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2023 - Week 40 - Another Chapter Ends, Begins

Posted on:October 7, 2023 at 02:10 PM

Another Chapter Ends, Begins

Updated: 9 October 2023 - I’ve tried to add a little clarity through some minor edits as well as clean up some minor mistakes. A diff might be found here

This will be the final post on I’m going to tear this blog down and migrating the posts to my new blog:

There will no longer be Eph & Lou. At least, not in the way the site was intended.

Lou and I have separated this week and are actively discussing the next steps in ending our marriage. She has decided that she wants to leave, to go out on her own, and to focus on herself and her needs. I support her in this decision and believe that it’s best for me, too, to take some time for myself to figure out who I am.

Our goal is to remain friends and, of course, we will remain co-parents to our lovely Liz, but our marriage is, effectively, over.

I’ve spoken a bit in the past about the changes that we’ve undergone, that we are no longer the same humans that married 13 years ago as of November 7th. Our changes as people has had a lot to do with why we changed our names.

There are a lot of reasons for these changes, but to put it simply: we’ve been through a lot over the last decade and a half that we’ve been together.

In that time we may have lost ourselves throughout everything else.

I suggested that we divorce last year as part of turning the page and closing that chapter of our lives, though we decided, ultimately, against that path at that time.

Additionally, I told Lou that I couldn’t be everything to her, that our family and our home, couldn’t be everything for her. I suggested that she needed to build new connections, find a third place, to try to make new friends here in our new home. It wasn’t an easy conversation and, as is often the case, I probably was not careful enough with my words. It’s also, really, another case of “the advice you give being the advice you probably need the most”.

Ultimately, though, she’s been doing exactly that. I’m extremely happy for her to have begun to build a new life for herself here, that she’s been focused on doing good. If you’ve met Lou you’re aware of her beautiful and caring soul, and it’s been wonderful to see her engage in positive ways in the community.

The fact is that neither of us have been truly happy in our marriage for a while. Not exactly. We’ve been happy and married but those things haven’t necessarily been connected, at least not all the time.

Of course it’s all extremely complicated.

To be clear: I love Lou. I love them with all my heart. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

I am at peace, while simultaneously gutted, over this situation. I’m not entirely happy with how all of this has played out this week. I did not want things to go quite the way they have, I still had hope that our marriage could be salvaged, that we could find ourselves together.

That’s truly what this comes down to: we have lost ourselves. The main thing that Lou expressed is a desire for space to figure out who she is now; without me. I think I’ve known for a while that I need the same.

I’ve been, as a better term does not come to mind, waiting. I’ve been waiting for Lou to find herself, I’ve been waiting for us to get “back on track”, I’ve been waiting for us to get back to our adventures, back to our life. I’ve been, perhaps, waiting for the right time to take the space I need, perhaps even for us to be able to take a break.

There will never be a right time, though, and there’s no time like the present.

I’ve been waiting for Lou for a long time. She’s been waiting too, waiting to find herself, waiting to begin again.

We need to stop waiting and start living.

I recognize this is for the best, even if that recognition doesn’t make it any easier.

On top of my own awareness, I’ve had friends make clear to me that I definitely need some space to work on myself as well. It’s time for some introspection, personal reflection. This is another opportunity for me to grow.

And none of this changes the incredible life that we’ve had, the good and wonderful times that we’ve shared, the love that we shared. When times were good, they were great, and when times were bad, they were absolutely the worst.

As of today we’ve been married 4,717 days -or- 12 years 11 months and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

To repeat: Lou and I, have faced a hell of a lot of challenges together.

I also want to be clear that I don’t think that this necessarily means that we’ll never be together again, that this is the final chapter for Eph & Lou. But for now, there’s no point in maintaining the Eph & Lou website, and since Lou never contributed, it makes sense for me to migrate the posts to a different personal blog about which I’ve been considering building for some time.

With this super heavy preamble out of the way, let me recount the week as it happened as I do.


As I had mentioned last week, Lou had not been feeling well, that was true Sunday as well though she seemed to be on the mend and was a bit more active. It was Waffle Day, perhaps our last Waffle Day together. They were good waffles.

