For years my wife has given of herself for the family and stood by her man, through thick and thin, and worked harder than me most days, always only asking for one thing. A place she could call her own. A room, or a place, no one could invade and rearrange or “bother” any of her various stuff. All of it very meaningful to her and cool to us.

She always kept our house clean and orderly, even with 4 kids and various “live-ins” and my set of drinkin buddies, which gave no time or place to herself.

I built houses for a while and we moved into one of them and we made our house on Prince Place in Savannah a little paradise for kids and friends. The little 3 bedroom ranch soon became a 4 bedroom with a double carport, paved drive, picture perfect home. I built the kids a double deck tree house out of crude materials with their help and it was very cool and the “kids place”. But Diana still dreamed of having her place; it seemed everyone else had theirs and she needed hers. She waited patiently, but never passing up a chance to remind me she “wanted her own space”.

When we moved to Alabama Street, we had lived in our Prince Place home 12 years and I lost it and everything else when I tried, but failed to make it big in Chicago. So we remodeled Diana’s “Susie Gran’s” old wood frame cottage of 3 bedrooms and short doors into a 4 bedroom, with modern “everything you want in a kitchen” kitchen with 100 year old oak cabinets we built ourselves, beautifully landscaped and blacktopped drives and still no room for Diana. She often talked of turning the outside storage room into “her room” but that never happened.

We had been taking our children to Indian Creek to swim most afternoons and weekends for years. We loved the place. It fit our style, whatever that is. So one day I bought a camp lot there, then another, then another and soon I had 3 acres and on Diana’s birthday, I bought a little cabin on poles on the bank of Indian Creek and declared it “her place”. She loved it and we spent countless hours beautifying and mowing and planting a garden and flowers and she found sanction there many days.

But this space too soon became invaded by my friends, and countless car loads of beer drinking boys and girls. Her place had been taken from her by the nature of me and my friendship circle which stretched far and wide. Soon my best friend from high school built a house beside our cabin and one of my life’s heroes, NT Clayton, bought a cabin from me and it seemed her place was no longer hers. The sanctuary was no longer a sanctuary for her.

Then we moved to Pickwick and miles removed from Olive Hill and our cabin, the daily visits to the cabin halted and my wife put her wishes for a room aside and dove 100% into operating the Broken Spoke as owner.

As the owner of The Broken Spoke, Diana had her a place: a big place and she set about to clean and decorate it. And she did and for 5 years this was her place. It was not what she had dreamed of “as her place”, but her place none the same.

When the economy went south in 2008, so did I, leaving Diana to deal with the impossibility of running the restaurant without my help. She championed painfully and most days with tears through a year that saw our business drop to half of the previous year. And it broke us financially. Running a business without money ain’t no fun, and is near impossible, but she did it.

When I got home from Costa Rica, she was near a nervous breakdown. I was gone too long and it showed on her face and in her eyes and as she hugged me home, I felt the burden, passed to me and I knew what I had to do.

I began running the restaurant and opened 7 days a week and bailed water and righted the sinking ship. We are healthy now but not making up much ground to losses we incurred for a couple of years.

And I must now heed the call from Diana to “build her a room” a place for herself and her crafts and her stuff. Her place. Her room.

So I began slowly and after 3 years of trying, the room is built in our new barn. A cypress lined, fluorescent lit, 2 window, 2 door room. Plenty of open shelving and work space, an island a friend gave her with it’s own sink, a white board and all her stuff make up this room. Now she has the space she has craved and waited for for all these years. She can leave unfinished projects strewn out and when she has a minute, she can disappear to her room and create whatever it is she is working on at the moment, without the worry of dragging it all out and putting it all back up. I’ve heard of the creation of a Tshirt quilt for the kids, a shadow box of my Papaw Ralph, and all sorts of things created out of recycled objects. Her paper decoupage crafts will be ongoing and never ending. She has millions of things cut from cards and magazines that she means to create items from. I’ve even heard talk of a new sewing machine.

If ever I saw an oak, it is in my wife’s life. She is the backbone of her own family tree and has withstood the winds of a dysfunctional family of her own. She has waited me out and thank god, for me and her, the good times for me aint what they used 2 be…most of the time. She faced a cruel business environment and walked upright head long thru it against all odds and now…….she got her room she long deserved.

My wife has made my life complete in so many ways in so many days and been such a good mother 2 her children and child 2 her parents and grand child 2 her grand parents….A down 2 earth sister 2 her siblings and a contributing citizen 2 her county. Good things come 2 those who wait…and she has finally got her good thang. Her day has finally come and her room is nearly complete. I lack a little, like hooking up the electricity, and installing her counter and shelves and flooring…well maybe more than a little, but happiness has entered her body and glows from her eyes already. Soon she will sit in her new room and create me something and something for you 2 probably.

So thank you Diana for allowing all of us 2 get the things we wanted and for ur unselfish service 2 ur family and mine and more than that, thank you for making me whole and anchoring me to this place. I am a lucky man 2 have ask for ur hand and you got a damn good deal when I said I do and I will and I am sorry it took me so long 2 give u what you asked for for so long…your room …your space…your reward. I am so happy for you and proud of your room and If you ever feel like it, come back in the house and see me sometime…..cause I love you so.