Say It Anyway [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

And so, we age. Together. Our bodies are changing. Our minds are changing. We met in our 50’s and often say, “I wish we’d have met when we were younger.” I wonder if that is true. I am a better person now than I was then.

She is Teflon when I tell her that she is beautiful. My words slide right off. I tell her anyway whether she can hear it or not because it is so deeply true within me.

My body aches. I am looking more and more like my grandfather and less and less like the man I expect to see in the mirror. But I know that the essential thing will remain intact through our entire apple-doll-becoming: jowls or no, she is beautiful to me. All the time.

read Kerri’s blog post about JOWLS

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Imagine The Dinosaur [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I was 52 years old when I finally had children and, luckily for me AND for them, they were both adults. As I told Kerri, I was fortunate to become a parent when our children were already fully cooked. Just kidding. Or not.

We often speculate about what life might have been like had we met when we were younger. Once, on a road trip, we were making ourselves laugh hysterically with the names we would have given to the poor beings that might have had us as parents. We landed on Chicken Marsala and almost crashed the car. We pretended Chicken was in the back seat. He was voicing his concerns at our driving, snack choices, and need to stop so often [Kerri likes brochures…].

Having artists for parents left Chicken feeling a bit anxious. We found it somehow comforting to finally have a responsible adult present in the car with us.

read Kerri’s thoughts on this Saturday Morning Smack-Dab.

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Adore The Peeve [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

One of my favorite Kerri-pet-peeves is spinach stems. Nothing will invite a rant faster or with more gusto than spinach with too-much-stem. “AHHHH! Stems!” she clenches her jaw, takes up one of the offending spinach leaves, and shakes it in my direction. “Who thinks this is a good idea!?” She narrows her eyes and looks my way, as if I designed the stemmy-leaf for maximum displeasure. I, of course, say nothing, keep my head down and eat my spinach.

A few years ago I lost a fight with a tick. In fact, I didn’t even know I was in a battle until my fever skyrocketed, my joints ached and I was babbling more nonsense than usual. We were on an island and after a few days of delirium, we took the ferry to find a doctor. The doctor ordered blood work and my panel revealed two problems. Lyme disease. Low iron. For the Lyme I received antibiotics. For the iron deficiency, I received advice: eat more spinach.

We may or may not have had spinach in our house before I took the doctor’s advice. I don’t think so or I would have known about the stem-peeve. I confess that it delights me. We have spinach with our breakfast. It hides under the potatoes which hide under the egg. “Oh NO!!!” Kerri cries aloud, “It’s spinach day!” And suddenly, my wife is 5 years old, pouting. That’s where my delight enters. I get to see what she was like as a kid. Knitted brow. Clenched fists. “You didn’t tell me it was spinach day!”

Her childhood nickname, I am told, was “Brat.”

I offer to eat the spinach by myself. After all, it is my deficiency. “No!” she crosses her arms and stares at her plate. A challenge. Solidarity. I offer to cut off the stems of her spinach. “No.” Bottom lip thrusts forward. Stem suffering brings absolution or builds character or…

Of this, I am certain: her spinach-stem-pet-peeve will be a future smack-dab. No doubt. I’m drawing the panel in my imagination even as I write. It’s too adorable not to share.

[20 tells me that real men don’t use words like “adorable” and he worries for my machismo. Of course, he finishes his admonishment by telling me that he recently used the word “cute” and finds that we two are brothers in the same club].

read Kerri’s blog post about STEMS

Note The Weather [saturday morning smack-dab.]

I’m the guy at the party that doesn’t mingle. I generally fall into a deep conversation with one person who is polite enough to fake interest in what I am saying. Kerri is trying to help me with my ineptitude. She tells me to “Gear down.” We’ve even developed hand signals so that she can communicate across a crowded room that I need to release my too-polite-listener from my diatribe.

At home, we need no hand signals. I know when I’ve crossed the line because I invoke an immediate hot flash in Kerri. It is my cue to hush up, lighten up or perhaps look up and note the weather.

read Kerri’s SMACK-DAB THOUGHTS

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Appreciate The Nectar [saturday morning smack-dab.]

