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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Front Porch: 75 years later, couple still inspires

They don’t make anniversary cards for 75th anniversaries. At least they didn’t have any at the stores I checked. After all, 72-day marriages like Kim Kardashian’s are probably more common now than unions spanning seven decades. On Saturday, my husband and I attended the 75th anniversary celebration of Warren and Betty Schott. I met the Schotts six years ago when I featured them in a Love Story. They were one of the first couples I wrote about for the ongoing series.

Front Porch: Family can’t let a sleeping mom lie

A shadow sliced the sunlight. The white metal table wobbled as he dropped a sheaf of papers next to my brimming cup of café au lait. “It’s brilliant!” he said. “It’s something only you could write.” Carefully, I removed my wide-brimmed straw hat and looked into George Clooney’s baby blues. “I’m so glad you liked it,” I said. “I am really looking forward to …”

Front Porch: Savoring last years with kid at home

One by one they arrived at two-year intervals. First Ethan, then Alex, then Zack. Each baby welcomed with joy until our home overflowed with boys. Three is plenty we said. Three is more than enough.

Front Porch: The perfect gift for any occasion

His shock of white hair stood on end as he ran his hands through it. He wanted to talk about food, rattling off recipes from memory until I ran out of room on the cheap hospital stationery I’d grabbed from a nurse. At 16, my cooking repertoire was limited to frozen burritos and microwaveable meals. Yet here I sat, discussing veal osso bucco and charlotte russe with a stranger.

Love Story: Blind date really opened couple’s eyes

When Bill and Irene Zimmer met on a blind date, they already had a lot in common. Bill, a senior at Gonzaga University at the time, had grown up on a farm near the Pend Oreille River. Irene, a nursing student at Sacred Heart Hospital, was raised on a farm in Chewelah, Wash. In addition, they both were staunch Catholics.

Front Porch: Mourning the loss of a neighbor

It’s like a death, really. The news that the north Spokane Fred Meyer store was closing stunned me. For more than 20 years I’ve weekly walked the store’s aisles. I’m confident I could find my way around it blindfolded.

Front Porch: There’s still hope for the written word

The reader results are in regarding my Christmas card column. By a large majority, those who responded expressed dismay at my dismissal of annual holiday greetings. One reader enjoys using the cards as part of her Christmas decorations. Another uses them to share the Gospel message. And most who wrote eschew social media sites like Facebook. Interestingly, all of the responses I received came via email. (Disclaimer, I haven’t checked my mailbox at The Spokesman-Review since November, so there may be a letter or – gulp! – a card, awaiting my attention.)

Front Porch: Christmas cards have lost utility

We’ve taken the tree and the decorations down, packed away the holiday movies and CDs, and welcomed the New Year. But I’ve still got some unsettled Christmas business to address. Stacked in front of me is this year’s collection of Christmas cards. Cheery greetings from people I see every week mingle with photo cards from folks I haven’t seen in years. Some include a brief note, but most are simply signed with the sender’s name.

Front Porch: Don’t waste your memory on the killers

By the time you read this it will be almost a week since the horrific shootings in Newtown, Conn. Columnists, pundits and politicians will have opined, analyzed and commented. Graves will have been dug. Memorial services held. The initial shock and horror has faded, muted by holiday happenings. After all, life goes on and sorrow dims.

Front Porch: Life’s better as a flavorful adventure

Now that you’ve had your fill of succulent roast turkey, savory stuffing and pumpkin pie, it’s time to focus on the food ahead. The Christmas season stretches before us, rich with the tasty promise of candy canes and cutout cookies washed down with gallons of eggnog. I hesitate to address the F-word (food) in this column because when I last wrote about a related topic (Pig Out in the Park) a commenter speculated about the status of my muffin top. And I don’t think he was talking about my homemade blueberry muffins.

Ring confusion adds twist to courtship

Her white nurse’s uniform caught his eye. “Those sexy white shoes!” he recalled, grinning. Then he noticed her slender legs and shapely ankles. “I could marry those legs,” he thought. Gene Zanck was a young Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton when he met his future wife, Jackie, at a dinner party. That was 62 years ago. While Gene felt an immediate attraction to the nurse with the shapely legs, his feelings weren’t reciprocated. As they sat in their Spokane Valley home, Jackie shot him a sidewise glance and said, “When I first laid eyes on that guy I was NOT impressed.”

Front Porch: Few fess up to Black Friday

Hard as it is to believe, this column wasn’t the first thing some of you looked for in today’s paper. Instead, many of you lugged your super-sized Spokesman-Review into your home and began poring over the copious advertisements. While the heady aroma of roasting turkey filled the air, you began making your lists and checking them twice. With the diligence of military generals you mapped out your Black Friday shopping strategies.

Front Porch: String of activities ends with guitar

In fourth grade he tried Little League. He didn’t own a baseball, or a glove, or a bat, but none of his brothers had tried it and therein lay its appeal. When you’re the third of four sons, it can be hard to find something all your own. Zachary thought Little League might just be his thing. He and his dad went shopping and came back with the needed gear. Later that night, his brother Alex took him to the backyard to play catch.