80 times around the sun

I have the world's best mother-in-law. There are those who would argue with me, I'm sure. But they don't know her, or they would agree. She loved me as a daughter before I married her son, and she comforted me after my own mother passed away. We've laughed together, cried together, shared a bond that only a mother and daughter can have.

As a young bride, getting together with my friends, we always seemed to talk about our in-laws. For a group of new brides, it was natural, I guess. As my friends moaned about struggling to find common ground with their mothers-in-law, I'd just sit back and smile. I never had any real battles with Dave's mom, she was too easy-going for that. We had our moments, sure. But when I think back over the past 39 years that I've known this wonderful woman, what I remember are the smiles and hugs and laughter.

Today's barbecue was a blast: lots of good German food and beer, perfect weather, the whole family gathered around... we even had an accordian player to play polkas and traditional German folk music. Watching my husband do the chicken dance with his sisters, his brother, and his nieces... that's a priceless memory.

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