I have been really blessed with a wonderful wife. Glenda and I met in June 1973, fell immediately in love, and got married in North Carolina on one of the hottest days of August 1973. She left all her friends behind and moved to Canada to live in the old farmhouse I bought in 1971 and whose restoration was a work in progress.
We farmed for ten years, and for a while Glenda not only did the cooking but also drove one of the tractors and did a great job raking hay. Even after our three children were born, she would often combine a trip to town with hauling back a load of feed for our two hundred head of cattle.
After the farm, I went to work for Apple, and we lived on a corner lot in the Clayton Park area of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It snows a lot in Halifax, and my job with Apple kept me on the road much of my first winter. Glenda learned how to run a snowblower since the city of Halifax expected everyone to keep their sidewalks clean.
After we moved to Roanoke, Virginia, I was still on the road a lot with my Apple job, and somehow, she kept our children involved in dance, hockey, horses, and soccer among other things.
This year we are coming up on our 38th aniversary. Like all couples we have seen our challenges, but I long ago learned that a partner who has been willing to do all that my wife has done deserves a default answer of "Yes, dear."
Over the years, I have stumbled over more than a few paint, fabric, and wall paper samples. I always try to provide some input, but it doesn't take much to get me to say, "Yes, dear." I trust her judgment implicity, and if she wants something done, I know how to answer even if it might result in a honeysuckle pink room.
I still get to go fishing when I want to, but if need be, I would cancel a trip in the blink of an eye if she asked me to do something. I don't have to live with my fishing buddies.
There are some other rules that have served me well. I am a morning person so I get up first in the morning. I have the coffee ready and have retrieved the morning newspaper by the time the lady of the house makes it to the table. I have always cooked by own breakfast, and unless something happens, I at least clean up any pans that I have used to make my breakfast.
I often help with lunch, and I consider it my part of the job to wash the dishes in the evening even if I help with the cooking.
When it comes to money, it's not my money, it's our money. We worry about it like everyone, but we try not to blame each other if we are having some challenges.
Life with a partner is full of give and take. I have been given a lot so these days, if my wife needs a backrub, I make the time to give her one.
I am not much of a television fan, but just to be with Glenda, I will sit down and watch some of Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. I have even tried to watch Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.
When fresh towels or laundry magically show up, I try to notice and say thanks. I appreciate it when the fridge has been cleaned out or even better filled up. I don't mind being a gopher in the grocery store.
And when some of those things around the house absolutely need doing, I try to make time. My back still remembers this week's spring cleaning of the outside of the house.
I will certainly never be the perfect husband. I have too many electronic devices that end up on the counter or even the kitchen table, but I try to be quick to clean them up. I am sure that I bring far too much dirt in the house, but that's hard not to do if you spend significant time keeping your house and yard looking good.
While I would prefer to grab a sandwich and keep driving when we are traveling, I have learned to get out of the car and spend whatever time it takes to have a reasonably pleasant meal. I haven't noticed that the extra time has made us late to anything. It has made my wife happier.
A lot of living together successfully is learning that the more you give, the more you are likely to get. Making sure you never say something you will regret also helps as does never going to bed mad.
In fact one of the things we have done every night for nearly thirty eight years is to say "I love you" to each other before falling asleep. Sometimes we had to say it by telephone, but I don't think we have missed a night.
And when push comes to shove, I am always ready to say "Yes dear," even if it means I have to figure the difference between honeysuckle pink and some other impossible to describe shade of pink.
The love, friendship, and partnership that have intertwined our lives makes it easy to say "Yes, dear" to the most important person in my life.