I'm glad he chose the topic of age to lie about way back when, rather than what some Bill's I know have done so very publicly. I didn't really mind that Bill was really only 22 when he said he was 25; I figured I could raise him right. Well, that doesn't happen in marriage---we all learn that eventually.
He still doesn't clean toilets, but he does pick up his dishes and occasionally his Schwan's ice cream wrappers. I'm betting a few of them have been lying around the house this past few days, but I'm also betting they'll be picked up by the time I arrive home late, late tonight or early, early tomorrow morning. Bill knows full well the wrath of Marianne from times past when unkempt houses have greeted her upon her arrival home from a trip.
For nearly 32 years, I have been truly blessed with one of the most patient, pure of heart, decent human beings to walk this earth. I'll never forget when my friend Ray Holt gave a speech at my retirement party in 2002 and said, "She married the nicest man in Sandpoint." I could not help but agree.
He's been a wonderful husband and a patient, loving father. His two children admire him and share in many of his interests. He's a most devoted Presbyterian and a passionate forester who's so respected in both circles. He geocaches with the same zeal that he once golfed, fished, biked, cross country skied, backpacked, and batted tennis balls. He stands as a shining example for how a good man ought to conduct himself. I think anyone who knows him would agree.
For 32 years, we have shared a team unit which occasionally has a spat or two, sometimes just runs on auto-pilot, or often involves just a few words exchanged each day as we follow our individual passions. In fact, I'm thinking right now as I write this blog, how Bill knows not to say anything to me while I'm deep in thought and typing away. Later, however, he happily listens to whatever crazy epistle I've created for each new day. He listens like a kind, supportive editor and then adds his own zingers to be carefully planted in the postings.
So, when you read Slightdetour, you need to know that almost every morning, it's the workings of Team Love---another Bill and Marianne special, brought to you from the House of Love. Our House of Love does not include a lot of steamy stories for X-rated movies. Instead, it houses a couple of aging babyboomers who nod off a lot, who enjoy dining together, hiking together, taking drives around the countrysides, who've come together, grown together, done their individual things, raised two phenomenal kids and nurtured a heckuva lot of animals over the years.
I always love the monikers Bill has lovingly given to the animals and kids over the years: "Precious" for Miss Annie; "Big Man" for Willie, "Baby Horse" for Casey, and, of course, years ago, there was Pink Cat who wandered in one day, as so many cats have. The names stick and the names are appropriate.
While I'm the cheerleader, screamer of this marital union, Bill's the quiet, steady soul who seems to love all the critters that rule his life, including his unpredictable wife. I haven't heard any of the monikers he may have had for me a time or two. He keeps those to himself, but Lord knows I deserve them!
I feel most fortunate to have met Bill on that hot July day while conducting a newspaper interview so long ago. It's been a great ride, and I'm looking forward to many miles ahead as this Team Love continues its journey toward geezerville. Happy Valentine's Day, Bill. You're the love of my life, and I appreciate you very much and do believe I married a saint.
Happy Valentine's Day to all!