From the Editor’s Files: We made our anniversary a labor of love


By Paul Rhodes, editor and publisher

This past weekend, my girlfriend Kim and I celebrated our sixth anniversary together, and it turned out to be a labor of love.
Kim and I met later in life and have been a couple for many years. Three years ago, we decided to open a booth at one of Wichita’s antique malls, and the rest of our junking business – sorry, picking business – is history.
I tend to think of our sideline business as junking. Kim much prefers that we acknowledge some level of sophistication in our efforts, and call ourselves pickers.
I will absolutely bow to her preference whenever she calls me on it.
When Kim and I had our first date, it was going really well, so I asked her how she felt about checking out some antique maple flooring I was trying to make a deal on at Architectural Salvage. She said, “Sure,” and I knew we were off to a good start.
As this past weekend approached, Kim asked me if I knew that Sunday was the first of November, and the light bulb lit up like the florescent lights at Kmart. It was our anniversary.
That first date was on a Saturday morning, and it was the first of November. Ever since then, we have marked our anniversary as being on the first of November.
When the first of November doesn’t fall on a weekend, we try to plan something fun for the closest weekend. Last year on our fifth anniversary, we celebrated with a long weekend trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Now that was an anniversary celebration.
Back to this year, I had somehow managed to block out the approaching anniversary date. Work has been intensely busy, and Kim and I have been extra busy with our booth business. That business has grown this past year to include a booth at a second antique mall.
And we are so busy, in fact, that for the past couple of weeks, we’d been planning to spend Sunday, Nov. 1, completely resetting our booths to get ready for the approaching holiday season. Yep, working on our anniversary.
One of the many reasons I admire and respect Kim is how confident and comfortable she is with herself, and with our relationship. When she realized we had booked a work day on our anniversary, she immediately reminded me of the important day.
Anyone with any resentment in their life would have just kept their mouth shut, and waited to see if their mate was going to screw up royally. I’m sorry, but that’s how some couples operate.
Instead, Kim took the realization as an opportunity to lovingly get us back on the same page.
Did we reschedule our work day? Nope. We really couldn’t with the schedule we have coming up. This was the day we had available to make the shift to holiday items in our booths.
To top it all off and really accent just how overbooked we were leading up to our big weekend, Kim and I spent the day Friday delivering papers for Times-Sentinel Newspapers (she helps with deliveries in Wichita once a month), and then we spent most of Saturday hitting estate sales to gather more inventory for our booths. With winter approaching and the coronavirus getting worse by the day, we’re going to curb our picking efforts through the winter months.
Saturday evening, though, we did carve out some time for ourselves. We drove out into the country to observe the full moon, and ordered out some food rather than cooking at home. We even finished the evening with a movie.
I’m a lucky man…but most folks already know that.
And one of the best strokes of luck in my life is that I love what I do…and sometimes I get to do it with someone I love.