Those three days on the ocean, we enjoyed the water with the radio playing music from a bygone era. The water at that point is only a few feet deep. We could easily see the sandy bottom. We spied a variety of fish swimming by and spotted a few stingrays gliding like watery kites just beneath the surface. A school of dolphins entertained us with their graceful synchronized maneuvers. 


Hungry, we made our way to Manny Pincho’s floating sandwich “food truck” with a full menu of items. We waited while Manny ducked inside to grill our cheeseburgers, then ate before making our way back to our sweet blue boat. Puffer fish and needlefish scattered as we walked to our rig. 


There is a capsized boat near the place where we weighed anchor each day. The colorful wood vessel recently transported refugees purported to have escaped Cuba. Though the coast guard found no passengers near the craft, no bodies were found either. Some speculate the people swam ashore while others suggest there could have been boaters nearby, who, sympathetic to the pursuit of freedom, offered transport.


The recently abandoned refugee boat.

My writer’s mind went to the stories that boat could tell. I imagined the anticipation mingled with fear as the passengers left by the cloak of night and made their way into the dark unknown.

Were there children on board? Could there have been a woman my age? What did they eat? 

It looked to be a sailboat with no sail. Only an abandoned mast. Did they have a motor or did they work together at long oars…praying all the while they would be strong enough and the oars long enough to reach America. 


Perhaps the refugees were all young… a bevy of brave men and women anxious to start a new life. I can imagine that.


Mike and I have started a new life as well. Not with fear, but certainly with great anticipation. Our boat is sound. Our destination is within reach. 


It struck me as we waded along the sandbar, we were under the ever-watchful eye of the grounded ship.


Some may think it haunting, but our daily passage near that broken vessel didn’t dampen my spirits at all. It actually buoyed them. It reminded me to embrace every experience I’m afforded as an American. 


It is easy for me to take all I have for granted. I’ve never had to seek freedom. I’ve never had to live in fear. I’ve never had to leave my family, friends, and home with virtually nothing but a few morsels of food and the dream for a better life.

Another refugee boat on display near a local restaurant.
Note the  barrels to use like pontoons.


Yes, Mike and I are on a new and exciting journey. One with a bright future.  


I’m posting a few pictures from our honeymoon at the Kon-Tiki Resort. Relax and enjoy the view…then say a prayer of thanks for all the blessings we have on our side of life’s journey.

Sunset at Kon-Tiki

Mike relaxing on the Resort's Dock

The deck outside our room.
(Actually prettier than the picture!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

What's in a Name?

 What’s in a Name?


On April 14th I changed my name to Mrs. Tyler. Rebecca Tyler. I like it. I even like “Becky Tyler” though I think it sounds like a pioneer woman from the 1800’s. 


Name changing is a big deal in two ways. There is the process and there is the commitment.


Here is a look at the PROCESS of changing my name from Waters to Tyler.


Fortunately, I do not have to update my passport. Since a passport is good for ten years, I can take a copy of my marriage certificate with me if I travel to “show the chain of change.” And…I will continue to publish under Rebecca Waters. But that’s akin to having a pen name.


Everything else? I will be spending the next several months dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” on numerous forms and applications.


To change my name, I’ll need my marriage certificate. I then have to change my information with the Social Security Administration. Once that is done, I will get my new driver’s license. 


Info on my house, bank accounts, insurance, credit cards…everything will need to be updated. EVERYTHING. 


Doctors, dentists, medical records. All of it will eventually need to be filed under my new name.


It’s a process. A time consuming, crazy, process.  And as crazy as it appears, I’m not complaining.


You see, it is my choice.


Quite simply, there is no law specifying that a woman must change her current name to her husband’s surname.  None.


So why would I want to subject myself to the hassle? That’s the COMMITMENT piece.


A) The first reason is obvious. I love Mike Tyler and I am honored to wear his name.


B) The second reason is perhaps less obvious to many: I have eight grandchildren.


You see, I NEVER want to give the appearance of impropriety. I never want anyone, especially my grandchildren, to ever think I am living with Mike without being married. 


I believe if you commit to someone and give yourself over to that person completely, you get married. Marriage is a time honored, God ordained institution. 

So we will carry one name. I will be recognized as Mike's wife...his partner in life's journey.

Marriage is more than a ceremony. Marriage is a promise.

What is in the name? By carrying the Tyler name, I am promising to be the best wife I can be to Mike. It is my promise to honor him and love him.

And by giving me his name, Mike is promising to love and protect me. He is giving of himself to me.

So what is in a name? It turns out...EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Party in a Box

 What’s in the Box?


