It’s the third Sunday of September.

Heather, you think as you sip your morning coffee. You are stating the obvious, which is not good for a writer.

Agreed, but there’s probably something you don’t know about the third Sunday in September. It’s top secret—almost CIA worthy.


Yes, indeed! And I’m about to tell you.

Okay, spit it out!

Today is actually a little known national holiday.

Drum roll, please.

It’s National Wife Appreciation Day! (no crap)

You can verify my claim here where you will learn that since wives do so many things to make their husbands and homes happy, this is a day for men to let their wives know just how much they appreciate them.

The more I learn about this holiday, the more I am convinced that it ranks aside Thanksgiving and my birthday. The Days of The Year website recommends that, “Husbands may want to order a beautiful bouquet of her favorite flowers, and/or arrange a fabulous surprise, such as making a reservation at her special restaurant, booking tickets to see a spectacular show; or taking her on a romantic mini-break. Alternatively, they may want to get her a gift of designer perfume or a unique piece of jewelry, both of which are always gratefully received!”

yellow-flowersHmm. Sounds good!

So while I wait in anticipation for the glory and gifts I am sure my husband will bestow upon me, I thought it would be fun to share some of the great presents I’ve endowed him with during the course of our togetherness.

Pancakes. Yes, the man loves pancakes. And I’ve given him a lot of pancakes over the years. In fact, I could be considered an expert pancake-maker. But that wasn’t always the case. My pancake-making career got off to a rocky start. As a new bride, I wanted to make my husband a homemade, hearty, carb-filled breakfast before his soccer game. I found a recipe and figured I had all the ingredients. (Baking powder and baking soda are interchangeable, right?)

“What do you think?” I asked, my voice full of hope.

He poured more syrup on his already syrup-laden stack.

“They’re really good,” he said and bit into another forkful. I could tell that he was trying not to swallow. Still, he cleaned his plate. That evening he admitted that he thought, perhaps, he had forgotten what pancakes really tasted like and he didn’t want to hurt my feelings as he’d witnessed me labor over the “homemade” breakfast. (I promise my cooking has improved!)

A Trip. We never went on a honeymoon. We married in a flash on New Year’s Eve many eons ago. At the time my husband was a professional soccer player. The night before our big day he had a game in Tacoma, WA (he didn’t make our rehearsal dinner, but he did score a goal). He took a red-eye into Philadelphia and we were married. New Year’s Day we left for our first home in Dallas, TX.

And then we were busy, busy, busy and broke, broke, broke.

But I started to save a little money here and there and made installment deposits with a travel agent. Eight years later, I surprised my husband with a cruise. That’s a pretty great gift, right?

A Year In New York City. When we moved from Dallas to Baltimore because my husband was traded to a different team, we stayed with my parents in PA for two months before the start of the season.

The local newspaper called one night and asked to speak to my husband.

What did he think about the soccer league folding? The reporter wanted to know.


nyc-waterviewSo without a job, we packed up and headed to New York City.

Why not? We had nowhere else to go. I wanted to pursue my hope of being an actress. Despite our tiny fifth-floor walk-up apartment and my failure to become a movie star, it turned out to be one of the best years of our lives.

Oh, yeah, I’ve also given him lots of white athletic socks, three dozen monogrammed golf balls, at least twenty thousand meals, twenty-seven years of marriage, two kids, most of my youth, and all of my heart.

When my husband reads this, he will most likely break into a cold sweat and near panic. Nobody told me about this freaking holiday, he’ll tell the cat.

Does it sound like I am fishing for gifts from a certain guy?

No, I’m not. He’s already given me the benefit of the doubt, new adventures, and the space and time within which to chase my writing dreams.

Today is a special day, sure.

But every day is—honestly.



I stumbled upon Melinda Naber’s One More Busy Mom website and found her Honey Braised Chicken recipe, which makes a wonderful Sunday dinner. Enjoy!



I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy the rest of your life.

Rita Ruder

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