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  • Leanne W. Smith

36 and Counting

Today, Stan and I celebrate 36 years of marriage. While we’ve had our share of silent car rides and cold shoulder evenings, our share of angry words and bitter tears, he says he would ask me all over again. And I’d say yes.

When he kissed me last night after we drove home from dinner, I was reminded of that first downtown kiss 38 years ago. I remember the way he put his arm around me and steered me away from the drunk stumbling toward us on 2nd Avenue. And I remember sitting in his car after dinner when he leaned forward—nose to my nose—in the silver Celica that had brought him back to Nashville in a snowstorm that first winter, weaving around the stalled semis on I-40.


We have stored up some memories he and I.


A favorite snapshot in my head, and perhaps a strange one to pluck from the pile and share on this Labor Day/wedding anniversary, is of him standing in the doorway of my mother’s hospital room the day my father and I drove her to the ER. She had needed emergency gall bladder surgery. Or maybe it was one of the times my mother and I had driven my father to the ER. I’m not sure. There is a three-year blur when the three of us hung out at Centennial more than any of us wanted to. But what I do know, vividly, is that Stan and I had argued about something the day before, and here I was in the ER with my parents, and he was suddenly, quietly, standing in the doorway. Being the him that I love. And the him that I have always needed.


For every happy, horrific, sacred, challenging moment of the last 36 years, he has been my go-to, my first phone call, the chest I’ve cried on, the steadying force.


Thank you, Stan, for being a rock so many of us lean on. You have a lot of admirable qualities, but your steadfast love for the Lord (and for me) are highest among my favorites.


Books on Sale


Leaving Independence is $0.99 on Kindle for the month of September. And Alone in a Cabin is (currently, at least) deeply discounted on Amazon for $2.58 (Kindle) and $2.72 (Paperback). A Contradiction to His Pride is also on sale on Kindle for $2.99.


So it’s a great time to stock up on extra copies! (Christmas is only 111 days away.)


What I'm watching: I really enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing. And Operation Mincemeat on Netflix.


What I'm teaching: That every presentation is a partnership between the presenter and the audience.


What I'm loving: Being back in the classroom with students.


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