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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Us!

"This book is dedicated to John, who makes me possible."--from my first novel, Hearts Unfold.

Twenty-three years ago today I walked down the aisle of a beautiful little chapel to meet the man I'd been waiting my entire circuitous life to marry. I'd never felt so confident, or been filled with such peace, as on that cloudy September morning. At last, I was on the right road with the right person beside me. Finally, I'd found the one person in the world who "got" me.

We weren't young, or naive about marriage. We'd been there, done that, thrown out the t-shirt. But we were filled with hope at the possibilities of this journey we were beginning, no matter its length. He teased me that I'd have to live to be at least 80 in order to get the second half of my life "right." I just wanted the chance to share as much time as possible with him, never taking a single day for granted. I can say today that we still seem to be making a go of this partnership, one loving day at a time.

In the years since that brief ceremony united us as husband and wife, life has been filled with, well, living. We've moved into five different homes, changed jobs numerous times between us, married off a daughter and a grandson in that same church where we were married, welcomed grandchildren and great-grandchildren, bid sad farewells to friends and family. We've traveled together, worked together, and struggled together against most of life's typical challenges. Amazingly, we've had very few arguments and rarely gone to bed unhappy with one another.

I attribute our ongoing success to several things, the foremost being that this is a Christian marriage. By that I mean not only that we've leaned on our faith in the tough times, but we've mindfully incorporated our beliefs into the everyday humdrum of shared living. We respect as well as love each other while acknowledging that we each have strengths and weaknesses, not to mention very different personalities and histories. If marriage is the toughest job anyone can take on, (and it is) it's a lot easier going if both parties bring the same beliefs and values to the workplace each day.

I was right to feel confident that morning twenty-three years ago. What I only suspected at the time was that the gentle, gifted man waiting for me at the altar would not only enrich my life, but allow me to become a far better woman than I'd ever dreamed I could be. He allows me to be me, which can't always be easy. He unfailingly supports my dreams without questioning my sanity. If I need space, he gives it, and if I need a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to rant into, he gives that too.

If today, I've finally realized my dream of being a writer--a writer of books people buy and read and even enjoy--it's in large part thanks to him. Not only does he provide professional support--I was lucky enough to find a man who loves me and has 25 years' experience as a proofreader/editor--but he puts up with the hours I spend away from him, lost in the worlds unfolding on my computer screen. He celebrates every sale and positive review, and shamelessly plugs my books to anyone he meets. Most of all, he makes it possible for me to be me. He accepts me, big hairy warts and all, encourages whatever crazy scheme I'm plotting, and reminds me every day that it's never too late to begin the journey we were destined for, no matter how many misguided detours we may have stumbled over before the moment we found our way.