Liz really wanted some hammock time after we’d cleaned up in the back yard the day prior, so I helped her get the hammock hung with an underquilt. It was a nice little set up and she enjoyed some nice quiet, relaxing, hammock time in the back yard.

Lou and I kind of hung out in the morning. We “watched” some Halloween Baking Championship shows, which is always fun while we both got some things done and then after lunch I ran to grab a few groceries.

Being October 1st Spoopy Movie Month has begun. I picked up a few movies for us to watch: Talk to Me, Boogeyman, X, and Pearl.

We watched Talk to Me and it was an excellent horror movie, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It had, of course, the usual plot holes and poor decisions necessary to propel the story but that would never be made by real humans under the circumstance, etc. It had some viscerally awful shots that were truly difficult to watch. It was a great start tot he horror season.

For dinner we had curry sauerkraut Rachels that were absolutely bomb.

After dinner we watched, at Liz’s request, Skinamarink - an art house experimental supernatural indie film that was, frankly, terrible. I want to be clear: it was technically good. I can appreciate it for what it was meant to be, but it difficult to watch. At least I had the pleasure of watching it with my daughter. 😊


Monday had Lou still not feeling well, but she took off early in the morning to spend time training at the coop and for a meeting with her boss at the Red Cross.

I worked.

I also ran some more horror movies for horror movie month in the background throughout the day:

I’ll not be re-reviewing them here. They’re movies, they’re fine enough. Perhaps I’ll post my entire month’s movie thoughts as I’ve been capturing them on a Google Sheet per tradition.

Moira came to visit in the afternoon as she does and we were excitedly watched S14E1 of Bob’s Burgers - it’s so wonderful to have our show back :)


Tuesday was another work day for me. There’s nothing exciting to share about it. I was there, I did my best, and then it was over.

I made a simple dinner of pesto sauce spaghetti (making it delicious by using some starchy noodle water creating emulsification 😋).

Lou was gone all day for a facilitation training by MENTOR Washington that sounds to have been an excellent experience.

We then, leaving Ollie with Liz, went down to Ashley’s Pub for an “emergency” meeting to plan for how to save the Kitsap Community Food Coop. The budget appears dire. It’s likely that, based on the current forecasting, they will run entirely out of money by January, which is just in time for the rise in minimum wage in Washington to $16.28 an hour. There were a lot of good ideas shared and, while things seem dire, I continue to have hope that KCFC will ultimately weather this storm and come out the other side stronger. It seems like there’s such a minor gap between what would ultimately be their success and failure that I feel confident it will work out in the long run.


Wednesday morning Lou told me that she wanted to separate from me to work on herself. The feelings that it triggered in me were complex and varied from deep sorrow & sadness to fear and even relief. We didn’t really get much of a chance to talk more about it though before she had to run out to take the kiddo to school and do work.

I decided not to work and to take some time to breath. I turned on Body on Brighton Rock which was a good effort if a bit amateurish and definitely not actually a horror film despite featuring paranormal and zombie elements.

I also ran a few errands that needed run going to Walgreens and Petco. I also grabbed some sushi from lunch.

Lou came home for a bit in the afternoon and seemed semi-affectionate in a way that I found a bit confusing after our earlier conversation. I really wish I had a better sense of how to handle this sort of situation.

In the evening, Lou and I started a movie, but after only half an hour we took Ollie for a walk while she laid out a long list of “hurts in her heart” that she continues to carry about me. It was hard to hear for a variety of reasons. There remains a hurt, and perhaps a bit of confusion, in our differing senses of reality.

She also told me that Liz had said she wants to live with her and only see me on the weekends.

In the evening she explained that her desire is to remain friends but that our marriage is over.

It was a hard night.

At a bit after 11 pm I fucked up when I told Liz she needed to get some sleep due it being late when she simply said “ok, I’m just going to finish what I’m working on and ignored me”. I was firm about feeling that her dismissal seemed disrespectful and, ultimately, I made her feel bad at a time when she was feeling particularly vulnerable.

Ultimately I feel like a monster.


