71 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-13-19

  1. Chas, time to report in. You are always up by this time.
    Morning all and have a splendid birthday Nancyjill. Wish I could take you out for tea.

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  2. circumstances made it so that I had breakfast before showing up here, Jo.
    Good evening to you and good morning to everyone else.
    I think I have seen that bird before. Haven’t I?
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANCYJ

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  3. Morning! Oh the birdie has a big beak!! 😂
    Thanks for the birthday blessings…I suppose I am “officially” elderly 😜
    Husband, daughter in law and granddaughter left at 4:30 am to head over to Pike’s Peak. They are climbing the backside of the mountain today.
    Son will go grocery shopping with other daughter then they will prepare a bbq dinner for us this evening.
    Hannah will be house/dog sitting starting this morning for friends in town…so…I will take myself over to the little town of Elizabeth and shop, chat with the shopkeepers and have lunch at the tea room (oh Jo that would have been fun to have had tea with you…you would love this little town!)

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  4. Jo, Elizabeth is just to the north and a tad bit east from us….it takes me about 25 minutes drive on the back dirt road. It is a relaxing, peaceful drive through sheep, cow, and horse country…no traffic… 😊

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  5. When I lived in Arizona, any unpaved road was called a “dirt road”. When I moved to Missouri, I learned not to call them that. Here, a dirt road is one that turns to impassable mud in the rain. Most unpaved roads are gravel roads, since the counties put down tons of rock to keep them passable in rainy weather.

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  6. Chas – Is Elvera stable enough on her feet for the two of you to take short walks together around the neighborhood? Or to drive to a nice park and walk around there? I realize this would only be a nice idea if there is not much chance of a fall, but if there is, it’s not a good idea.

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  7. Saw a nice story on our local Patch news site. While getting ready to transport a trucker (who had been in an accident) to the hospital, they discovered that he had a little co-pilot in his truck – his little chihuahua. So the firefighters decided to take him to their firehouse to take care of him until the trucker is released from the hospital.

    (The piece did not mention how badly the trucker was injured.)

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  8. Karen, I try to get her some exercise. That wasn’t the problem last night. It was hat she was confused about the time of day. She often walks around looking for something to do. But there is nothing she can do.
    The sad situation is that she wants to be useful, but is only in the way.
    Some children are like that.
    I put up with a lot of that with Chuck because he had to learn. And he was “helping daddy”. That is important.
    It isn’t natural to be useless.

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  9. Kizzie, I agree that children have to sometimes be encouraged or forced to continue on with an activity when they have no good reason to not do. Music lessons etc. have to be worked through. Children do have to learn to not just go for the ‘fun’ times and to be a good team mate.

    Happy birthday, NancyJill!

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  10. Your day trip to shop and meander sounds wonderful, Nancyjill.

    All our streets are getting slurried, ours was done Thursday but every day it’s another stretch being done in the immediate neighborhood. There were still quite a few ‘dirt’ roads in Iowa last time I was there but that’s been a while. I remember as a kid traveling the gravel road leading to my uncle’s farm.

    But I love quaint little country towns, right out of a Hallmark movie.

    I saw this morning that one of the administrators of the hometown FB page (commenting on my story I’d posted there last night about a storage facility being built for the homeless in our town) stated that addictions are only present in “10-15%” of the homeless population. Usually the figure is 20% that’s thrown out.

    Either way, I’m sorry, but that’s just so obviously not the case. One’s own eyes will counter that as you drive through the encampment areas and see the young outlaws who run the streets on their bikes in between camping in their sidewalk tents. They’re often seen smoking *something* out in the open, needles are found during all the cleanups.

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  11. I am home alone — the others have left to go to various other places. Hubby and 5th & 6th Arrows to hubby’s brother’s; 3rd Arrow to a movie; 4th Arrow to work. I’m busy researching piano options. (What’s new, ha?)

    I have now looked at (and played) ten different instruments at three music stores this week. I took notes on them all and compiled them into a chart this morning. Column headings are dealer name, piano brand, model, size, color, year of manufacture, new/used status, price, and comments.

    Writing all that out in chart form helped me organize my thoughts better and figure out more about what to ask about certain models.

    I’ve already eliminated two of them from consideration — the only two that one of those stores had. They were both used vertical pianos, only a little taller than mine, and only two years younger. The sound quality was nice, but buying either of them wouldn’t be much of an upgrade at all. Not worth it to spend $4,000 and hardly make more than a lateral move compared to my present piano.

    The first piano I looked at, which is the one you’ve been hearing so much about, with those two oddly-sounding keys, is still in consideration, but only if those faulty strings can be brought up to snuff and if my tech has confidence there won’t be long-term or expensive issues with whatever component or care factor led to the current problem.

