Spring has warmed the earth enough so it is easy again to sit out as the sun sets out beyond the desert floor. The back patio is a work in progress as I faithfully fill the bird bath each day – the waterfall fountain is running again – the terraced flower beds are built and the drip irrigation is in place – the violas at the nursery called out to us, so a section is planted with their yellow and purple and orange blooms. But the nurseries make us wait a little longer for the showy flowers and plants which won’t stand a frost. The bare elm trees need just a little longer to bud out their leaves – they created a framework as last night’s sunset glowed through the bare branches.

New springtime’s and birthdays and anniversaries and holidays become a little dearer it seems with each passing year. Maybe because the memories attached to the special days keep piling up – maybe because there is an inner realization that there are fewer and fewer of those special times left to make memories as the years’ pass. Today is the 48th wedding anniversary for Darlene and me. I told her she’d been married to the same man for over 70% of her lifetime. The realization of that as both blessing and accomplishment might not mean much to those who are younger.

We drove up to Albuquerque to Kasey’s Steak House for an early dinner. We got their wonderful house made chips and French onion dip and then a wedge salad with real bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles and cherry tomatoes. For entrees, we both got their coffee rubbed steak, laid down over creamy and buttery mashers with crispy, just fried onion strings on top and a balsamic reduction drizzled over all. We finished the celebration off with their wonderful bread pudding smothered with a rich, sweet whisky sauce and homemade ice cream.

The 48 years have been good ones for me – for lots of reasons – but the ingredient making good in them that has always been the constant has been the quiet and steadfast and patient and keep-after-it spirit that Darlene has brought to our family. She has never wavered – rarely complained – has put up with crazy schemes and ventures; more than enough of them failures – yet never looked back – always pitching in with a view to the future. So, 48 years are done – another milestone – I’m so thankful for those years and for Darlene. We don’t know either how many or what future milestones the years will bring – but let them be – faith teaches we are more than conquerors. Together may our intentions be always good and causes just – may the days pass in a bond of love and peace, and may our actions serve to accomplish the purposes made to be our part.

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