Every weekend I get an email from my parents- just the news of their week- usually involving a bit of health issues, but always including lots of naturalist stuff. My dad will describe, in detail, how this snake swallowed a frog, whole and alive, not once but twice. Or how he shot the snake for getting into his birdhouses- don't mess with his birds and you do alright for a snake. He tells funny stories about foxes and deer and even mountain lions. (Or was that a bobcat?) Or how he fed mice to the fish in his creek. He'll talk about pawpaws(that's a weird hillbilly, banana-type fruit) or disease-resistant white chestnuts. A real Daniel Boone. He is interested in everything and anything. How many people could describe to an 8 year-old how a combustion engine works? Well, he can and I remember it clearly. My mom is more inclined to relate about Aunt Margaret's health or the apple pie she made for Brother Virgil and Marie. Dad always spends some time on the state of the weather and how the bureaucrats are sticking it to us. Mom tells everybody how Dad is giving her advice on boiling water, but how he is so cute she doesn't mind. They live in a one-room house, together, 24-7. Now that has to say something about their character. She's a morning person and he's a night owl- in one room. Wouldn't that be a deal-breaker in most relationships? But, by my reckoning, they have been married somewhere in the vicinity of 42 years. They are both of an artistic bent. My mom paints and quilts, beautifully. She used to decorate wedding cakes and make floral arrangements. She plays the piano and used to sing at weddings. She's very good. My dad used to draw, but now he expresses himself in building things- like bridges and barns(they live in a large one.) And he makes stellar caramel popcorn. He loves to ride motorcycles and skiing- he once saved two people from drowning- shortly after he had major surgery. He's very strong. He reads voraciously- he has no less than three books by his chair that he reads every night before bed. A few chapters of each. I'd get the stories mixed up in my mind. My mom is getting him hooked on Sudoku puzzles. She makes tons of quilts- which I am painfully behind on quilting them for her. She makes my girls sweet little nightgowns and aprons. Everytime we get together, Dad has to have a talk with us and the children about how we need to be diligent in keeping our faith. He reads to my children, just like he did for me. My mom always gives the children at least 9 kisses, each, on their cheeks- that's what they call a "Grandmother kiss." They're just the best.