But what is the same as last year, and what occurs many days of my married life is this: Lou B. Harris has taught me something.
I've learned a lot from him over the years. I won't list for you the "a lot" because, well, because I'd like you to come back and visit my blog sometime. But I do remember one of the first things he tried to teach me about. How to cook hash browns. I'd like to say that moment in time was a rip roaring success, but the attempt at conveying culinary information from him to me in our garage apartment at 2101½ S. Madison, Tulsa, OK, that day culminated in another first for us - our first fight as a married couple.
Of course, we laugh about it now. I'm smiling as I type. Hash browns. Really? So silly. So young. So real. And so not about hash browns at the core.
After almost 26 years of marriage, we've become better at conveying and hearing what at least one of us feels needs to be said to the other. I won't say mastered, because we haven't mastered that skill. At least I haven't mastered that skill. Sometimes, even when we are both trying to maturely discuss an issue, words twist, feelings get hurt and I end up wanting to knock him into next week.
Also after 26 years of marriage, we've learned to let some things go. We've learned what's worth discussing and what's not. Lou used to try to encourage me to exercise when we first got married.
"You should go for a run now. The weather's perfect."
"It's amazing outside today! You gonna exercise??"
Even though I've been fairly athletic my whole life, I was not a regular exerciser at the time he made those sweet little suggestions.
Another area that he's been wise to not nudge is in the neatness/orderly category. I might as well just confess it now. He's neater than me. I'm not a complete slob, mind you. It just comes more naturally to him than it does to me, darn it.
Which brings me to the Lou de jour lesson. When I returned to our room here at KAA today after exercising (had to throw that in there), I threw off my shoes and jumped in the shower. When I was ready to put my shoes back on, I looked on the floor and saw something I hadn't noticed until just then:
Those shoes (and socks) in the floor that everybody has to walk around and trip over? They are mine.
Those shoes that are easily found and neatly put where nobody has to walk around them or trip over them? Those are Lou's.
Lou, wisely, I might add, has not and does not say anything to me about any of my untidy little habits. He typically just does his orderly thing. If there's one thing I've learned after living with him for these 26 years, it's he has a reason for everything he does. He's the son of an engineer and it shows. It's one of the things that used to drive me crazy, but now one of the things I like most about him. He's purposeful.
Even down to how to store his shoes in our very beautiful, comfortable, but closetless room here at KAA.
So, there it is. A little wordless lesson from Lou that he was completely clueless about until now.
Wordless are pretty much the best kind of lessons, aren't they?