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Excerpt: "After a night interrupted a dozen times or so with a sharp sciatica pain, I felt pleased to see the old digital clock approaching 8:00 as I reached my final awakening-much later than our normal rising and only possible on a sabbatical year. Lisa got out of bed first, rustling the sheets on her side of the bed as I said, "Happy anniversary." Today is our thirty-second. Surprisingly, she didn't respond. She's never been the type to offer silence in response to my words-even when annoyed at me-and I couldn't think of any reason for her to be annoyed anyway. It puzzled me. A moment later I said, "I think that generally receives some sort of reply." Still nothing. I concluded that her ears are just not what they used to be, even as I admitted to myself that my hearing is worse than hers."


Originally published in McMinn, L.G. and McMinn, M.'s, Dirt and the Good Life: Stories of Fern Creek, Barclay Press, Newberg, Ore (2012).