    At the third store, I tried out seven pianos — two new verticals, and five grands (three used and two new). I am intrigued by the sound of one of the used grands. It’s a Boston, a less-expensive line made by Steinway to be more competitive with other grand piano manufacturers’ prices.

    The sound is mellower than the other pianos I played, and has less of a percussive quality — it’s more singing and lyrical in tone. The instrument is clean and completely well-functioning. It’s 16 years old and priced at $12,000, which I think is a very good deal, but is a bit more than we have set aside at this time for a piano purchase.

    We’d have to decide very carefully whether we’d want to divert other funds to buy it, or just save up piano lesson income until I’ve got enough to pay for the piano. I doubt the instrument would still be available at that time, though, given how few students I have (only three paying clients).

    I’m really enjoying my search, now that I’ve broadened my horizons beyond just considering the one. The right one is somewhere, and maybe is one I haven’t seen yet.

    All in God’s timing.

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  12. Cubs are playing the Pirates, beat them yesterday, and they just had a crazy first inning. Cubs had 12 batters, 7 runs, 50 pitches to them, and the starting pitcher was removed after 43 pitches (feel sorry for him!). Lester even got a hit, which would have been a double for most people but the pitcher doesn’t run as hard to make it to base as other players do, and he safely made it to first and had two RBIs, and later scored. Pirates didn’t score in the first, and now they’d have to come up with 8 to beat the Cubbies, and the Cubs may well make other runs themselves!

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  13. The writer’s group was really good this a.m. I have been blessed to get rides with the lady who is Wesley’s good friend’s mom. Still seems divinely providential and serendipidous that we would both get to meet and critique each other’s writing. Wesley met her about two weeks ago at his friend’s wedding in Ohio.

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  14. Chas – My earlier comment was not related to yours about Elvera waking up early. I had actually been thinking of asking that yesterday. 🙂

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  15. My back is still hurting. It takes a long time to heal. I also did too much in the weight room last Tuesday which caused my legs to hurt along with my back. I have been going on walks to help loosen it up. I am being very careful now.

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  16. DJ, I left a message with my tech and he got back to me this afternoon. He asked me a lot of questions about what I heard/observed with the piano, and said that those string problems are almost certainly because the piano hasn’t been tuned nearly often enough over its 15-year life. He estimates it will take at least two tunings in the next year to do an adequate pitch raise, and maybe after that it will stabilize. Or it might take longer.

    He was appalled at how little the store had had it tuned while in their possession, and that they didn’t have it tuned after they repossessed it. Also that they’re only having their tech come and try to tune up only those out-of-tune strings for the two keys that are way off in pitch.

    Though my tuner does help customers with choosing used pianos upon request (and I told him I would pay him whatever his rate was for providing such a service), he instead recommended a tuner friend of his who lives in the same city as that store. He suggested I tell the store people to call that guy and get him to tune the whole piano at their expense. Which I am going to do on Monday.

    My tuner has always been so considerate. He thoroughly answers my questions, and he also saved me money I would have been happy to pay him so that I don’t have to pay for the store’s reluctance to do what most dealers automatically do for their potential customers.

    He also told me that, in his experience, small grands (about 5 feet or slightly smaller) don’t stay in tune well. Hmmm. He’s got, I’m guessing, 40-50 years experience tuning pianos, so that information means a lot.

    I mentioned the 5-foot, 4-inch used Boston grand I was also considering, and he said that’s a good piano, and at that size, wouldn’t be susceptible to going out of tune easily.

    I also discovered today that the store where that is for sale gives piano teachers a discount. Any piano teacher, not just the ones who work at the store.

    They also have exacting standards for what kind of used piano they’ll accept. They ask the sellers to fill out a detailed form about the maintenance and care the owners have given it, and don’t accept anything that hasn’t been taken good care of. A piano that hasn’t been tuned in five years, for example, would never make it to their showroom floor. And all the pianos they sell are delivered to the customer fully regulated and tuned, and then are tuned for free again in six months. Their used piano warranty (5 years) covers parts and labor.

    Awesome customer service there. Night and day between the two places.

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  17. That would be awesome of the store paid to get it into shape before you took it.

    I take it that tuning a piano is expensive?

