Category Archives: marriage

sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday…

scottlisewedding.jpg…and other times it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

not that this is a bad thing! lise and i celebrated 18 years together today and it’s been a fun, crazy adventure together from the beginning.

we got married on december 1, 1990 in cincinnati after a year of dating and engagement. we had known each other since we were eighteen years old, but didn’t really get to know each other well until we were 20 or so.

i don’t remember the very first time i met her, but i remember being fascinated by her unique spirit and attitude.

she was going to school with my girlfriend / roommate (an evil, underhanded individual) and so we ran into each other at school parties and get togethers. when i finally had the sense to break it off with the girlfriend, i began running into lise in all sorts of places around town. over the course of a year we wouldus.jpg run into each other and i would think, “stupid!! stupidstupidstupid! why didn’t you ask her out?!?”

but i knew the answer. she was gorgeous, gentle, and cool. and i was a big fat dork.

when i finally did get up the nerve to ask her out, it was like a bad sitcom. i asked her if she’d be interesting in having dinner, and without even listening to her answer i started telling her it was ok and i understood, etc. she was looking at me like i was nuts – she had said yes! woo-hoo!

goofylise.jpgi remember our first date quite well. at least, i remember my first date with HER. she apparently didn’t start dating me until about a month after i started dating her (she thought we were just “friends” but i knew better).

we dated from october to february when i proposed to her – quick, you say? hey, i knew what i wanted and i wanted her! thankfully she said yes (although she thought she was getting a hamster for valentine’s, not an engagement ring).

i remember little of the wedding ceremony except that i was nervous and excited.

in the eighteen years since, we’ve:

  • lived in cincinnati, ludlow, ky, washington dc, baltimore, cincinnati again, and finally pensacola, fl.
  • both gotten college degrees, taught, done youth ministry, and picked up tons of friends and adopted family along the way
  • gotten closer to both of our families
  • gone through cancers, mental illnesses, thickheadedness, poor decisions
  • owned 15 cars
  • bought a house and sold it
  • driven each other crazy frequently
  • gotten crazier together and have had more fun together than we ever thought possible
  • realized that we’ll never grow bored, no matter how well we know each other
  • grown closer and loved more than we could have ever dreamed

i would marry her again and again. she’s my best friend. she’s my partner. she’s my love. i wouldn’t trade our lives together for anything else. i absolutely love being married to her.

here’s to another 18+ years!

lise blogs at

lise01.jpgmy lovely is blogging regularly at about her ongoing 4+ year battle with bi-polar disorder. this took a lot of courage and balls to open up and tell all – she has been working through this illness largely alone due to pesky, ill-informed misconceptions of bi-polar disorder. it’s been a long and difficult time but she continues to amaze me! i’m quite proud of her!

you ought to go over and check it out!

life lesson: put the seat down

toilet-seat-down.JPGit was almost 20 years ago when lise first invited me to her apartment and cooked me dinner.

i asked where the bathroom was. she told me it was down the hall.

she informed me that i was to put the seat down when finished or else.

and that has been the rule ever since.

i only broke it once. it only took once.

a year or so after we were married.

i was in the other room when i heard a short series of noises from the bathroom:

  1. splash!
  2. “arrrrgh!!”
  3. *toilet lid slamming down*

as if the audio wasn’t convincing enough, the look on her face assured me that i’d not survive a second mistake.

it was a fey day when she said hey! gray!

gray-day.jpgi recently received a rather rude comment from an individual regarding the picture at right. more specifically, my hair coloring. or even more specifically, my lack of it.

the comment came on facebook where this unnamed individual had the unmitigated gall to say, “Uh….Scott….did you dye your hair BLONDE???!?!?!?!” and my response was along the lines of, “why are you picking on me? it’s gray – don’t be a meanie!”

i’ve had gray in my hair since the tender age of 16 when a quarter-size patch appeared near my hairline. it’s not a big deal, really.

but i’ll never forget the day ten or so years ago when i almost bought the farm because of gray hair.

lise and i were out together for the day. we were living in maryland and had driven up to lancaster, pennsylvania to drive around, get some lunch, shop amish, and enjoy the time with each other. it was approaching evening with the orange sun setting fire to the ground in the direction we’re heading. i was driving down the narrow road, shared with amish horse-and-buggy types in both directions, when, out of nowhere, lise swings her arm over and whacks me square in the chest, exclaiming, “Oh My Gosh!!!”

well, i about drove into a ditch, taking a couple bonnet-capped mennonites with us.

