First writing began May 2013 / last corrections done February 2016
In March, 2012 I wrote an Email to my then boyfriend telling him goodbye. A few days later I visited the Babenhausen flying Club. Another visitor there, Richard, surprised, and thrilled me. I knew Richard some 30 years; He was a pilot from a neighboring glider airfield. Soon I discovered the reason for his visit, The authority responsible for his airfield, had closed it for powered gliders because of trees and bushes that had grown too close to the runway. I could only agree with the restrictions IF they were as bad as reported. We chatted a bit longer. In the mean time I discovered that he was widowed and loved to take long walks, something my former boyfriend didn’t enjoy. He soon asked me for my telephone number and I thought „why not?”
About a week later he called and asked me if I’d go out with him. Sure…why not? He arrived, presented me with an orchid, proving he was a gentleman then we drove to Breuberg where we walked around, then enjoyed a meal.
The weather was so great; we ate outdoors, in the Breuberg courtyard. And we talked…and talked. We walked around the ruins, and then decided to drive off toward home, We drove through a small town which was having a Folksfest. Richard found a place for us to park and we walked through the fest. We were soon bored so we walked back to the car and drove home. Yes, I enjoyed myself.
The next weekend he picked me up again. This time we drove to Seligenstadt. Before driving to the town, we stopped at a restaurant on the Main River. It was too crowded to stay for coffee so we stopped at the river before continuing our drive.
Our stop in Seligenstadt was quite lovely.
I didn’t know yet how special horses were for Richard. He was once a horse dealer/trader. This was now the end of May. I only had a few weeks to work before going into early retirement.
Once again we did lots of talking. At some point I must have mentioned my high rent costs for my perfect apartment. He suggested I move in to his house; I could move in for free. He was lonely there anyway. He decided that he would show it to me on one of our next “dates”. And that he did. I soon told my landlord that I would be moving out. Observing the 3-month notice time put my moving deadline Sept. 2012. What was so special that made me make such a massive decision? Also, I had heavy cat doctor bills…..Shila’s eyes were causing problems. So my finances were beginning to scare me….
Richard was a pilot who I knew almost 30 years.
We had many common friends in various flying clubs.
We were both lonely souls, looking for companionship.
He enjoyed taking walks
He had room for me to move into and it wouldn’t cost me any rent, my payment would be taking care of him. He had 4 kids who more or less took care of him. I know that once they heard about me, they would be thrilled that someone was there to take care of him.
His house was located in a pretty exclusive area near Aschaffenburg.
The main house had a large living room, the main bedroom, in which I refused to sleep in. Above the bed was an oil painting of Richards wife (now dead from cancer since about 5 years; she was wearing a partly see-through negligee—-not my taste. None of his kids wanted to inherit the picture. He couldn’t understand why, but I could).
Then there was his daughter Gabi’s former bedroom. It needed new flooring badly. So together with Richards’s sons Klaus and Bernd and Bernd’s’ wife, Heidi we put in laminate flooring. They did a good job and it really made a difference. The room also had a built in clothes closet (very practical), We soon managed to move my “French” bed into the room, then we slowly moved in ourselves.
There was, of course, a bath and a kitchen. Richard told me I could do whatever renovations I felt necessary. Unfortunately he soon forgot that promise, The bath was much too small, but it had a bathtub! The kitchen was also horrible with an (in my opinion) unusable gas stove, only 47 cm wide. For Richard it was fine, after all his former wife, Elisabeth, had used it and seem to have no problem. But she never knew more modern equipment. All the cupboards were only 50 cm wide, making it almost impossible to remove one and replace it with a decent stove.
Richard made a few promises that soon got ignored. He owned another house in Wertheim, a 5 family house, and according to him it was supposed to transfer to me if I lived longer then he did. In spite of mentioning how important it was to write it all down and get it officially notarized, we never got that taken care of. Also, according to him his kids had already received 100,000 € each which was to be considered as their legal inheritance. This fact was also never written down and/or registered as far as I knew. He had his bookkeeping but that would surely never hold up in court.
During these first weeks he talked a lot about Elisabeth, his now deceased wife. I understood he needed to talk so I let him. But it soon began to drive me crazy, especially when he talked about how open they had been, sexually. It seems she had had a lover, a priest, and their loving got recorded on video. Richard accepted this very odd relationship, Many of these get-togethers got recorded on video and Richard tried to force me to watch the videos (thinking I might learn something?). I refused to watch them, but he couldn’t/wouldn’t understand me. In his eyes I was old fashioned. Soon the age difference showed more and more. He often commented that his wife had gone to a special household school, which made her special in his eyes. With time he mentioned it too often. Our tastes differed but I let him have his way…it was his home after all. He had moved into it around 1948.
Most of my stuff I stored in clear plastic containers. That way my stuff was kept relatively clean and I could see what was in it. He hated those boxes, for him they were a waste of money. I had one box (case) which had a carry holder. It was full of my cleaning materials. Also in Richard’s opinion I had much too much plus most of it being too modern (unknown to him it was all good stuff). I liked knowing where to find what I was looking for.
The cellar he had supposedly dug out himself…..his 3 sons had lived/slept in the cellar. Till this day I wonder how they managed to fit there. He was too much against changes.
There was a bar room plus a pantry as well as another shower (for his use primarily) and the washing machine and dryer. He showed me the precautions he did at the entrances to keep mice from invading. There was also a Sauna and he told me to stash my boxes there, which I did. He later complained that I had so much stuff. Well, what do you expect from a 60 yr. old.
When I tried to throw stuff of Richards away, he had no understanding, but in his mind all of my stuff was junk and unnecessary, like my boxes of sewing material. He even looked into trash bags to see what I threw away. I hoped that some day, during my retired time, I would pick up sewing once again occasionally Richard refused to believe me. For him it was a never to be fulfilled dream. I at times caught him going through the trash, “saving” stuff of his that I’d thrown away.