My dad called coffee ‘the nectar of the gods.’ It has special properties that I am only now beginning to fully appreciate. The-nectar-of-the-gods was wasted on me when I was young. I didn’t appreciate it. I drank it for comfort and taste. Now I get it. Coffee is an essential survival beverage. The gods are laughing. We’re just trying to stay conscious.

read Kerri’s thoughts about COFFEE!

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Feed The Hunger [saturday morning smack-dab.]

I’ve often pondered what to call our middle-of-the-night meals. Lately, we call it our “3am banana.” I used to call it my “life preserver.” Over time, as my capacity to anticipate the feeding-moment has improved, middle-of-the-night-meals have become much less dangerous.

read Kerri’s thoughts about CEREAL WITH BLUEBERRIES

smack-dab ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Do More Than Watch [saturday morning smack-dab.]

It’s short. It’s precious. Both/And.

Live Life, My Sweet Potato stuff on Society6

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Try To Understand [saturday morning smack-dab.]

…and my favorite part of this particular cartoon is that we had Mars/Venus disparity on what was funny about the situation. We lived the cartoon while writing the cartoon. You know the old saying: What is funny on Mars…

read Kerri’s thoughts on TRYING TO UNDERSTAND

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Fill the Gap [saturday morning smack-dab.]

As Shakespeare wrote, “The truth will out.” Kerri makes certain that I remain humble. Keeping me in proper perspective is a difficult job. I, for one, am delighted that I won out over the parakeet.

read Kerri’s thoughts on this smack-dab saturday

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Take A Second Chance [on Merely A Thought Monday]

This is a story about second chances. Both of us had first go-rounds and neither went according to the dream. The gap between life and dream is sometimes daunting, vast. But, the good news with all-things-daunting is that, if you are lucky – and we are, you emerge on the other side, not only with a better sense of humor, but an understanding of the hard work it takes to make dreams a reality. Or, said another way, you live into a better sense of yourself. Kerri and I could be the poster children for people who’ve crossed the gap and come out laughing.

Early in our relationship we danced in the living room to Rascal Flatt’s song, The Broken Road. After our dance, we spent a long evening talking about our broken roads. There’s something powerful (and telling) about two people who willingly pull out their broken pieces and spread them across the table for the other to see, not for a pity-party but to say without shame, “This is me. This is what I’ve done and where I’ve been. I don’t want to hide any of it from you because I want you to see me, barnacles and all.” It is the mark of the tribe of second chances. Vulnerability as a strength.

In a second chance you have the opportunity to discover yourself anew. That might sound thrilling – and it is in retrospect – but it requires a good deal of hot fire to burn away the former shell. It’s as if the rules of life that have always applied, the rules that have always provided orientation to the game-of-life suddenly no longer apply. Trying to hold onto the old version is like trying to hide the fact that you are aging. It’s impossible. We started collecting our beautiful moments of denial and rude-awakening because, well, they were and are funny. For instance, I looked in the mirror one day and saw my grandfather staring back. It happened overnight and I was horrified! I spent the rest of the day looking for soft light so I might delay Kerri seeing my new grandfatherly face.

Second chances come to all of us. We have friends and family in our circle that are recent empty-nesters. The kids are gone. The house is quiet. They are asking two questions: 1) Who is this stranger sitting across the table? And 2) Who am I, the person looking back at the stranger across the table? Like us, they are walking through the rule changes, the body changes, the purpose changes, the identity changes. We hope that they, like us, recognize their barnacles as a shared map forward, a reason to bond and learn each other, and themselves, anew.

That’s the reason and the story behind our comic strip SMACK-DAB. Like us, it is a second run at a good idea only this time, less armored. For now, we’ll publish a new strip every Saturday. Our chronicle of second chances. Smack-dab in the middle of middle age. The laughter and good love that comes from splaying all the broken pieces across the table and saying, “This is me and I want you to know and share every last shard. For the rest of my life.”

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
~ Bless The Broken Road, Rascal Flatts

read Kerri’s blog post about SMACK-DAB.