Write Something Nice Day -- Here's to you, Barb.

No, it isn’t Barb’s birthday or our anniversary. No special day in our relationship of 44 years. It just felt like a “Write Something Nice About Somebody Day,” and who better for me to write about than the person I know the best?

So here are 10 great things about Barb, in no particular order:

  1. Barb has become a self-taught horticulturist of the first order. Her green thumbs (and most likely index fingers too!) have created a multitude of gorgeous flower explosions. Every view of our home — front, back, and side — pampers the eye with beauty. I think Barb recently joined the Chicago Botanic Garden just so she can teach them a thing or two.
  2. No one is as thoughtful and successful in choosing presents as Barb. No detail of a gift recipient’s personality is ignored when choosing something that will perfectly compliment them. And the deed is not complete until the box is beautifully wrapped and a card that says just the right thing is selected.
  3. Barb embroidered a special needlepoint canvas for me in 1978. It still hangs in my office. That talent lay dormant for many years, but more recently, Barb has created beautiful pieces that are framed on our walls, form pillows on our sofas, and adorn the homes of family and friends. Nothing pleases her as much as completing a piece that has taken her months to do –and shines in every detail.
  4. If you are a critter, you want to live in Barb’s home. Her love of all creatures (stink bugs excepted) has helped provide a sanctuary for pooches from Murphy to Cooper, and cats from Jessie to Phoebe (aka Princess.) How many animal shelters have we visited around the country? And no vacation will ever replicate the thrill of our African Safari. Unless of course, we fulfill Barb’s dream of a gorilla expedition.
  5. Perle Mesta was the original Hostess with the Mostest. Barb is her undeniable successor. Big event, small event, or no event, Barb knows how to throw a party. Great people, great food, perfect accessories. The pandemic gave us even more opportunities to share our home (at least the outside of it) with friends, and with the addition of a few heat lamps, she took advantage of it. And in Barb’s opinion, the party starts with the invitation. It has to be perfect, it needs to set the tone.
  6. Talk about great food– Barb knows how to bring it. She has her classics but is always looking for something new — and rarely fails. Her Japanese Cole Slaw is a unique crowd-pleaser. It was a special mitzvah for Barb to recreate the recipe for my mother’s chocolate-covered pound cake at the request of our nephew. And I hear she mixes a good Cosmo, too!
  7. Barb doesn’t shy away from a challenge. As part of the hardy group of souls who serve on our subdivision’s Home Owners Association, she works tirelessly to maintain a beautiful community while recognizing all points of view. Though Barb, I gotta tell ya, “it’s only a f**king sign!”
  8. Although now officially retired, Barb is still the best hand therapist I know. The retinue of “Barbettes” she has trained through the years still serves in the community. And if you are a cashier, or a sales clerk, or just a woman on the street and you are wearing a hand splint, rest assured Barb will stop you, ask what the problem is, and offer some valuable advice.
  9. Talk about loyal! Neil Diamond, meet fan #1. And Barb doesn’t care what show is on HGTV, she will watch it. Home Town, Love It or List It, My Lottery Dream Home, all have been on an endless loop on at least one of our TVs. not to mention those dreamy Property Brothers.
  10. And of course, Barb puts up with me. My impending retirement, now visible in the Futuroscope, doesn’t seem to frighten her nearly as much as it frightens me. But I am confident that the best part of retirement will be getting to see even more of all the great qualities of my wife.

It’s good to have you, Babe.

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