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The only person that hasn’t had an honorable mention in my story so far is my wife, Tish. She’s the backbone of our world, the courage in my bones, and the sunlight in my day. I can’t believe I was so lucky that our paths crossed and we went for each other hook, line, rod, reel, and the whole bait shop thrown in. Here at the family madhouse we’re team Grams and there ain’t a ounce ‘a daylight between what she say and I mean or vice versa.

She gets up every day at the crack of morn to let Maddie out and get some coffee. An hour or so later she gets the boys up and ready for school so I can sleep in. She pitches in where she can other times and works as hard as I do to make this ship sail smoothly. She’s not as involved in the minutia of the boys lives as Buddy or I. Her mom dumped three small brothers in her lap to raise through her teen years. Then she raised Buddy and Sug. She’s not so keen on being on the front lines a third time around and I can’t blame her for that. So the boys don’t give Grammo any grief. She the common sense in the room.

In the larger world, everyone loves Tish. She’s practical, outgoing, warmhearted and intuitive in everything she does. She spends her days working with dogs, understanding their behavior and needs, to solve problems between them and their owners. Then she comes home and keeps some sanity amongst the wild animals that live in this place (including the human ones). She doesn’t care particularly about a well ordered house but she has a very well ordered mind and her woman’s perspective is much needed in this houseful of testosterone.

She also knows when to drag me out and save me from myself when I get buried under the kid’s needs and day to day goings on. She sends them all downstairs with orders not to bother Grampy. She hands the house over to Buddy and hauls me off for a pizza or lunch out. She tells me not to think too hard, some things sort themselves out. She’s right.

Christmas is on the horizon and we still haven’t got her a bathroom of her own!