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Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine: 46 - Crossroads

Gayle and Woody Woodward find it difficult to get their marriage back on track after he returns from a study course in England.

Gayle writes with refreshing frankness about her domestic life in New Zealand.

Woody returned and did not seem to notice how advanced my pregnancy had gotten. The boys were delirious with happiness and eagerly accepted the toys that Woody had bought them. Mark had received a ‘turn round digger’, a machine he loved in real life and took his toy straight outside to dig in his pile of dirt.

We bought a new lounge suite in the new fashionable brown colour. A wall unit and bookcase combination was the next purchase and we wallpapered the lounge and dining room. We felt really set up inside although the grounds were rough and ugly. There was only one path to the clothesline and the driveway was metalled. There were a few silver dollar trees on the front lawn, in line with all other properties in the subdivision.

Woody got the flu and it progressed fast to pneumonia. I was scared as he was so weak and slept for most of the time. I was well able to manage the boys on my own now so did not miss Woody’s input, but he needed nursing too and that was a strain. I got quite depressed.

I was knitting for the winter baby who was soon to arrive and sewing clothes for the boys. One morning I was sitting at our dining table at my sewing machine sewing the hem of a curtain and pushing the fabric under the foot when the needle broke. I felt a sharp pain in one of my fingertips. I removed the broken end of needle from the machine and looked all around for the tip of the needle. It was not to be found. Slowly it dawned on me that I had sewed straight through my finger and the eye was lost inside my fingertip.

I panicked. I believed that needles could move through one’s body and pierce one’s heart. I rang Mum in a hysterical state. “I’ve sewn through my finger,” I wailed. “It’s still in there. You’ve got to come and get me and take me to the doctor”.

Mum was still a new and nervous driver. She had been driving longer than me but had never ventured over the Harbour Bridge. This was a difficult procedure because tolls still had to be paid on the trip from the city to the North Shore. However, she was a mother too and understood I needed her.

She came immediately and took both Mark and I to North Shore Hospital A and E. My finger was x-rayed and the needle tip was clearly in there. There was no blood and no apparent entry point but a doctor anaesthetised my hand and cut the needle tip out. I had no stitch and it healed over quickly.

I think this was indicative of the stress I was under when Woody arrived home. We had great difficulty getting our marriage back on track, so far had we moved away from each other during his six weeks away. We knew we had to get on for the sake of the boys and I wanted the new baby to arrive into a happy home like the boys had.

I thought about our relationship a lot. Woody was very committed to his work and put in long hours, often at social events at night. I seemed to be completely tied up with my boys and my baby.


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