“what on earth’s going on?!? why are you hitting me and scaring me? What? WHAT??”

“you’ve got a gray hair in your beard!”

“WHA??? you almost get us KILLED because of a gray hair in my BEARD??”

we’ve laughed every time the story has been told in the intervening years, but at that point i was ready to open the passenger side door and leave her with electricity-less ones. thankfully her response was redeeming and to the point: “well, i still love you, even if you are old and gray.”

and indeed, that gray hair mated with others and their ilk have spread throughout my facial hair.

it’s not a big deal. really.

truly a good friday

teaching has many perks, not the least of which is having holidays off. good friday is on the school calendar and my plan was to spend most of it on the beach, reading, biking, etc. then thursday night, lise makes a few calls and finds that her office is going to be closed on friday! woo-woo!! a three day weekend TOGETHER!!

it started off on the right foot – we both slept in and caught up on the beauty rest. lise took the dog out for a good long walk, and we hung out with him until around noon.

then we were off.

we loaded our beach bag up, grabbed the cooler and hit the road. first stop: The Bead and Crystal House. lise has been 01.jpgworking hard making earrings and other jewelry in the last few months and this place has a great selection of cool, unique beads to choose from. this does scott no good, of course, so while lise went shopping, scott went to joe patti’s seafood and loaded the cooler up with raw shrimp and some of their delicious spinach dip.

then it was off to captain joey patti’s seafood deli / restaurant. plastic spoons & forks, paper plates, bare bones surroundings, but some of the best and cheapest seafood in the area.


we ordered and devoured a bowl of their fantastic seafood gumbo…


and ate a basket of their catch-of-the-day, some hushpuppies, and baked beans. mmmm-mmm!

a side trip to wal-mart was needed as i had left all my sunscreen in my car. wal-mart is never a fun trip for me, but there was an ulterior motive involved:

07.jpghershey’s ice cream parlor is a block away from the one near perdido key. and i knew we needed some ice cream to get the lunch settled correctly. we’ve not been in months, but we’ve agreed for years that hershey’s makes the best freakin’ ice cream out there. we weren’t disappointed this time when we saw a new flavor: girl scout thin mint chocolate ice cream. oh. my. gosh. it was awesome. little chunks of real thin mint cookies all mixed up in there – it was heavenly.

next, we hit one of pensacola’s three tiny used bookstores. i had forgotten my book to take to the beach and had to have something to read! after much searching, snow falling on cedars was purchased, and we continued our trip to the beach!

08.jpg it was a gorgeous day out – temps hit the low 70’s and the sun was out the entire day. the beach got chilly as the sun was going down an hour or so after we arrived, but that didn’t take away our enthusiasm for seeing the sunset.09.jpg

being a relatively cloudless day, the sunset was not quite as spectacular as some, but it was still an awe-inspiring sight. we sat a bit after the sun disappeared, contemplated what a great day it had been so far, packed up our stuff and headed home to the big dog and 10.jpgsome delicious shrimp just waiting to be cooked.

dinner was delicious. several years ago, my dad gave us a medium sized foreman grill – the old ones are a pain to clean as nothing detaches, but folks, when you want shrimp cooked right, the foreman is one good way of doing it. it was worth the cleaning job.

we ended our evening by catching up on Lost, season two. we’re late-comers to the whole Lost phenomenon and have been renting for the last couple weeks from netflix season one. that was finished on thursday. now we’re on season two and we’re hooked.

it was a good friday, indeed.

simple man / simple pleasures

i’m pretty simple and keeping me happy generally doesn’t take much.

lise and i have survived on simple things most of our 17 years together. when things got too complex and fancy, we moved and gave up much of the comfort that we had built up in the previous couple of years.

but i will admit this: there are some things that, once you’ve had them, it’s hard to compromise on later.

