Anniversaries that beat the odds


I’m going to share a couple of little miracles we’re enjoying in our family and keep praying for another big miracle that is a much larger and pressing problem, also in our family.

The first miracle is pictured above. Sammy is our five year-old grandson in Phoenix who kicked in three goals today. Not such a big deal except the first three years of Sammy’s life were occupied by emergency room visits, inhalers, medicines and breathing apparatuses.

It seemed every time Michele and I visited Phoenix, Sammy couldn’t breathe. It seemed every time his family came to Washington, he couldn’t breathe. It was scary and seemed to be getting worse. Last year when we arrived at the Phoenix airport late one night, Sammy was once again in the emergency room.

I chalked up a chalk mark in my head giving Sammy pretty low odds of recovering. It didn’t look good from his history. To see the poor kid fight for air was scary.

But guess what? For the past year, he has been able to stay off the air mask and hospital visits. Pursuing activities that used to put him down now seem to make him stronger. I consider it a miracle and a cool development.

The next miracle is pictured below.IMG_3462

This picture is a new idea I’ve developed. I think I’m going to call it a “selfie”. Mark my words, people are going to copy me and it’s going to spread like wildfire.

It also marks Michele and my 39th year of staying married. If you’ve read my book, you’ll understand how hard it has been for me to hang in there and put up with Michele’s antics and shenanigans. We observed this anniversary by working in the temple pictured just behind us. Personally, I’m convinced the temple is one of the big reasons we’re still together.

We kill almost a full day each week working in the temple. It is the highlight of our week. I’m not bragging about any of this, I’m expressing gratitude that my life has turned out like it has. The faith I’m hooked up with answers so many questions that nobody else has the answers for.

Anyway, just like Jack Benny, we are grateful for the 39 years we’ve had.

The day before our anniversary was Valentine’s Day. We celebrated by going for breakfast to Cameo Heights with a couple of my sisters and their husbands.

One of my brother-in-laws has very dry skin. It’s so bad that this fastidious relative quit drying between his toes after he showered. He hoped that the moisture between his little piggies would promote a more normal skin moisture content. I don’t think it did.

So I asked him at our breakfast what his most favorite thing in the whole world was. He held up his little container and said: “My skin moisturizer!”

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Unfortunately, my sister heard him and came stomping over. I thought I better help get Tracy out of hot water so I asked again, “What is your favorite thing in life?”

He did a little better this time around. He said “My skin moisturizer and then my wife.”

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I’ve known Jill longer than I’ve known Tracy. She’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and just seemed happy to be included in the mix of Tracy’s favorites.

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After breakfast, we got the proprietor of Cameo Heights, Alan Fielding to snap a picture of us. My other brother-in-law Todd finished brain radiation a few weeks ago and had his kidney out week before last. So far he is doing great. I’m not sure if his glow is from the radiation or the great spirit he has.

He is the big miracle we’re hoping and praying for. My other brother-in-law Scott in Alaska with pancreatic cancer is also foremost in our thoughts and prayers.

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This is the winners playing ping pong after Todd and Lisa beat Michele and I at the Mansion. The only reason they beat us is because Todd had extra zing on his serves, I think it was solely attributable to the radiation boost.


See those cracks in this grain bin? Every bin makes these cracks every year and it’s a constant fight for the bin operator to keep the rain water from coming off the roof and seeping into the grain inside.

I filed a patent for a new gizmo to fix this problem. Sold my first units to fix the problem this last week and am pretty pumped about the possibilities. Every other week I have a new idea that’s going to fix the world. I wonder when one of them is going to pan out?


We went to the Country Mercantile today to celebrate our 39th. I delivered 20 books there a couple of weeks ago and they were down to three today. After we ate, I dropped off another box.


While we were eating, a guy bought a book and came over to our table and asked me to sign it. I was surprised he recognized me since I had my head in a vertical position while eating lunch.

Maybe I should start going down there everyday for lunch, sit on the stairs, crane my head around the corner and offer advice as to which book they should buy. By doing that, my head would be at a 90 degree angle and more recognizable to book buyers. That chink in the sheet rock would be perfect for me to rest my chin on.

However, I’d probably get thrown out for loitering unless I kept buying more sandwiches. I’m not sure the book sales would keep up with the sandwich purchases.

I guess I’ll never know if I don’t try it. Stay tuned.


  1. Happy Anniversary Ben and Michelle. She is one in a million! Hoping all of these miracles continue. Love to you guys and your family.

  2. It’s actually called a “Spousie” A picture you take of yourself and your spouse together. I enjoyed this blog post and we are happy for you and your family!

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