An accolade to my lifemate of nearly 40 years.

You can tell by the look on her face that this nonsense has to stop.

With Mother’s Day coming up, the least I can do is write a blog in honor of LeAnna.  This woman has been my anchor, the ballast in my ship, the compass that attempts to keep me on true north, the mother of our four children, and a selfless woman who lives to assure that everyone’s needs are met but hers.

Everything God has blessed me with I owe to her.

Her personal needs have always been minimal.  She lives simply.  Possessions do little to add to her happiness.  For example, she uses this clunky old cell phone that works half the time.  I’ve suggested numerous times that she upgrades to a smart phone, but her reply is predictable:  “this phone is good enough for me.”

She is frequently complimented on her wardrobe.  Not that it is ostentatious.  Anything but.  But she has this ability to dress attractively, yet demurely.  Drawing attention to herself is not one of her faults.

Over the years she has morphed from brunette to salt and pepper, and now to gray.  She never once considered tinting or dying her hair.  She goes with what God has given her.  Nor is she comfortable with makeup or jewelry.  I agree with her; she’s beautiful the way God made her.

She would never consider a Facebook account.  She has real friendships, not virtual ones. She is a great conversationalist because she had developed the art of listening.

She somehow manages to keep up with the names and careers of everyone in our church.  It amazes me how she will weave into a conversation with parents the names of their children and grandchildren, always out of a sincere interest in their lives.

All four of her children chide her for not having a dish washer.  She simply brushes off the suggestion with a wave of the hand.  She considers dish washers an excess, not to mention a waste of energy.  For forty years she has washed our dishes.  Now that I’ve transitioned, I’ve taken up drying them.  Not that I enjoy it, but it is a task that we do together.

What she loves I have grown to love, and what she hates I deplore.  For example, there are a couple of invasive species on the farm that disgust her – garlic mustard, and vinca, a plant in the ivy family that creates this ground cover that then starts climbing our trees.  It is not a good year to be a vinca, garlic mustard, multi flora bush, bittersweet, or wild grape vine on our farm.  I’ve gone at them all with a vengeance this spring.  Making LeAnna happy is one of my greatest joys.

The converse is also true.  You do not want to get on her bad side.  She is a force to be reckoned with, not one that anyone would knowingly want to stir up.  She is intolerant of anyone that exaggerates and embellishes.  Hyperbole will put one in the dog house real quick.

It amazes me how she continues to fix meals for just the two of us.  The only difference between the meals she now fixes and the meals she would fix for a thrashing crew is the size of the portions.  She uses place mats, washable napkins, and creates flower arrangements for the dining room table.

Although she loves this farm that she was born on, and the one that has been in her family for eight generations, she has indicated that if all the children and grandchildren moved to Orgeon, she wouldn’t hesitate to pack up and join them.  She baby sits Charly Anna, our youngest grandchild, four mornings a week.

Our daughter-in-law, Sommer, loves her dearly.  I don’t know of anyone she holds in higher regard.  LeAnna loves our son-in-law, Joe, as one of her own.

I could start a list of what she does to give back to our community but that would take another blog, suffice to say that weekly she goes to the women’s jail for Bible studies, participates in numerous other church activities, and once a week helps clean restrooms at the business, getting down on her hands and knees scrubbing toilet bowls.

I shudder to think where I would be without her.  I possess a fraction of the common sense that she is blessed with, and the most amazing thing is, that after all these years, she still loves me.

Proverbs 31 does not do her justice.

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22 Responses to An accolade to my lifemate of nearly 40 years.

  1. Lorraine says:

    Well written and entirely true. Those that know her, and are able to call her friend, are truly blessed! Being thankful and appreciative for what God has mercifully provided…you are a RICH man!

  2. No wonder you chased her for seven years until she caught you! You are both blessed and she must be an amazing lady!

  3. Enid says:

    If you had asked, I could have told you at least half of LeAnna’s good qualities, which I was very well aware of when we lived on the same floor of D dorm at Prairie in 1966-67. (Yes, it was the high school girls’ dorm, but the enrollment was small that year so the deans moved the “more mature” 🙂 BI students onto the second floor of that dorm.) I may have told you this before, but I was totally awed by her and Teddy Shuman and Marie Birch, who surprised me by cleaning my room one Saturday just before graduation, because I was occupied typing my late, very late, Romans paper. When I returned to my formerly dirty room, I was humbled and so very grateful for what they had done for me, their “floor leader” who wasn’t going to graduate if I didn’t turn that paper in right away! Thank you, LeAnna. I’ve never forgotten your kindness.

  4. Tim W Callaway says:

    “Hyperbole will put one in the dog house real quick.”

    “Proverbs 31 does not do her justice.”

    Good dog, Peter, good dog.

    • peter says:

      How poorly you understand my wife. No hyperbole at all, Tim! Solomon never met a woman like her – if he had, I would not have had to conclude my blog with my snide reference to Proverbs 31!!

  5. martyn smith says:

    Aunty Irene would be proud that you are now drying dishes!!!

    • peter says:

      And I do it the way I learned at the Home! Stack up six dishes in my left hand, dry front and back and then rotate plates. Very efficient. But I don’t enjoy it any more now than I did when I was 8.

  6. Jim Van says:

    I just read your ‘wife tribute’ out loud to my wife. When I finished, she quietly got up, went into the kitchen and washed the dishes by hand.

  7. Dear Peter, she sounds like she has not changed much in all the years. There was a good reason why I named my first daughter after her besides the meaning of her name and its meaning LeAnna ( A woman full of grace and prayer).

  8. Rosemary Dunn says:

    I whole-heartedly agree. After I first met LeAnna I told Peter to wait for her. She was the one. I treasure her relationship and I love her dearly, with upmost respect.

  9. Carol Criswell says:

    What a wonderful gift telling someone how special and important they are to your life. Leanna is a lucky woman and obviously very special. Proverbs 31 does seem appropriate here. Cherish your life with her.

  10. Wendell says:

    Peter,
    A nice written article about Leanna. But there is still time to surprise her with a New Dishwasher from Bennets Appliance. She will love you even more. There are many reasons to own a dishwasher. They do save on water used. The dishes are more sanitary because of the stronger detergent used. The water temperature is hotter than what your hands can stand. And you do not use the bacteria covered dish rag. Would you wash your face with a dirty dish rag? Then the dry cycle also kills any bacteria that may be left on the dishes. Point is: Better Health.
    We have a dishwasher special for Mothers Day to all our e-mail accounts.

  11. Donna Fuller says:

    Rosie’s friend here…wow, Peter, you are awesome & to think that LeAnna is awesomer! She IS quite a lady..you are BOTH blessed of the Lord. My husby & I have that same kind of relationship..thru our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ! HE is so good, it would take a library to tell it all! Well I must go now & do the dishes! Love, Donna

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