now, after 12 years of marriage, living in apartments and using laundromats or other people’s washers / dryers, when we bought our house in cincinnati one of the very first things we did was to go out and buy a washer and dryer of our very own. nothing fancy. we bought a dent and nick washer from sam’s club for 50% off. bought the previous year model dryer for 50% off from home depot. they didn’t match. we didn’t care.

but the sweet, sweet comfort of washing our clothes in our own house? oh. my. gosh. no more quarters. no more lugging bags of soiled linens and detergent and hangers and change to a public place after an already busy day. no more wondering who washed what before you in those machines. no worrying about That Guy who always hung out at the laundromat. no more having to wait to wear this or that because it was dirty and we couldn’t wash it. no more worrying about having to put clothes on to do the wash – naked clothes washing is highly underrated.

and then we packed up and moved from our huge house to a tiny apartment in pensacola.

and we’ve been dragging our clothes around again. and begging for quarters. and putting off washing things. and worrying about what that is coating the inside of the washer. and finding all the washers taken. or all the dryers.

and i’ve been rationalizing in my head: if we’re spending $10/week on laundry and we can find a washer / dryer for $500… wouldn’t we be kinda saving money, time, and our sanity all at once?

img_0252.jpgso we decided to take a 2 block trip to a used appliance store today. i don’t like these places because i generally think they’re going to be shady, 2nd hand questionable pieces of overpriced crap. nick and dent stuff rocks! and it’s new! and it’s guaranteed!img_0253.jpg

but this dude surprised us. c. burnham appliances changed my mind about 2nd hand. the pensacola better business bureau came up clean on him. picked up a whirlpool ultimate care II quiet wash / quiet dry set for $395 and he delivered them for us on the spot.

and i can’t believe how happy i am to have a washer and dryer again. it’s one of those hard-to-compromise items for me. i’ve been sitting here in the living room with a smile on my face knowing that our first load in our new washer and dryer is about finished. simple pleasures.

img_0254.jpgwhen asked for a comment on the new set, dolby the dog sighed deeply, rolled his eyes, and wondered when he was going to get fed.

frickin’ high maintenance mutt.

the holiday by the miles

01.jpgmile 50 (12-21-07):

dolby and i are on the road to cincinnati. lise flew to toledo on the 19th. i had school until 11am (when my principal, who could kick your principal’s butt, told me i could take off). i got home, loaded up dolby and we hit the road. we’re in the car chillin, although dolby’s not particularly happy after about 200 of the 75002.jpg miles. poor guy.

mile 750 (12-22-07):

it’s 2am. i’m dead. we arrive at the house after too many stops for pooping and eating and running around. dolby’s thrilled. i’m just dead. everything’s vibrating.

mile 780 (12-22-07):

christmas dinner at my brother’s house in Monroe, Ohio. good time. good food. good company. debbie (sister-in-law)’s parents were there. my niece. my mom and her man. it was a good time. everything’s still vibrating.

03.jpgmile 810 (12-23-07):04.jpg

on the road again. this time 210 miles north to toledo to spend the day with lise’s family and pick her up to come down to the house. everyone was there but for her brother, sean, who has taken up long-haul trucking on a temporary basis to stockpile some cash and pay off some bills. he was missed, but we did have a good time! the picture to the right is NOT how i felt after 6 hours with the in-laws, but simply a mask one of my nephews left laying around. the switch is actually a comb. or is it? come a little closer, family!! muuuahahahahahaaaa…

mile 1245 (12-24-07):

had christmas eve dinner with my mom, her man, and my uncle. had a good time with untraditional christmas cooking that included some of the best potato soup i’ve ever had (even o’charley’s!). we played ping pong (got my butt kicked – damn this tennis elbow and carpal tunnel) and hung out for the evening.