Thursday I worked for a bit in the morning, trying my best to focus. Ultimately I took off in the afternoon for a bit to take Ollie on our first hike since his surgery, taking his little cone off for a bit.

We did 4 miles at Newberry Hill Heritage Park filling in more of the northern half of the park on Gaia GPS. I’m very close now to “100%-ing” the park on Gaia despite having definitely hiked the entire park twice now. Just another couple miles worth of trails on Gaia and it should be done.

The hike was useful. I was able to get a lot of clarity from Hiking Meditation. I’d already felt some piece after some earlier meditation but it was great to be able to clear my head out in nature.

Lou picked up Liz from school in the afternoon and brought her home long enough to pick up some stuff for a “slumber party” at her friend’s house, and that was that.

I was left alone.

It was a difficult evening.

I had a lot of conversations with friends who were all helpful and supportive.

Moira stopped after work and gave me a hug and hung out with me for a little while ❤️

I tried to carry on with some normalcy. I made myself some dinner and turned on more horror movies:

Boogeyman was the movie Lou and I had started watching. I figured that we weren’t likely to finish that one any time soon given the circumstances. It turned out to be another really solid horror flick.

The Insidious movies were fine enough. It’s a pretty decent franchise, but the first two stand as a great duology. These two are fine enough entries, but definitely not as strong as the core films. I’m a little concerned about what I’m going to experience when I watch the 5 (and final?) entry in the series later this month.

I also cried some more.

I’ve been crying a lot this week.

I worked a bit on getting hosted and up and running as well.


I woke up alone.

I cried.

Lou showed up unannounced to take a shower and grab some things.

Then I did some work.

I had some struggles with focus, as you might imagine, but ultimately I made some progress.

I also attended the American Red Cross Disaster Services orientation and then had a nice chat with the Disaster Workforce Engagement Manager for the Northwest region about how I might be able to help him out.

I’m eager to volunteer, to do something that feels good. I’m, frankly, feeling a bit unhappy in my work in the automotive industry after 6 years and wonder volunteer for a humanitarian organization can help me achieve a sense of balance or even lean toward feeling better about myself and what I’m doing. I’m also eager to make sure that I don’t over extend myself and burn out again.

In the evening Lou brought Liz over and we all tried to talk about how we’re going to move forward.

Liz is very mad at me and made her feelings known. I’m super proud of her for finally talking to me about how she’s feeling.

It wasn’t an easy conversation, but I think it was a good one all the same.

We had dinner and talked and then they left me again.

I cried some more.


This morning I started my day blasting music and singing along while doing some long overdue cleaning and organizing and, ultimately, I rearranged the the living room a bit in a way that doesn’t quite match the vision I had in my head but I still like.

I also did some crying.

I have some ideas, we’ve talked for a while about trying to put up some anchors to hang some various hammocks and hammock chairs.

Frankly, we’ve not been thrilled with our current furniture. I have thought about getting rid of our uncomfortable love seats in favor of something like a chaise loveseat. Of course that was because Lou and I wanted a place to snuggle. It still, however, makes sense for the space.

I’m not sure how I’ll end up furnishing this living room now, but it does feel a bit more functional.

Lou showed up unannounced this morning to pickup laundry soap and sanitizer so she can go to the laundromat.

Later she brought Liz by to pick up her new Pit Viper glasses she ordered all by herself. They’re pretty cool and she’s super excited about them.

And that brings me to now… I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the day will bring.

I have some correspondence upon which I should follow-up and a few things I’d like to do given my extra “free time”. I’m sure I’ll find ways to keep myself busy and, maybe, even advance some goals even if those goals are now a bit more in flux than they had been.

I’ll also need to feed myself something and it’s getting close to the time when I should start planning.

I’ll probably cry some more.

I think there’s a lot more crying left to be done.

Even though I’m still definitely at peace about the whole thing.

I’m trying not to think about the road trips Lou and I won’t take now, about the plans we’d made for so long that are no longer on the horizon like the property we were working toward and the work we were going to do.

I knew 2023 was going to be a significant year, but it’s definitely not turning out quite as I expected with it all started

Until next weekend, when I expect I’ll have pulled down and, likely, will have set up some redirects to