I intend to win this one

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Our dishwasher, picture by author

My wife and I have had some ferocious battles during our five-plus decades of marriage. There was the bitter which left us both scarred and resentful. There was the horrid , which ended with an unending, uneasy truce.

There have been other skirmishes, betrayals of peace accords, treachery, and guerilla warfare. The latest flareup burst upon us because of dishwasher magnets.

Dirty, Clean, or ?

In olden days, before the advent of water conservation and energy efficiency, our dishwasher was either empty or had dishes in it. The empty state is the easiest; there are either dishes inside, or…


And we both thought that was funny

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Several years back, I drove home from work accompanied by booming thunder and lashing rain.

When I arrived home, my wife was playing a Thunderstorm album on the house speakers. That’s something we usually reserve for an afternoon nap, but she wasn’t napping.

I chuckled and jokingly asked if she knew that the real thing was happening outside. She said that she was aware but added: “I can’t hear it that well in here.”

We both laughed at the absurdity of having Siri play this while Nature herself raged just outside our door. …


March is not the best month for a party

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The Ides of March will soon be upon us. I never knew until recently that every month has Ides, nor that while the Ides do always fall mid-month, some of them are on the 13th rather than the 15th. Thank you, Wikipedia!

The thirteenth?

What a strange day to pick. It probably made more sense on the Roman calendar, but it is what it is, except when it isn’t.

March, May, July, and October are the months that are now stuck at the 15th. Originally the Ides were the day of the first full moon, but maybe people like their festivals more…


Duh!

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For most of our marriage, my wife folded my socks and underwear. Rarely would I find a pile of unfolded clothes hanging about, but when I did, I’d fold them and put them in my drawer. This was often wasted time as she would refold them “properly”.

I cheerfully admit that the results of her efforts always looked impressively neater than mine. I may not see the point of hiding laundry in a drawer when it looks like table linen to be put out for visiting royalty, but so what? She liked it that way.

Now that I am retired…


And I don’t want any gravel this time!

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For many a year our youngest daughter has brought me a pumpkin pie on my birthday. There have been iterations: homemade crust, store-bought, even a graham cracker version once, and the filling also has been adjusted over the years. It’s always been good and, more importantly, it has always been reliable.

We did have a minor mishap one year. As she proudly walked her creation from the car to my door, she stumbled, and the pie landed face down in my driveway. …


We are blood, you and I

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We were watching a documentary about human migration into Asia, which is supposed to have happened some 100,000 years ago.

I wanted to argue that when “we” arrived in Asia, there were already humans there. Humans of a different genetic makeup, yes, but we still carry some of those genes. In fact, we carry a mixture of many “failed” human genes. Are we “us” or “them”? Would we have had the intelligence to be where we are today without those pathetic also-rans? …


And put them back on. And then…

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Once a week or so I wash and cream my wife’s feet. It’s the “or so” that is prevalent because she often begs off with the excuse that she doesn’t have the time. I fuss at her about that because she has foot problems, and we really should do this weekly.

Admittedly, this is a lengthy procedure. I have to lay out towels in front of the couch and begin with a basin of warm, soapy water. She has dry skin, so rubbing with a face cloth is part of this section. …


So many cliffs, so many rescues

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When I heard my wife start down the hall from our bedroom today, I crouched down around the corner behind a wooden chair. When she entered the room and saw me peering through the chair rungs, she laughed.

“What are you up to?”

“I’m Jamie, hiding in the cave.”

She laughed again.

Jamie, if you do not know, is the male eye candy in the Outlander series. He and Claire, his wife, have endured harrowing dangers and improbable escapes for five seasons now, and a sixth is on its way.

My wife and I have watched three seasons so far…


This is not anything I want to do

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I read Jessica Valenti’s post about how helping older parents can add yet another job to women who may already be struggling. It hit a chord for me.

My wife and I are in our seventies and are still quite capable of handling our daily lives. However, I have had to call upon my daughter to help with some things now and then. I feel very guilty whenever that happens.

A Winter Coat

For example, yesterday my wife asked me to help her order a new winter coat. Usually, that might mean she is having trouble with some poorly designed web interface, so…


It has already changed and it won’t come back

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I was just talking to one of my sisters. She recently turned 80; I’ll be 73 next month. Our other sister is in between us and all of our children are middle aged, some even getting ready for retirement.

Our family is getting up there.

Those of us who are somewhat local used to get together several times each year. Pizza, a family party, sometimes a wedding or a funeral — COVID has changed all that. So has Trump: some of the children have become right-wing crazies and we have painfully had to disassociate ourselves from them on social media…

Family and Love

Stories about family, marriage, children, friendship

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