Romance On The Go

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For partners Clara Sias and Werner Fitze, adventures - big and small - keep life interesting. Sias and Fitze met at Judson Park a year and a half ago after their fitness instructor facilitated a love connection.

“Never having lived with an American before, we have a lot of humorous moments,” says Fitze, a native of Switzerland. Fitze’s tendency to hoard Swiss chocolates or listen to German radio are delightful quirks, says Sias.

“You’re never too old to learn,” she says. “We come from different backgrounds, and we are always learning from each other.”

Divorced when she moved to the Des Moines, Washington, community eight years ago, Sias was accustomed to her independence. “It’s different coming into a relationship where I can’t make all the decisions,” she says.

Similarly, Fitze had to adjust, as his wife of 58 years died in 2013. “I tried to intermingle with the community and take part in the things they offered — to integrate into the society here,” he says.

Now the two often find themselves exploring nature together. Last summer in Alaska, where Fitze lived for 20 years, the couple walked among grizzly bears and flew in a seaplane, and this month they will venture to Big Island, Hawaii.

Fitze looks forward to the day that he can show Sias Switzerland, as a visit there would offer the couple a chance to deepen their bond.

Sias appreciates that they don’t have the same constraints as younger couples, with homes and families to care for.

“We can enjoy things,” she says.

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