Category Archives: the wife

be careful whom you piss off

lise subbed for me yesterday.

when she came home, she told me about one student who was continually disrespectful to her, then insulted her. he’s a new student in the class, but well known to the disciplinary officers.

today that student strolled into class all cool and whatnot. “whassup, mr. rust?” he asked.

“siddown and shut up.” was my reply.

“what’s wrong with you?”

“you dis my wife and insult her yesterday? wrong way to get on my good side. sit. shut it.”

*look of disbelief* “that was your wife?”

*rest of class laughs uproariously*

he sat and pouted the rest of the class.

tortuga’s banded tulip shell

a couple weeks ago we were out on the beach early one sunday morning. it was warm and the water was nice. we had the dog with us and were walking up and down the gulf when we happened upon a section of beach with a LOT of shells in the water.

as we walked around, lise got into the water just a bit and was finding a lot of the same old stuff.

and then she yelled. LOUD.




she had found a Tortuga’s Banded Tulip, intact, and a little over 3″ long. an amazing find!


this is one of those “holy grail” shells for us. we’ve seen very small ones, and have been teased with hundreds of “pieces” of this shell. it’s very thin and delicate, so when they do actually make it to the shore, they’re typically beaten and crunched against the sand and other shells by waves, broken into pieces.

needless to say, this was a very neat find!

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!

stream of consciousness pt. VII

it’s been busy but uninterestingly so. here’s a quick recap of what’s been going on the past few weeks…

  • i was not a whole-hearted obama supporter prior to the election – i did vote for him, and did identify with some of the policy ideas he was tossing out, but i was more anti-mccain than pro-obama. i have to say, though: starting with his acceptance speech, looking frequently at, and watching his interview on 60 minutes yesterday – i’m impressed and admit to being a bit excited about this new administration.
  • i continue to be mildly shocked at the attitudes of “christians” towards obama. thinly veiled hatred, racism, and things people will “pray” for – it astounds me at times, and at others i can only shake my head and realize that we’re a broken, hurting people. i encourage you to be in prayer for obama, whether you voted for him or not.
  • freezing.jpgwe spent the afternoon saturday in fairhope, alabama – it’s a quaint little town with lots of neat little shops. literally lost track of time while we were there. didn’t buy much but the window shopping was fun. the pic to the right is us freezing on mobile bay near the end of our time in town.
  • evenings continue to get cooler here in pensacola – down to the upper 40’s and low 50’s. daytime highs are still in the 60’s and 70’s and our treks to the beach continue be inspirational and relaxing. moving here was absolutely the right thing to do.
  • i’ve been twittering, although not much. to all those who say twitter is the next big thing and omg, we all have to jump on the bandwagon, i say this: i won’t argue whether twitter is a “legitimate” form of communication – of course it is. but whether we all have to twitter or be left behind in the technological community-building app dust – this may be making the argument a bit silly.
  • teaching high school continues to rock – this is the place to be. having a good time with my classes, with school spirit, and with the staff. sadly, i was not voted teacher of the year, but will post more on that later.
  • crazydog.jpgthe dog continues to love the beach. it’s nice now that things are cooling down a bit and the beach is less crowded – we take him as often as we can now!
  • recent tunes that have been infecting my brain include the new ray lamontagne album, paul simon’s surprise cd, and santana’s new double disk multidimensional warrior. of the three, the simon album is most refreshing. how does this dude continue to make such good music? santana is still an incredible guitarist, and this double disk is good – it just gets a little… overproduced? the second disk is all instrumental which i thought would be more exciting than it actually is. lamontagne doesn’t surprise me with much with his new CD – it’s good and consistent.
  • the movie son of rambow is worth your time.

time to get my junk together for tomorrow.

the fruitless search for pumpkins

pumpkin patches.

we love ‘em.

img_2745.jpgin the midwest, they’re everywhere. and every year we go search for The Pumpkin. in the patch. we get our shoes muddy, our hands dirty, and trudge through the rows looking for just the right one.

two sundays ago i hit google and searched for a pumpkin patch near pensacola. and in a 4 county range, there was only one. excited we were! hitched up the dog we did! loaded the address into the GPS and into the car we got!

and drove. and drove. and drove some more.

img_2742.jpguntil finally, the GPS said, “turn left” – and we did. and hit a freaky dirt road.

and drove down the dirt road we did. and drove. and drove. seemingly into the middle of nowhere.

dirt flying, no living creatures anywhere (except for this turkey vulture chowing down on a tasty smooshed armadillo), we began to worry.


img_2749.jpguntil the GPS says, “turn left” and we look. and there is nothing but a closed road. and a sign saying, “road closed.” and it looks like it’s been closed a good while. and it’s the very road that the pumpkin patch is on.

we exchange glances.
we yell at the GPS.
the dog whines.
the dust settles.
we shrug.

img_2765.jpgand we kept going. and going. and going.

and at long last we hit asphalt. and 20 yards later?

the road. it’s a loop! woo-hoo! pumpkin patch, here we come!!

and 2 miles later?

dead end.

bummed we were! the great pumpkin will not reward us with candy! auggghhhh!!!!

what’s with florida and no pumpkin patches??