One year, when my middle daughter went away to a six-week long summer music camp, I mailed her a “party in a box.” 

In the box were streamers, party favors, balloons, decorative paper plates, napkins, and treats. The idea was that she could host an instant party with some of her fellow campers. No muss. No fuss. It was an easy way for her to inject a little fun into the experience.


I’m all about making life easier. Therefore, when Mike and I decided to have our wedding at a local park, I was all in. The gazebo we chose overlooks the Great Miami River. It’s gorgeous. There is a picnic shelter nearby.


We wanted to keep the wedding simple. And beautiful. An outdoor wedding in April should be warm and colorful with all the trees greening and flowers blossoming. 


Should be. But the weather can be sunny and warm one day and cloudy and cool the next. We knew we'd need to be able to change venues at a moments notice. 


This is where the “party in a box” turns into a “reception in a box.” We wanted a no muss and no fuss reception.


Ours is a small gathering. Eight of the twenty-one people attending are my grandchildren. We settled on pizza as the perfect wedding reception food. Domino’s Delivers. We’re getting a sheet cake from a local bakery. 


Pair all of that with a choice of lemonade, sweet tea, or water. Easy. And I happen to know at least eight young people who will be thrilled with that sort of menu. Okay, okay… I actually know ALL of the people coming and ALL twenty-one will be delighted.


I have the table centerpieces lined up and I started collecting a few things we’d need for our rather small “reception.” Table cloths, napkins, Solo cups, plates and disposable tableware. 


The reception is typically the first opportunity a bride and groom have to entertain as a married couple. 


Perfect. Everyone needs to get used to the idea that we are pizza and sweet tea kind of people. (As if they didn’t already know!)


So we’re ready. If the day is sunny and warm, the “reception in a box” heads to the park. If the day is cold and gloomy, the “reception in a box” gets unpacked at my house. 


All that really matters is that in a couple of days, Mike and I will say our vows and celebrate the start of our new life together…pizza, sweet tea, and all!

P.S. Be sure to check in next week… Hopefully, I'll be able to share a few pictures!

Wedding in a Box! 
Proving It Can Be Done!

Here are a few Pictures from the Event:

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Sight Unseen

 Sight Unseen


As my readers know, I am getting married this month. It is a major step in anyone’s life. I am entering this marriage prayerfully and with a total sense of both peace and joy.


Mike and I will be spending most of our time in Florida. We wanted a place to live we can call our own. The same week Mike proposed, we started our search for a home that would suit us. 

Our first stop was a beautiful piece of property with a ton of potential. Getting it zoned to divide the acreage and build a house turned out to be a more daunting task than we thought. After our realtor, Jake Yates, did most of the legwork, we abandoned the idea. 


While my mother and I were in Florida in February, Mike and I toured several homes in the area we thought we might like. The process helped us hone in on not only what we wanted, but what we really needed. While a couple of the places were in the running, one stood out as stellar. It was a nice home on three acres. It had a great shop for Mike’s hobbies and equipment. We both liked it. But God had something else in mind.


How do I know that? 


The house went under contract before we were ready to make the offer. I headed back to Ohio and we continued our search. 


Then one day, my future sister-in-law spotted a potential house for us. She and Mike took an afternoon drive to find it. They thought the house was empty so they walked around. (By the way, it was occupied.)


This house is not in the same area where we had looked before.

It does not have as nice of a shop as the one we liked. But it does have one.

And…it is on a lake. A big lake. (I should probably point out here we are both people who love the water.)


Mike made an appointment with Jake, our awesome realtor, to view the house. He sent me a link so I could see pictures of the place, both inside and out, online.


We talked it over and made an offer. Our offer was accepted and the inspection process was underway. 


I have yet to see the house in person. 


It may be a little cozy...but...

he assures me it has a great view...

“Yes,” I tell my friends, “I’m willing to buy this house sight unseen.”

“How can you do that?” they ask. “You’re talking about a huge investment.”


I am marrying Mike. I trust him with my life. I trust him with my future. I trust him to always have my back. I trust him as my partner for "as long as we both shall live." I trust him with my family. My grandchildren. Trust is the real investment.


Buying a house? That is nothing in comparison to our partnership in life. A house is brick and mortar. People make it a home.


So while I have not yet seen the house… I know the man. I’ve not walked the house’s footprint… but I am already falling in step with Mike…and he with me. We are on this journey together. 

Oh... and the pictures above? Not the house. Not his workshop. A sweet little "she-shed" on the property and our back yard view. Here's the real deal: