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They share a love, a life and a marriage certificate, but not a postal code. How a random bar hookup led to a long-term love story with no fixed address.
Who: Lonnie Blackmore, 55, social-media consultant. Andrea Stevens-Blackmore, 53, recreation therapist
Relationship status: Married since 2009
Location: Saint John and Lakeville Corner, N.B.
Two singles walked into a bar
Lonnie: We met for the first time on my birthday in 2006. A group of us were all out to celebrate at a bar in Fredericton. At the time, I was a regular bar hound, living life as a single guy. Going to the same bar all the time, you know the crowd and I remember I saw this new gal.
Andrea: Before we even spoke, we had eye contact and it was just fireworks. And then he came over and asked me to dance.
Lonnie: When I said it was my birthday, she said, "Well, maybe I can be your birthday present!" I went back to her place that night. Usually the next morning, you'd chew your arm off to get home, but we started having this great conversation. Finally, I said, "I'm so sorry, but I can't remember your name." She said, "That's okay, I don't remember yours either."
Declarations of independence
Andrea: The decision not to live together wasn't something we planned. After we got married, both of my parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they were in Saint John. And then I got a job, and it has just worked out the way it's worked out.
Lonnie: I was always very independent, and Andrea is the same way.
Andrea: People are sometimes surprised to hear, "Oh, your husband lives two hours away."
Lonnie: We definitely get reactions. I would say about 50 per cent say, "How can you live that way?" And then the other 50 per cent say: "That sounds pretty awesome."
Home is where the hearts are
Lonnie: We have a routine. Andrea comes to my place two weekends a month, and I got to Saint John probably once a month.
Andrea: I call Lonnie every morning on my way to work. Sometimes we talk at night, but sometimes I'm just dead-dog tired and I want to go to bed. It's impossible for us to know if our relationship would be different if we did live together. I do think we have a very unique love.
Lonnie: I think there is a bit of that absence makes the heart grow fonder. By the time Wednesday rolls around, I'm really looking forward to having Andrea here.