I met Rich in April a few years ago. By the time that first Christmas rolled around, we knew we were serious. And yet. People do Christmas gifts in different ways and they don’t always mesh, so I was a bit nervous about how to proceed. Some guys buy appliances or jewelry or bad lingerie and some buy Hickory Farms Smoked Sausage. I didn’t want any part of that stuff. How to give and receive gifts the first year that were appropriate, not too much, not a disappointment- that was the dilemma. I vaguely suggested we be moderate but thoughtful and I gave Rich the first of many handknit items, a winter membership at the indoor driving range and a book. This is what Rich gave me and Abby, together. (Rich only goes by Rich or Richard. When Abby first met Rich it was during the summer out at Wit’s End. Her approach to this new man in her mother’s life was cautious and slightly challenging. He asked her if she wanted to shoot some hoop and she responded, "Okay, Dick, show me what you’ve got." Hence, the cover.) This Christmas gift cemented things and in February he asked me to marry him and that June we were married. (click to enlarge). And speaking of love, Sophie came from the Humane Society of Huron Valley on 9/10/2001. She was a sick little 5 week old kitten and we spent our first week together, with her curled into a snuffy, listless ball on my lap, while I watched buildings topple, people die and heroes rise. Now she is a beautiful young cat with the most handsome suitor: Mr. Rhett. Together, they are at Friday’s Ark and Carnival of the Cats this week.