This is a photograph of my parents at their breakfast table. After being married for 56 years and weathering all kinds of storms, they sit quietly and enjoy each other’s company.
My father celebrated his 87th birthday two weeks ago and my mother will be 83 on Saturday. I took this photograph while back in Wisconsin.
Every day they dress and set the table for breakfast. It always includes my mom’s homemade bread made seven loaves at a time. She expresses her love for her family through the meals she serves.
When my dad went on a salt and vitamin K-free diet, at first it was a challenge for my gourmet mom. She had to think outside the box and can, literally. While I was there, she whipped out her splattered, but loved cookbooks and concocted dinners worthy of a fine restaurant: Salmon doused in a fresh tomato ragout and pork chops with apples and cinnamon. Stir-fried fresh vegetables and meatloaf with peppers and onions. More vegetables filled that loaf than meat!
My dad is an artist and still paints. While visiting, I had him sign all of his work. Some dated back to the early 1950’s. His artwork chronicles the passage of a long life from the depictions of his farm while growing up during the depression in Holy Hill outside of Milwaukee, to many of my family while living in Madison and the latest of his beloved Collie. Continue reading
While my husband Danny drives us down the highway after our Valentine date, I wax philosophical. Philosophy is not one of Danny’s strong suits.
Me: I wish I could get over the whole, “I want everyone to like me,” thing.
Danny: So do I.
Me: I bet I’m not the only writer who has friends that don’t understand. Like Dave Barry. I bet some people don’t like Dave Barry.
Danny: I don’t know. Dave Barry seems like a pretty likable guy.
Me: Yeah well, What about Erma Bombeck?
Danny: Isn’t she dead?
Me: Or Stephen King. I bet he gets all kinds of crap from some of his friends.
Both of us: Silent for a minute. Continue reading
Have you ever traveled somewhere and felt an instant connection? I feel that way every time I am in California.
Maybe it’s because of the beauty created by its people.
On the beach in Santa Barbara
Maybe it’s because this is a place where the mountains meet the ocean. Continue reading
Danny and I celebrated our 25th anniversary on October 10th. Many have asked, “What’s your secret to a successful marriage?”
Here are my top ten list:
You have to be willing to go the extra mile or 1000 like I did when I moved from Wisconsin to Colorado after our wedding. Danny is the most romantic guy around. He asked me to marry him at the top of the gondola in Aspen after giving me 9 plastic rings over the weekend. He continues to surprise me. “Gasp!”
He’s my best friend and I don’t keep secrets from him. I can tell him anything, but I can also read his mind when it’s screaming, “That is way too much information Susie! Sheesh!” Continue reading
Like most children, ours asked how we met. Over the years, the story came out in bits and pieces. There was a reason for that.
It all started years ago, back in Wisconsin, I had my wisdom teeth pulled. While high on Tylenol 3’s, I watched the Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time. She interviewed several contestants competing to take over the job of Dear Abby; an advice columnist.
Every time someone asked a question, they came up with varying answers, until a young woman phoned in. She asked what she should do with a boyfriend who wouldn’t commit to marriage after 2 years of dating. Every panelist said, “Give him the ultimatum,” and then they cut to a commercial. Continue reading