I’m a big fan of use the Notes app on my phone, to capture things before I forget them, since I almost always have my phone nearby.  I referenced this in previous post on Family Lexicon and in fact I use a note to capture ideas for future blog posts.  I also have a note where I keep track of people I’ve told I would send a copy of my book to.

One note I have is titled Why I Love Francie. We’ve been married over 40 years, and have been through some rough times and some great times together, so this is obviously not an exhaustive list. But I use it to capture things in the moment, so I can remember them later.

The first entry is simply Tortilla Soup.  This may seem frivolous, unless you’ve ever tasted Francie’s tortilla soup.  Don’t bother asking me for a recipe, she doesn’t use one. I know one of the secrets is fresh sweet corn kernels stripped off the cob.  Love might be another secret ingredient.  I don’t even bother to order tortilla soup when we go out, because I know it’s not going to come close to Francie’s.  I kid her that her tortilla soup would have been reason enough to marry her.

Another entry is “Makes ‘clean out the fridge’ lasagna”.  Neither of us likes to waste anything, including food.  Francie has the ability to look at the fridge, take out things that we need to use up before they go bad, and concoct an amazing meal out of them.  Awhile back she made a lasagna, which, besides using up a bunch of veggies and some spaghetti sauce that had been there awhile, was incredibly delicious!  It was so good I had thirds, and I’m pretty disciplined about portion control.

There’s one entry that simply reads “Wally”, and there’s a story there.  As most of you likely know, I enjoy getting out into the wilderness with minimal gear.. it’s kind of my thing, or at least one of them.  So, when we were sitting on the couch one evening a few years ago and Francie says, out of the blue, “I’ve been thinking we should get an RV”, my first thought was “No good can come of this.”  We ended up with Wally, our Sprinter adventure van.  We have over 80,000 miles on him in a few years, and are having a blast.  Francie and I get to spend quality time together (because at home we’re often both busy on our own projects), we get to enjoy road trips, and we get to boondock in the wilderness.  Wally is never something I would have thought of, but has definitely added richness to our lives, thanks to Francie.

Another entry that requires a story is “Superwoman flying up the stairs”.  In our Carlsbad house, my home office was at the top of the stairs.  One day, I was quietly working, and happened to look out my office door at the stairs coming from the main floor.  Francie, unawares that I was home, was bounding up the stairs with her right arm extended in front of her, like she was Superwoman flying up the stairs.  She was so embarrassed when she saw me watching.  To me, it typifies her approach to life… head-on, full force, while having fun.  She IS my superwoman, every day.

The final entry I’ll share (some probably fall into the TMI category) is: “Connection to nights in convents”.  Francie grew up Catholic, and is the master at staying in touch.  She is in touch with a number of Sisters (nuns) who either taught her in school, or that she met since, or were friends of her mom, or friends of friends.  In our travels, we have visited these Sisters, and I have spent the night, with Francie, in the guest rooms at three different convents.  That was something I didn’t even know I had on my bucket list!  It would never have happened without Francie.

These are just a few of the reasons I am thankful for Francie this Valentine’s Day, and every day. So what’s on your list, for the people you care about in your life?  And for bonus credit, do they know it?

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