"Love Letters #101" by Martha Wild King M.Ed.--February 2020

Two readers, Whitley Osterhout https://www.thefrugalcatholic.com/post/diy-wedding-by-whitley-osterhout-guest-writer-april-2019 and Michael Damico, a former high-school student of mine, https://www.thefrugalcatholic.com/post/the-frugal-catholic-what-s-your-new-straight-by-martha-wild-king-m-ed asked me two important questions which flow into this month's post.

1. How did you and Michael meet? And,

2. How are you and Michael doing these days?

So since it's Valentine's month, I'll answer both, plus give you for free The Frugal Catholic's best 2020 red -hot-romance tip--Love Letters #101.

How I Met My Husband Michael

God hollered seven words at me one Sunday morning, October 1979; and those words of direction instantly changed my life. It was truly a miracle.

Since I'd overslept for my regular church service at Fairlington Presbyterian, I decided to go to downtown Alexandria, Virginia, where perhaps I'd meet Mr. Right at one of those fancy houses of worship. After all, I was thirty-two, unmarried, and computer dating didn't exist. It was there, while standing at my bathroom sink, holding a black and white panda mug from the National Zoo in Washington DC, a mug full of Folgers instant coffee, that God said, "You get yourself to church right now!!!" Obviously HE had heard what I'd been thinking.

The voice was so strong that I dropped my favorite cup--which shattered-- and immediately knew where to go . You don't mess with God's words. So I threw myself together, quickly drove to my usual Presbyterian church, tripped up the balcony stairs since the entire downstairs where I normally sat was full, peered through the oval door window, and after the congregation had finished praying, walked in and sat down in the one seat left --next to the man I would marry. Immediately, my hands started sweating under our shared hymnal. For me, it was love at first sight.

Nine months later, we were wed in that church and even had our picture taken in that same pew as we held the hymnal in our wedding attire. Was it coincidence that Michael and I met that day? Was it meant to be? Was it good that I listened to God's voice? Yes --five children, three granddaughters, and forty years later--I'd say so. Was it all peaches an roses? Like hardly! But that's where LOVE LETTERS #101 can help.

How Are You and Michael Doing Now?

My husband and I are happy to be frugally retired. We split our year between two states, Washington and Colorado, due to where our children live. We've joined a second Catholic parish here in CO. We love to walk, and with my new and improved spine, it is a blessing to walk with my service dog, Bandit. Honestly, that is about it. We are generally pretty boring.

Bandit, my Service Dog

But what about the deeper questions of marriage? How are you really doing? That's where Love Letters #101 come in.

Love Letters#101--The How To's

L.L. #101 began three years ago, when thinking on retirement cost cuts, I quit buying romantic cards for my husband. Now I'm sure that sounds rather harsh, but after eleven moves in forty years, I'd misplaced too many cards, and most of them didn't contain much more than a signature. That's because when someone else, like Hallmark, composes a great card, no real depth of thought is needed on our parts. But suppose Michael and I began to use a spiral notebook between us to express what we were really thinking at the

time? And we dated it. Wouldn't it be much easier to keep track of the notebook than a folder of cards?

So we quit giving cards, and this is how works. For the holiday or anniversary, I write in the notebook first, paper clip what I wrote, then hand the notebook to him, and he does the same. On the appointed day, we unclip our entries and enjoy each others thoughts.

Here is an entry from Valentines Day 2017 from my normally quiet husband:

"What I have learned, or validated since I always knew it, is in the absence of stress from finances and raising five kids, we both deeply love each other. It has been a journey during which we both learned to accept each other's faults. Now that we have reached this understanding and acceptance, it is a source of great joy."

Hallmark can't verbalize that well for free.

So give L.L. #101 a try. That notebook just might be the 2020 red-hot romantic tip you've been looking for!


1 Corinthians 13:4-5 and 8 "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.... Love never ends."

Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less