    I ordered the porch light, they had the floor model but will have to get it delivered to me (it shouldn’t take long, they said it should arrive Mon-Tues) and I already pre-paid for the installation and they said that’s pretty quick to schedule as well. It was on sale for $99 until the end of this month so a fairly good deal, it’s in the same Mission model style/line my other outdoor lights were part of, so it should look nice as a blend with the Narnia post light for example. Amber seeded glass so it’ll be a very warm light 🙂

    After that I stopped at the nursery, spotted some mini-morning glories and am tempted to plant them in one of my sunnier spots in the backyard — if I wouldn’t hate myself for it later. My mom was always fighting with the morning glories, but hers were the big ones, these look not as invasive.

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  18. Oh, but I found the prettiest and most appropriate birthday card at the nursery for my friend I’m seeing on Saturday. It’s very “her.”

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  19. Those are pretty flowers. I’d never heard of dwarf morning glories, though I did know of regular morning glories.

    DJ, I misread what you wrote at 8:26, thinking you said, “mid-morning glories” instead of “mini-morning glories.” I wondered for a few seconds what shade of blue mid-morning glories might be. 😉

    Funny play on words in the link title: “…/blue-my-mind…” 🙂

    Piano tuning itself isn’t super expensive, IMO. My tuner charges a little over $100, which isn’t bad. I’m sure it must be more than that in bigger cities and/or coastal areas, where a lot of things cost more anyway.

    It’s regulation and voicing and other more extensive treatments that really add up. It can get over a thousand dollars pretty fast with that type of work done. That’s why I’d like to be as certain as possible I’m not buying a “lemon” (to use a used-car analogy again) if I go with a used piano this time.

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  20. Carol texted me today asking if I could take her for a ride when I came to visit this week. I texted back (honestly) that I’d love to get her out but there are so many factors, among them that she can’t seem to get into my car on her own. For a while I’ve had to lift, bend and shove her right leg and foot into the seat well and it’s plain getting hard for me, to be honest. That leg is heavy and kind of dead weight, unmovable for the most part.

    So of course she responded, “oh no problem,” she thinks she can handle that. No, she really can’t … I did tell her my week was filling up rapidly and there were a lot of unknown moving parts (porch light installation, needed plumber visit, an added lunch with friends from the dog park, and the outing with my cousin to figure out — along with the vet appt Thursday and seeing my friend in the Valley on Saturday.

    A quick home visit with Carol is doable, but if we try to add a “trip,” it complicates and potentially lengthens the visit immensely.

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  21. I would love to have some of those cheerful mini flowers!

    Today was Wesley’s birthday. Thirty years ago I had my first and only. And he is across the ocean from us right now. At least we got to talk to him.

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  22. I like the little morning glories and think I might go for them. They’d not be near any of the fences or house or garage and that’s where my mom’s battles always were, with the larger variety climbing and clinging all over the back fence. But she did plant them because she thought they were so pretty. These sound like they were bred to be less problematic.

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  23. Happy Birthday to Wesley, Janice. Hope he’s enjoying his overseas birthday.

    My firstborn turns 30 next year. Isn’t it amazing how fast time flies?

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  24. Yep, 30 is a good age. I knew a lot of people who thought it sounded “old,” but for me it sounded just right. When I was 15, we were attending a church with no other teenagers except my younger sister and a boy her age, and my best friend was 30. (There were only a few people in their twenties, too, one of them off at college for most of the year and another one was also one of my friends.) I got thinking that 30 seemed the perfect age, still young but with some maturity and old enough that no one would think “she’s just a kid.” (I found out that you really never get past that!) So for the next 15 years I looked forward to being 30, and thoroughly enjoyed it when it arrived . . .

    . . . but by my mid-20s I had observed that I had never met a woman who married for the first time between 30 and 60 (I knew one who married a widower when she was in her 60s or possibly her 70s, and I knew some who had remarried after being widowed or divorced) and I had accepted that if I made it to 30 single, I would probably be single for life. (I moved to Nashville at 36, and only there did I start meeting women who married older, and started hearing stories about people who met someone online and had a great relationship–one of my college friends met someone online soon after she graduated, but I never met her husband and that just seemed weird to me at the time.)

    But 30 was good, and my 30s were good. Pretty much every decade is better than the one before, though 50s was the first to take some getting used to–it simply came so quickly after 30, and it’s so clearly past the halfway point of life expectancy, that it was sobering. Not depressing, and not “old,” but sobering.

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  25. Good morning. People are finding out just how much thirteen does around here as he is off on vacation. He went with twenty one to visit her bio grandmother for a couple days.

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  26. Yes, 30 sounded old to me but only briefly. 🙂 The 60s have taken a lot of getting used to for me. But I keep thinking if I live long enough 60s will sound not-so-old someday.

    I slept late today after getting up briefly for the animals. It took Annie to finally bug me enough, but now I need to kind of hustle to get out of here in time for church.