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.

a man is nothing without his grill

“don’t be silly,” she said. “when we have a little extra money, we’ll buy a new one.”

i knew she was mocking me, even if only lightly. the look on her face combined with the tone of her voice told me what i already knew: women just don’t understand.

when we moved to pensacola, we had three cars worth of stuff packed and that was it. in subsequent trips back to cincinnati, we’d load whichever car we had with whatever we could stuff in it and drive back with a few more of our precious possessions.

and on each of our return trips there was a small, slight, pleading voice calling me from the back yard.

i did what i could to ignore it. i’d hum. i’d crank the tunes louder and louder. i’d try and distract myself from the sound. eventually i began hearing the voice calling me down here in p-cola. sleepless nights spent trying to block out the voice, thrashing to and fro under the covers led to serious bouts of insomnia. a nervous twitch developed just under my right eye. the slightest whiff of a barbecue being lit sent my brain into a paroxysm of uncontrollable mental anguish. like a man whose arm has been amputated, the phantom limb cried out and i could feel the missing appendage tho’ it be seven hundred miles north, oh, sweet heavens, when will this torture end, when???

i knew before i broached the subject that i had to tread carefully. women, you understand, like the outcome but rarely understand the process and manly ego involved in grill cooking.

“so, i’m thinking that this next trip up to cincy… our list this time is really short. i ought to have a good amount of room leftover for my drive back.”

“that’s nice, dear. be nicer to drive without all that stuff in the back seat blocking the window.”

“yeah! but hey, i’m thinking that i’ll take a shot at bringing the grill down with me. if i can get it taken apart and i can clean it up good, lay a cloth down and bring it down in pieces and that way…”

and i could tell by the look on her face that everything after “bringing the grill down” was being translated as “blah blah blah blah…” and this is when she said it.

“don’t be silly,” she said. “when we have a little extra money, we’ll buy a new one.”

now, i knew she was going to say it. i had a script prepared in my mind and had rehearsed it in five different possible scenarios to convince her and show her that i’m not silly and that i was hurting, hurting in a deep, psychological, but almost physical way. but her gaze… oh, lord, her gaze shut me down. i went mute. drool pooled up at the front of my mouth and i barely shut it in time before it slopped over the front of my shirt.

“duh, uh, well… er, see… i mean…”

but by the time i regained my footing, it was too late. i could see by the smug look on her face that she chalked up another one to good old fashioned female reasoning. it took some doing but my fractured ego was taped back together and as i arrived in cincinnati a fortnight hence, the small, pleading voice had become a shrill scream.

the grill demanded satisfaction, it demanded a sacrifice. “take me to p-cola and cook on me or be cooked, sucker!

as i took WD-40 to this 7 year old rusted, wobbly beast of a grill, i realized too late that i was to be the sacrifice!

jenny, our friend and neighbor, saw me fighting with the fused screws and gave me the same look that lise had given me. it was as though they had spoken via some internal woman-cam and a collaboration on the destruction of the fragile male condition was underway.

this, my friends, was like throwing propane on my fiery soul. i would not be mocked again!!

and two hours later, disheveled, bleeding, cold, filthy, unable to feel my right hand, and a second twitch doing a jig under my left eye, i emerged from the garage with the look of a crazed maniac. holding high the left leg assembly, i turned in triumph to jenny, playing with her children in their yard, and proclaimed in a loud voice, “A MAN IS NOTHING WITHOUT HIS GRILL!!!” and collapsed in a heap on the lawn.

*2 days later*

the-grill.jpgas i arrive back in pensacola, my wife rolls her eyes slightly at the grill-in-fifty-pieces and gives me that what-is-it-with-these-barbarians look and leaves me to cart the pieces to the patio of the apartment. my psyche lay in shards and i begin to doubt my own sanity until…

…until the first taste of scott’s famous garlic / worcestershire / dozens of unnamed spices / port wine cheese burgers touch her tongue and she utters in a flushed and breathless voice,“mmmm… these are delicious… oh! i’ve missed them!”

“i know,” i think to myself vaingloriously, “i know.”