05.jpgmile 1290 (12-25-07):

christmas day was spent with my dad and his wife’s family – good food, good company again – i swear i’ve gained 4-5 lbs of the 50 i’ve lost back. gaah! we had a great time hanging out with everyone and catching up.hotfuzz.jpg

on the way there we stopped and bought Hot Fuzz, one of the funniest movies i’ve seen in all of 2007. seriously, i’ve not laughed like this over a movie in a long time. if you’ve not seen it, pbbbtthhh! jog on! mom had a coupon for hollywood video, and we got the thing for $7 and change. woo!

mile 1331 (12-26-07):

06.jpgmy friend mark meyers and his excellently cool wife melinda came in from minneapolis, MN and they spent the07.jpg day with us on wednesday – i miss mark a lot. and his excellently cool wife is so excellently cool! we hung out, grabbed mexican food, drove to mt. adams and snapped disturbing photos of misunderstood minnesota rituals (such as the one at left, “face licking”) and concluded our day by playing simpson’s monopoly (how did this end? well, let’s just say that when lise tried to set mark up for the win, melinda and i formed an air-tight alliance and brought mark down to his knees). we were sad to see them go, but then SOMEONE has to go back to minnesota and freeze their asses off for the local economy.

08.jpg that evening, several of our kids (ha ha – they ain’t “kids” anymore – “college attending adults”) from youth group past came over (including rocky and racecarr, seen left) for pizza, hilarity, hot fuzz (the movie, duh), and lots of talking. i’m so proud of these kids that i could pop. i love hearing about how growing up, college, jobs, etc. are going. rocky and i talked long into the evening about politics, school, christianity, and family – it was a great time.

mile 1402 (12-27-07):

today was a day of running around, relaxing a bit, making a trip to steve and barry’s for some shirts and stuff, gettingsmgrp.jpg things done around the house, and seeing my mom. lise got her old small group together and went out to dinner, then back to the house for fun, food, and games. they had a great time! christy came over that night for a couple hours and filled us in on her life and times, and then we kicked her out to get some sleep.

fam.jpgmile 1474 (12-28-07):

mom and i went to jungle jim’s today and bought staples (read: sauces and stuff you can’t get anywhere else, at least not in p-cola) and had donato’s for lunch. this evening was spent over at my brother’s house in Middletucky, OH with the family. definitely a good time eating, talking, and playing Rock Star. there exists some footage of my dad playing this game that will no doubt end up on youtube at some point.

mile 1540 (12-30-07):breakfast.jpg

dolbs.jpgback on the road again. i’ve said this before, i’ll say it again: i’m getting too old for this shit. driving 750 miles in one clip is too much for my ragged old body. but here we are again. the house is cleaned up and taken off the market. everything’s shut down and put away. the car’s been packed since the night before. the dog sits in the back seat looking sad (HE knows it’s 12 hours cooped up in the cramped car) and i’m getting ready to eat a blackberry jam cake muffin leftover from the previous weeks partying.

mile 2263 (12-31-07):

mile2263.jpgthe drive is as long and painful as anticipated but it’s good to be home. we pull in late on the night of the 30th, unpack the car and pass out where we land. first thing next morning, we log mile 2263, ending at pensacola beach where it’s in the mid 60’s. the water’s warm, the air is warm, and the company is just right. we’ve had a great holiday visiting with family and friends that we sorely miss. now it’s good to be home and relaxing together before the craziness of real life returns.

“…persistent cough, nagging wife…”

that was my answer to the nurse’s question, “what brings you to the doctor’s office?”

i called for an appointment yesterday afternoon because i’ve had a cough since thanksgiving. it’s not one of those old man coughs or even a nice phlegmy cough (best for loogeys). it’s been more of a “snotty-today-dry-tomorrow-here-and-there-somedays-worse-than-others” cough that i’ve just decided to live with (and sadly, it’s easy for me to adjust and just “live with it”).

no sooner had i walked in the door and they’ve got me in the x-ray room stripped down to my shorts hugging a cold x-ray machine and holding my breath. listening to my chest and looking at the results of the x-rays, the doc says, “bronchitis with maybe a touch of pneumonia… i’m not certain about the last part. you’ve got some cloudy spots on the right side… i’ll need to send these to a technician and we’ll call you next week if we need you to do intravenous antibiotics…”

he proceeds to hand me packets of horse-pill sized antibiotics and samples of singulair and sends me on my way. he tells me as i’m leaving, “tell your wife: good call! keep up the good work!”

doggoneit – i was hoping it’d be nothing so i could be the one to say, “told ya so!”

apparently crow goes down easier with a glass of milk.