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  27. You start going downhill in the 80’s. Some before then, but I have been blessed.
    When you start going down, it is like picking up speed down the mountain.
    My dad, in his eighties, used to say, “Won’t be long now, momma.” I didn’t understand what he meant at the time.

    Every day, several times, actually, I implore the Lord.
    Give me strength to take care of her.
    Give me wisdom to do the right thing.
    Give me patience to put up with much trivia…
    And thanks for giving me such a sweet woman.
    And let me outlive her, because I know she wouldn’t like “A Place for Mom”.

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  28. We were going to SS from the early service.
    We met Chuck in he hall. He was drinking coffee and we chatted a minute.
    As we went our way, Elvera said, “Chuck is such a good kid.”
    Her “kid” turns 60 in October. He and Linda just celebrated their 49th year together.

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  29. Morning! Son and family just headed down the driveway towards DIA. It was a good visit. I am now washing bedding. Husband went on to church while I stayed here with the kids. Granddaughter very pleased she summited Pike’s Peak…she has a t-shirt, photo and a doughnut to prove it! 😊

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  30. And I understand what Donna is talking bout when she talks about getting Carol into the Jeep. I don’t put Elvera into the truck anymore because it is more difficult in getting her into it.

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  31. Neither Cheryl, it was a typo. They were married in 1980. I didn’t think anyone would catch it, so I didn’t correct it after it posted. But it’s nice that you noticed.
    They were, in fact, working at the same restaurant. Chuck (part time) was a cook and Linda was a waitress.
    Chuck hadn’t started to college yet. He worked part time and played guitar in a rock band. He was, in his mind, going to be a rock star. Fortunately it didn’t work out and he decided to go to USCarolina. I paid his tuition and school expenses. Linda worked to feed the family. I forgot what they did when Becky was born. I think I helped a lot
    I don’t know if Linda’s parents helped. They (Linda’s folks) had two other girls.

    C&L now have three girls and seven grandchildren.

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  32. The added issue with Carol is her size — she’s very tall and very large and has gained weight since last fall/winter. I think she’s now around 300 pounds, maybe more, can’t remember what she told me now.

    She was always asking me if the front seat was pushed back as far as it’ll go (yes) as there’s simply not enough easy access room for her to squeeze in. Her legs are too long & heavy (and unbendable); her head almost reaches the car ceiling. It’s just not a good vehicle for her. But it’s the only one I have. Once she’s in, it’s OK, but getting her in and out has really become too complicated and difficult for both me and her — but she has yet to *see* that.
    ____________________________

    Good sermon and service today, one of our elders preached & my former pastor was there to serve communion.

    I was talking to my British friend afterward — he’s 85 but honestly looks 60, was a travel writer for years and did some acting in the 1960s (his still-beautiful wife is German and was a flight attendant) — and he was saying while he’d love to ditch his still relatively new walker (following hip surgery last year) and just use a cane, he’s developed a real fear of falling, knowing how much damage it can do as we age. He’s so youthful and handsome (and has been very active all his life), I know it’s hard for him.

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  33. DJ, there is also the issue that you could really hurt yourself in attempting to move her. You simply do not have the proper equipment, nor can you move her safely–safely for either of you. I know you probably feel at least somewhat bad that you can’t, but realistically you can’t. There may well be transportation for the handicapped within your city, but you aren’t equipped to offer it. In Nashville I did a volunteer program driving seniors to the doctor, and the organization had certain standards of mobility for the safety of their volunteers. I had one very heavy client who lived at the end of a long, poorly tended driveway, and my car would bounce up and down as I drove that potholed mess. After two trips, I told the organization I couldn’t drive her anymore, and why, and they sounded quite concerned. I suspect she was told get the driveway fixed or she’s off the list–it was simply unrealistic to expect me to damage my car to do a favor for, in that case, a stranger. Had I been having to help her into the vehicle, too, I would have called after the first trip.

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  34. Cheryl, I agree — primarily my role has been to find a high enough curb within reasonable distance from which she could get into the car and then, after she’s seated, to lift and push/shove her right leg and foot into the well as she doesn’t have the strength or flexibility to pull her leg in behind her. But that leg and foot are heavy and very difficult for me to lift and maneuver. She said she can get the leg in herself if she can ‘lie down’ across both front seats, but I doubt that (even if I thought that was somehow a good idea, which I don’t).

