Meet Ruth. Her cat has lasted longer than her marriages.
Ruth was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up just outside the Beltway in D.C.'s suburbs. She had 2 sisters and 2 brothers. As a child, she loved to dig for things. Ruth wanted to be an archeologist. She still has a spearhead she found in a creek bed in Maryland. Her first job was in a library checking books out and in. Later, she worked at the Library of Congress.
She met her first husband in D.C. and they went to UNH together before moving to San Francisco. Ruth worked for the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth there. When they moved back east to Virginia, her husband took a job as a zookeeper. But he ran off with a woman who also happened to be a zookeeper - what are the odds? - leaving Ruth to raise their 2 sons. So Ruth went back to school and got a Masters in Human Genetics. Have you ever tried to get a your first job in a new field when you're 45? It was tough. Actually, it was impossible. So Ruth started doing a little antique dealing. It was something she could do while still raising her kids.
Eventually Ruth married again. He was a carpenter. They lived in Ruth's house while he built a new house. When it was done, he told her he was done. She says he left her for a house.
About both her ex-husbands, Ruth says, "Yeah, I could really pick 'em," and laughs - without an ounce of self-pity.
With a son in college in Vermont, Ruth decided to move to Canaan and bought a house 3 miles away from her parents, who had retired there earlier. She buys and sells antiques - from jewelry to pottery to just about anything that strikes her fancy. You could say she actually did become an archeologist - after all, she's constantly digging for treasures. Ruth has 3 booths at the Quechee Gorge Village antique market and goes to lots of flea markets. She's got some regular clients, too.
Ruth still lives in Canaan. Her cat Rascal has been her loyal companion for 17 years. She points out that Rascal has lasted longer than her marriages. Ruth is 69.
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