17th anniversary, p-cola style

this past saturday was our 17th anniversary and we decided to celebrate pensacola style.anni-01.jpg

we slept in that morning (always a good thing!) and lounged around a bit before taking off. we gathered the dog and his stuff up and took off in the car for the afternoon.

our first stop was J’s Pastry Shop on the east side of town (about a dozen blocks from my school). J’s has been rumored to have the best sweets and pastries in all of p-cola and lise and i have to concur: if you’re in the area and you neglect to stop in on this icon of our town and treat yourself to a sweet, well you’re just plain crazy, i reckon. a couple maple walnut pastry thingies kept us held over while we skipped lunch.

anni-02.jpgwe then took a drive around this area as it’s near escambia bay. almost all of the waterfront is taken by houses but it’s a pretty drive and the houses are gorgeous. there’s a dog park on this bay as well but i didn’t understand at the time that it was several miles further south than where we were. oh, well – dolby didn’t complain when we took him to my school playground and ran him around with the frisbee and sticks.

he’s a good dog and we love having him around. he loves his frisbee (to death) and running around like a nut is a specialty of his.

we got him plumb wore out (like my southern-speak here?) and hung out together a bit longer before cruising around a bit more and heading home to drop him off.

then the anni-03.jpgreal party anni-04.jpgcould begin.

anni-05.jpgwe gathered all our beach things and hit the road to p-cola beach. we’ve been sad lately because of the early sunsets that prevent us from visiting the beach as much during the week. being on central time here has messed with our internal clocks – the sun sets around 4:45 and lise works til 5:00, so we’re limited for the next few months in when we get to sit and watch the sun go down and the waves crashing.

anni-09.jpgbut watch we did – and get in, too.

the locals are funny in the way that temperatures hit the low 70’s and everyone says, “oh, beach season is over. bummer.” and they abandon the gulf. me? i don’t get it. we hadn’t intended on getting into the water but the conditions were right, the shells were washing up and down the water and there just was no denying the inalienable right to strip down to one’s underpants and get into the surf in the name of a couple cool seashells. my apologies to anyone offended by my boxers.anni-07.jpg

oh, hell. deal with it.

well, the water was a bit cold and really, for all the shells floating around out there, not a WHOLE lot was caught. but we had a good time. it was overcast so our evening sunset was somewhat canceled, but it was replaced by a cooler sight: a great blue heron that has been following us around on the beach the last couple weeks.

anni-10.jpgit was back in maryland where we first fell in love with great blues. they were all over the place – they live mainly in wetland areas on the east coast and there was plenty of wetland in our location. pensacola is a semi-tropical region and has a good amount of wetland areas as well.

this heron has flown up within 10 yards of us several times in the last few weeks and it’s an awe inspiring thing to see. most herons we’ve ever even gotten within 20-30 yards of have flipped out and taken off. not this guy. the above picture was taken with him about 15 feet from where we were standing. he stood still long enough for me to take this shot and a couple blurry others, then walked off. we were also rewarded with a brief flash of color in the sky behind him before the sun disappeared for good. we spent a little time reflecting on all the things we’ve done over the last 17 years, watched the sky and the heron a bit more, then took off.

anni-11.jpgour last stop for the anniversary day was Landry’s Seafood House. we’re not rich folks and we don’t go out eating expensive chow very often, but for special occasions, you’ve got to splurge a bit. landry’s serves some delicious seafood with a very nice, attractive but informal atmosphere. service has been great each time we’ve gone and this night was no different. lise’s mahi-mahi was good and my broiled seafood platter was exceptional. topping it all off was a free piece of chocolate erection cake (ok, ok – it’s actually “chocolate eruption but we shared a huge laugh with the server when we went on lise’s birthday when she talked about another server who kept mispronouncing the name of the cake to customers – it’s stuck and we can’t stop laughing about it). this 7-layer chocolate beast came swimming in a delicious custard sauce that was out of this world.

decency laws and basic respect prevent me from posting pictures of what happened next when we got home, but you can imagine that after 17 years together, we’ve learned how to have a good time. it was a great day and it’s been a great 17 years.

can’t wait to see how the next 17 years unfold.