    There is a transportation service for the handicapped and I’ve urged her to re-activate the card she once had for that if she wants to get out a bit, but it’s probably not safe even with that (and she never has the minimal fee to pay for the rides anyway). It just seems like we’re at that place where outings are in the past, but she keeps pushing for a “ride” just to get out and I hate saying no but realize I’ll just have to be more firm about it. I understand how she must feel trapped (she also used to be able to take the bus — it was free for her — which stopped right in front of her former residence but doesn’t stop at her current one). But I think we both probably knew this day would come.

    And, honestly, it’s so much easier for me to visit her now without dealing with all the ride drama. I find myself not being resistant to heading up there for a visit since I know it’s not going to be an hours-long effort involving errand stops & getting her in and out of the Jeep. It’s much more relaxing for me, anyway.

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  35. DJ, that’s sad about Carol’s decline. You’re being such a friend to her.

    For some reason, I was picturing her both very tall and very thin. I know you’ve mentioned her height a number of times, but maybe I was confused about the thin part? Or was she once and now has gained a lot of weight?

    She must be so uncomfortable.

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  36. Chas – I am praying that God will grant you those requests you mentioned.

    And, btw, I noticed the typo about Chuck and Linda being married for 49 years, too, and chuckled a bit at it. 🙂

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  37. Cheryl – That is a good point about the possibility of DJ getting hurt in trying to help Carol.

    Part of our decision to finally put my MIL in a nursing home was that she was getting more unstable on her feet and she was resisting my help, even pushing me away. We realized that that could end up getting both of us seriously injured. But still, it took our doctor strongly encouraging us to do so after he had to hospitalize her for dehydration and being impacted (seriously constipated).

    I felt horrible about the dehydration, as if it were somehow my fault, but I really did knock myself out (figuratively, of course 🙂 ) trying to get her to drink. Part of her resisting me was also resisting any nudges, no matter how gentle and friendly, to drink a little more, or take another bite of food.

    Knowing that I was waiting for her to finish her glass of water or cup of tea, to clear away the dishes and such, she would purposely swirl the liquid in the glass or cup and gaze out the window, taking tiny sips and then swirling some more. (You can imagine how frustrating that was.)

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  38. Did I ever tell you all that one time, when Mary was in the nursing home, she stabbed someone’s hand with her fork? Fortunately, she wasn’t very strong, so it didn’t do much damage as I don’t think it pierced the skin. I think it was one of the staff who was trying to encourage her to eat.

    Another time she was trying to kick someone in their wheelchair out of her way, while in her own wheelchair. Yeah, she was a feisty one.

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  39. Nightingale was telling me about a mentally disabled and physically disabled woman at the nursing home. This poor woman is only around 50 and has no family. She cannot walk or do anything much, and she is also non-verbal. All she does is sit in her wheelchair and watch the people, which she seems to enjoy.

    Nightingale showed me the hair products she bought for the lady, who is part black, and has the same kind of hair that black women have. Since she has no family to buy her special products, the CNAs use the cheapo shampoo supplied by the nursing home. But black ladies need a different kind of shampoo for their hair. So Nightingale bought her some of that, and wrote her name on it. There was some other kind of hair product she bought, too, as well as the right kind of comb.

    She said that when she has time, she is going to braid the lady’s hair.

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  40. Kizzie, he didn’t say they were married 49 years, but “together” 49 years, and so it was possible.

    I have personally known three couples who were sweethearts from the time they were five or six. Parents probably thought “Oh, isn’t that cute!” but had no idea they’d marry one day. One couple was old when I was a teen, or they seemed old to me then (70s at least, both of them quite tall and thin); one pair were fellow students when I was in college; and one is one of my nephews. The nephew is one of four boys (and one girl) born to my California brother. All four boys are married cross-culturally, three of them to Filipinas and one to a Cuban. Three of them married the same year, and my sister-in-law sent out a newsletter at Christmas telling us about them: one married a girl he met in the army, one his high school sweetheart, and the youngest married “his kindergarten sweetheart.” They were maybe 22-24 at the time, and I knew they had been “together” for years, but not that it had been that long. (I met the three Filipinas, one of them already a wife and the other two fiancees.)

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  41. Cheryl – True, Chas didn’t specify that they’d been married that long. But he said they had “celebrated their 49th year together,” and the word “celebrated” sounded like it refers to a wedding anniversary to me.

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  42. Kizzie, to me too, but since it wasn’t clear, I clarified. It seems people are more and more likely to say things like “We’ve been together for 42 years now,” when only 39 years of that was marriage, or “We’ve been married for 17 years, together for 19.” Sometimes they mean they lived together before they married, but not always. My sister only had 17 years of marriage, but her husband was slow at getting around to proposing, and so sometimes she counts those four years they knew each other before marriage (three years dating, one year when she stayed living in his town waiting for him to get around to asking her out on a date).

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