(I’m posting this a day early because we will be busy tomorrow. xxoo)

Anniversary 2013
Anniversary 2013

It was Thursday October 8, 1959 and the sun peeked over Iowa fields that only days before were pregnant with ears of yellow corn. The busy little metropolis of Des Moines stretched and yawned, not yet knowing what this day would bring. For within yet another 1,440 minutes in a typical day, Des Moines would be the backdrop to my destiny. An intersection of time, when all tumblers would begin to fall into place to set the stage for two people set on parallel paths 672.7 miles apart. A mere 9 hours and 26 minutes. But closer than we knew.

I’ve often wondered, if you could view mankind the way that God does, with no limits and all the plugs of time and spacial confines pulled out; if 9 hours and 26 minutes would be any sort of barrier for meeting the one that you will spend the rest of your life with?

But how might I have convinced my parents? I was only seven months old at the time of this fortuitous event. And would they have believed me? I guess once they got over the amazement that I must be some sort of prodigy, able to comprehend and communicate the desires of my heart at seven months, they still would have probably not believed that my wife was being born at Des Moines General Hospital and they definitely wouldn’t have believed me when I told them the address was 1506 1/2 High Street. “How can you have a building that sits at a 1/2 street? You silly seven month old child!”

But nonetheless, had I known, I would have tried harder.

Jeanie 1963
Jeanie 1963

And so we grew. You in Des Moines and other Iowa, Louisiana and Indiana cities. And me in Northglenn. Going about our everyday tasks of toys and school and friends that would come and go and finally trying on other relationships to see if they would fit. Ever wondering but yet, ever knowing that the feel of the material against our skin of those relationships was uncomfortable. Soon, we took them off, to discard in the hamper only to be laundered and sent off to Good Will for someone else to try on to see if they fit.

Until finally, again, God stepped in and said enough is enough; and both of us, through no choice of our own, ended up in the frozen north with everything shiny and new and ready for the possibilities.

Photo on your brother Joe's mirror in his dorm room. The one that I fell in love with before you came back to college.
Photo on your brother Joe’s mirror in his dorm room. The one that I fell in love with before you came back to college.

And then it happened, I was with Duane standing at the town square, which was, for Northwest Bible College, Minot, ND, the fountain mid campus. And I saw you walk in-front of the Admin building. Your golden brown hair catching the sun as it filtered through the September leaves and splayed a pattern that radiated your countenance. Your form fitting skirt, your legs and high heels. And my heart leapt as you pulled on the door handle and disappeared.

Through a myriad of Tangos over the next few years, we would move. You and I managing to stay linked by the attraction that befell us. Until finally, the last tumbler slipped into place and the vault was unlocked forever. A butterscotch outfit in the cafeteria and all would be in place for the finality of the ask. And that finality culminated in a simple conversation after graduation in the office of the Dean of Students. Your office, at the receptionist area. Such a tiny space with a big result.

“You’re going to be here for the summer? Cool. We can hang out. It will be a lot of fun. Hey, do you want to come over? I’m babysitting the Riddlehoover’s apartment while they’re away. Man’s Favorite Sport with Rocky Hudson and Paula Prentiss is on TV.” (for those who have read my books, it was a real Zack and Jamie moment)

And you said, Yes.

I fixed pretzels and red Kool-Aid. I wouldn’t know until much later that you didn’t care for either one at the time. But you had too much class and grace to let on. And to this day, the red Kool-Aid isn’t allowed in our house, not directly because of that, but because red Kool-Aid/grandkids/white carpet don’t mix. But somehow it may be, in the back of our minds, that we made a secret vow to not have red Kool-Aid again. I don’t know.

But even though the refreshments weren’t a hit, the movie and company was. A hit that would last 3 decades.

And the intersection became a causeway on July 23, 1981, a thoroughfare to happiness and love. 58 days after our first date. Some wondered if we’d make it, as Shania Twain would write about so many years later.

And we did. 5 children and 8 grandchildren later. With another granddaughter about to arrive in a few months.

I celebrate you on this October day. From me, who knows you best and loves you most.

Thank you for eating pretzels you didn’t enjoy and drinking cool-aid that was too sweet and watching a sappy comedy/romance that we still like to this day.

You are forever locked in my heart.

I would ask you all over again.

Happy Birthday, Honey.




I just love this picture, even though it was several years ago. That's all.
I just love this picture, even though it was several years ago. That’s all.

An Addendum:

Other great people, besides yourself that were born on your day.

And so many other interesting intersections with us and our lives.


Oct. 8, 1927 – Jim Elliot,- missionary, martyr for Christ,  in ministry like us.

Oct. 8, 1943 – Chevy Chase,- of course, who has given us so many hours of laughter.

Oct. 8, 1944 – Dale Dye,- You won’t recognize readily, however, character actor that you would recognize in Band of Brothers, my favorite all time series.

Oct. 8, 1949 – Sigourney Weaver, – Working Girl, or course

Oct. 8, 1955 – Darrell Hammond,- Saturday Night Live- more laughter

Oct. 8, 1956 – Stephanie Zimbalist, – Remington Steel- The spark of my fashion in the 80’s. Remington, not Stephanie

Oct. 8, 1959 – Jeanie Rhoades-You

You and me in paradise.
You and me in paradise.

Oct. 8, 1960 – Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix- That we curl up with now.

Oct. 8, 1964 – CeCe Winans,- We knew her back when, pudgy little Gospel singer on PTL

Oct. 8 1969 – Jeremy Davies– Saving Private Ryan, LOST, – another one of our favorite guys.

Oct. 8, 1970 – Matt Damon, Saving Private Ryan- of course.

Oct. 8, 1993 – Molly Quinn,- Castle- The daughter, Castle, because I’m a writer and a mystery solver, even in losing something around the house. 🙂

Oct. 7, 1959 Simon Cowell- well close enough to make the list, we love Simon…


But you are the best October 8th of them all !

Mother's Day 2013
Mother’s Day 2013

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