gratitude list

In Al-Anon, when people are really struggling under the burden of the stressors in their lives, they are encouraged to compile a gratitude list in which they enumerate the many things and people in their lives for which they are grateful, but don’t often stop to remember. Being a person who naturally wakes up and falls asleep counting her blessings every day, there was never a need for this assignment to be given to me, but I saw the difference it made for others.

In that same vein, I think it does others good when we catalogue our gratitudes and they see how many of our blessings come directly from them. Scout blesses me every single day with her love, in big and small ways. I think I do a pretty good job of expressing my gratitude, but there’s always room for improvement.

Scout, thank you, my sweet wife, for:

1. Moving over 1,700 miles from your beautiful Oregon home of 24 years to live with me in this dry, brown, desert.

2. Marrying me and making a conscious decision to put up with all my quirks and -isms every day of your life until death do us part.

3. Making the decision to completely change your lifestyle after 47 years without children by becoming a stepmother to my boys, despite knowing that it would be a huge adjustment and challenge for all of us.

4. Planting our garden with me, flower by flower, seed by seed, and brick by brick and still finding the energy to massage my back at the end of our backbreaking day.

5. Doing the lion’s share of the grocery shopping and errand-running required to keep our happy household whirring along smoothly.

6. Sacrificing your career, for now, in order to have more flexibility and spend more time with me.

7. Sacrificing greater financial wealth in order to spend more time nurturing our sweet, beautiful marriage and family.

8. Keeping a pitcher of green tea made for me all the time and bringing me a fresh glass every morning.

9. Rubbing my neck and shoulders tirelessly.

10. Packing my lunch and sending me nutritious and tasty snacks and meals several times a week.

11. Kissing my back when you wake up in the night and whispering that you love me.

12. Giving me half of your pillow when we spoon.

13. Saving tea bags and food scraps for the composter even though you think it’s gross.

14. Texting me during the day while we are apart to tell me you love me and miss me.

15. Loving my parents and developing a great relationship with them.

16. Spoiling our puppies. ūüôā

There are so very many more reasons I’m grateful for you and the love and light you bring into my life, my sweet, beautiful wife. I hope I never forget to take the time to thank you for the gift of simply being you.

You’re my dream come true and my heart’s wish that was granted. I’m so proud and honored to be your wife, from now until the end of time.


pride, we’ve got it



Scout and I will be attending San Antonio Pride in two weeks. ¬†It will be my first ever Pride celebration and the first Texas Pride she’s attended. ¬†The Supreme Court is expected to hand down an opinion on DOMA and Prop 8 on June 26th or 27th, one or two days before Pride. ¬†If the opinion is in favor of marriage equality, we will be part of an historic celebration. ¬†If the opinion goes against marriage equality, it will be more important than ever for us to be to be out and proud.

For me, Pride has a special significance as I left a life of heterosexual privilege and relative affluence less than two years ago to live an authentic life. ¬†The fact that I got to marry the love of my life was secondary to my decision to live as an out lesbian. ¬†The pressure and misery of being in the closet was stifling. ¬†That Scout and I came to a place where we knew we wanted to be together and were actually able to make it happen just as I fully emerged from the closet was a happy coincidence. ¬†When I imagine the degree of self-loathing and hopelessness that would have been required for me to stay closeted, I feel truly compassionate toward those who haven’t been as brave, or as lucky, or as blessed by supportive family and friends as me. ¬†I can only imagine the misery, having always been a person who stretches toward the light and a happy, loving life regardless of whether or not it suited anyone else’s ideal.

The kiss captured in this photo took place in San Antonio.  It has PRIDE written all over it.

i am the hero of this story

Our blog’s first post. ¬†Well, it’s really the second post. ¬†The first post was written in a flurry of inspiration and inadvertently deleted in an attempt to attach a picture. ¬†This blogging thing, I used to know it. ¬†I used to be good at it. ¬†One might say that blogging many years ago directly led to this blog, and that’s the subject that was imminent when I started typing and before I veered off into explaining my ineptitude with the new-fangled blogging bells and whistles (i.e. blogging from an iphone app). ¬†Today, however, I am playing it safe and sticking with what I know: ¬†a good old-fashioned blog post written on a good old-fashioned computer with my quirky typemanship (is that a word?) that is not at all kosher, but surprisingly speedy. ¬†And accurate more often than not.

But yes, it was a blog that brought me here. ¬†If you get technical, it was more like four blogs. ¬†There was my blog, which was erased when I got divorced and was too caught up in turning my life right side up to remember to pay the host site its yearly fee. ¬†It seemed apropos that it would be erased just as I was finally blooming after the germination that occurred within a few months of those first published words many years ago.¬†¬†¬†There was a popular, high profile blog which women like me, who’d felt an awakening of something deep inside and who timidly began clearing the brush away from an abstruse path, often happened upon. ¬†And then there was my wife’s blog, unknown by me at the time to be the glinting hint of the treasure waiting ahead.

There will be time to tell the story.  It has all the makings of a story you will want to read.  There is discovery, heartache, intrigue, deceit, grace and mercy, romance, and a happy ending that is, and will always be, punctuated by bittersweetness by simple virtue of humans being so very human and so very inclined to less than noble behavior when feeling uncertain and frightened.

I am the hero of this story.

I saw a tattoo with those words this week. ¬†And I am the hero of my story. ¬†And Scout is the hero of her story. ¬†My teenage son is currently in the dragon-slaying phase of his own story, but he’s already the hero–because he’s facing the dragon. ¬†My twelve year old is the gentle hero of his story. ¬†We are all so impressive, really. ¬†So are you.

No one gets this far through this crazy-tragic-sometimes-almost-magic-awful-beautiful life without heroic acts, one after another after another. ¬†We all save ourselves. ¬†The ones who don’t, usually perish while fruitlessly trying to save someone else. ¬†And aren’t those heroes too? ¬†Martyrs, but heroes?

I’m the hero. ¬†I wake up every day next to a woman I admire, respect, love, and adore and live a good, happy life full of beauty and family and passion and worth.

I’m the hero. ¬†That is the ending of my story, and the chapter most read by the people who know me. ¬†The obsure, seldom-read chapters in between are worth reading too. ¬†And perhaps I shall write them here.

Once upon a time . . . .