When I discover I am pregnant in early June, I am so overwhelmed that I’m not sure how to tell Landon. We have been trying for so many months that it has moved from a conscious excitement to a little jolt in the back of my head when I remember every now and then.
To tell Landon, I decide I would get cute and creative. Into a Ziploc baggie I place a few items I have gone shopping for: Burt’s Bee’s baby powder, baby bath milk, and baby soap.
When Landon comes home from work that evening, I giddily hand him the bag. Landon looks a little bit confused at first, but then when I can’t hold back my knowing grin any longer, the realization of what I am trying to say dawns on him and an enormous grin begins to spread out over his face. I hold up four fingers and mouthed the words, “Four weeks along,” Landon tosses his head back and laugh out loud with pure joy.
He tosses the bag onto the kitchen counter, grabs me and twirls me around.
God, life is so good to us.
Four weeks later, I miscarry.
“I am tired of not working, Landon,” I begin as we comfortably settle back easily into our evening routine of wine and TV. Since the miscarriage, I have been keeping myself busy by applying for a loan at my bank, but I have not yet mentioned anything to Landon.
“You have been working, you’ve just not been getting paid.” chuckles Landon.
“Very funny. I’m just so conditioned to going somewhere every day and making my own money. You know, feeling like I’m actually worth something.” I am upset. “Fixing up our own personal home does not count as a job. We’re just lucky that you were picked up by a successful builder before we moved here.”
During our second visit to Charleston during the previous year, I learned that one of my old college buddies has been living on the Isle of palms for years and he has a very successful furniture importing business on Clements Ferry Road in Mount Pleasant. I easily found his name in the phone book and by chance caught him at home one night.
Thomas Kensey happily agreed to meet with Landon and me when we came to town on our next trip. Luckily, Thomas is great friends with one of the best builders in the area and he knows that they have been seeking a lead interior trim crew for their multi-million dollar homes. He put his neck out on the line with glowing recommendations regarding Landon to the builder, who then hired Landon on the spot. The money is very good; better in fact than the furniture making business and interior trim income in Charlotte, combined.
I have never held anything back from my husband until this. I want to obtain the loan first, and then tell Landon later. He is stressed out enough trying to join the builder’s Guild in Providence, and I don’t want to add another stressor component.
I get up to refill our glasses, and then stay standing. I stand towering over Landon so he cannot ignore me.
“What?” he looks up sounding a bit frustrated. Lately, I have been evasive and a little bit snappy towards him. He has no idea what is going on, and with the way things are going in the Guild, tonight he is not going to ask.
“Landon, I am trying to tell you something.” Frustrated even more so, I grab the TV remote out of his grasp and flip the TV off.
“Lexie, I really don’t feel like talking tonight, all right? I still don’t know if I will be accepted into the Guild, my guys didn’t show up today to trim out the Harris’ house, and I’m just flat out tired,” Landon complains.
But I can’t help myself. “I’m opening up a retail store, Landon. Interiors. Accessories. Stuff for the home.” I begin to explain my venture. “I’m going to call it The Colors of Home.” With $25,000 of seed money on loan to me from the bank, the shop will be a piece of cake, a no-brainer. I have very good taste and it will be an overnight success story.
The general idea is to lure people into the store with all my beautiful goodies, then casually mention that I am an interior designer—and if they needed help placing all those accessories, well, I would be more than glad to help.
Landon finally (finally!) looks at me as though he is listening. He nods. “Wow, babe, that’s awesome. Really cool. How are we paying for it?” I can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic or not.
I look sheepishly at him and I turn to put the wine bottle back in the fridge. “I got a loan,” I call from the kitchen. “A home equity line of credit.”
“What’s that?” Landon calls back.
Oh come on, I think to myself. I roll my eyes before going back in to sit with Landon to patiently explain what a home equity line of credit is, and how it works.
Satisfied and confident that his wife knows what she is doing, Landon retrieves the remote and pushes the power button. ESPN is broadcasting a surf contest from California. Perfect, he thinks as he jacks up the volume. I glance over at Landon whose attention has been recaptured by the TV as he stares at the screen.
Perfect, I think as I rise to go crunch more numbers.
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