There’s something about living in the house that you grew up in that’s unexplainable.

It’s amazing and wonderful and poignant all at the same time.

It’s like you are living in the middle of a chapter, and yet? You can see all the chapters that have gone before.

Each room has a thousand stories.

Each room has a thousand steps.

And sometimes? Every so often?

You open a door.

And right then.

Right there.

In the middle of an ordinary day, something happens that reminds you of all the steps you have taken before.

Last Thursday, I had an argument with my husband.


It was over nothing.

It was silly.

And ridiculous.

But as most silly, ridiculous arguments over nothing go sometimes. It started small and ended with frustration and hurt feelings and he left for work without it being resolved. My husband is a hospital pharmacist and he’d been called in for extra shifts and he’s been working a lot lately and as soon as he walked out the door?

I realized I was wrong.

And I missed him.

I stared at the door as tears welled up in my eyes. And in that moment? I remembered something.

I remembered those same steps with those same tears staring at that same door all those years ago.

The day he left for boot camp.

I stood at this exact door and hugged him tight and wished him well and waved good-bye and told him to have a wonderful life and I thought I would never see him again.

He was nice and sweet and kind with twinkling brown eyes, but you see my friend…

….I had big plans.


I was 21 and single with a prairie skirt and high heels with lace socks.

Watch out world.

And as he walked through that door, he turned back before he got into the truck and waved. Then he smiled the smile I knew so well and his eyes twinkled one last time for me….

…and my heart gave a little leap.

But I ignored it.

I didn’t have time for distractions or boot camps or sailors or twinkling eyes.

I had plans.

So my plans and my prairie skirt and I returned to college. We clicked our high-heeled-lace-sock-pumps together and scheduled dates and parties and tail-gating events and barbeques and moonlit walks by the river.

And it was fun.

For a while.

Until I heard a joke or a funny story or had a fashion emergency or received an A on a test or came up with a brilliant idea…..

….that only a pair of twinkling eyes would understand.

I tried to ignore it.

I tried to shake it off.

I tried to remember my plans.

But I couldn’t.

So I distracted myself with long phone calls to my mother and brownie fudge sundaes and episodes of Oprah.

Bless my heart.

And somewhere between 27 bites of chocolate and the Phil Donahue show and Oprah lugging in a giant wagon full of lard…..

….I fell in love.


I fell in love with a sailor.

Who I had already said good-bye to.

Who I had just broken up with.

Who at the present moment was halfway across the country at boot camp without a single solitary means of communication.

There wasn’t a cell phone or e-mail or internet or any way to tell someone that you were silly and you had totally changed your mind and you never wanted to be away from them again and you were totally, absolutely, positively 100%…..

……in love with them.

Weeks went by and then one day the phone rang.

A pair of brown eyes twinkled from the payphone at the other end. He told me he had waited an hour in line at boot camp and he only had five minutes and he knew I was probably busy….

but he missed me.


The girl with the big plans.

He missed…

I said nothing.

I couldn’t.

I wanted to but I was sobbing.

So my heart spoke for me.

And right then on a cold gray February morning on a payphone with a tender note in his voice, a twinkling eyed sailor told a girl he loved her…..

…..and she told him she loved him right back.

PS  Five minutes after this door closed?

My phone rang.

It was my husband.

He called to tell me he missed me and I told him I was wrong and what was I thinking and that I was sorry and silly and ridiculous.

And that when he walked back through this door tonight?

I’d be there.

Just like all those years ago.

Waiting with open arms. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Ok, in getting excited to be the first one to post a comment I let autocorrect take over! Hehe! Meant to say - no truer words for true love!

  2. Image for Carrie Carrie

    I LOVE your stories...they make me smile, cry, remember a sweet memory of my own! You are like the best friend you carry in your mind all day ! Thank you for your stories.

  3. Image for Linda Linda

    O I loved your story. And yes it's made me cry. One cold day in Feburary when we were having a cold ice storm husband kissed me good bye and went out our door , never to come back in it again. He had a heart attack that day and suddenly he was gone. I never got to look up and see him come back in that door again. That was 6 years ago after being married for 44 years 4 months and 4 days. And yes I still miss him and still cry. Life is short hang onto it , hang on with both hands and your whole heart. Cherish each moment . IAM looking forward to seeing him again in Heaven. We promised each other when we were young, that if anything ever happened to each other we would meet at that golden gate in Heaven. I know he's standing there waiting....

    1. Image for Linda Linda

      I read your comment and the memory of the day my husband had a heart attack came flooding back. But my story ended differently - he survived and we've never been the same. We say I'm sorry quicker, forgive quicker, and don't fuss over the little things in life. I remember how his "balled up" socks on the floor used to send me reeling - the day he had his heart attack, I walked into the bathroom and saw them and cried. I vowed that day never to complain about them again - now when I see them, I pick them up and say thank you God for "balled-up" socks and the sweet man that wears them. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for reminding us all to cherish our hubby's and life's moments with them.

    2. Image for Clare Godleski Clare Godleski

      Both of your stories made me cry. True love never dies but it is important to always appreciate the ones we love. I can truly relate - I have been with my husband over 48 years, we started dating in high school and now have been married for almost 43. God bless every one of you reading this.

  4. Image for Sheila Coffman Sheila Coffman

    Beautiful story and so true of many of us through out our lives. We should cherish and enjoy every minute of every day, because it can be (and has) taken away from us in a heart beat. Oh to have time back to relive those precious moments we took for granted. Thanks again for sharing

  5. Image for Traci A Skaggs Traci A Skaggs

    God bless you both. Life is never perfect but we will have perfect moments. I'm thankful you share the same heart and see them with your eyes wide open. 💗

  6. Image for Robin Plummer Robin Plummer

    Thank God for pay phones! The worst and silliest argument that I ever had with my husband was over a bar of soap. It happens, and most often it's because of the tone of voice that is used, but we make it right and go on about our lives, and we become a better and more understanding person.

  7. Image for CorrieMae CorrieMae

    A beautiful memory and it makes all seem right in the world today. I too move back to my childhood home with my husband. The home that my parents built, brought me home to from the hospital when I was born. My husband and I remodeled my parents home. So many memories, just like you. I had a hard time living in my childhood home as an adult with my parents gone within a year of each other. We sold my childhood home and moved to a brand new home. Sold the home with so many memories.....where my husband picked me up for that first date at that front door. where my parents had the most grand engagement party for my husband and I. where my babies were watch by my parents and made so many memories... I love reading your post that make my day! Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  8. Image for be be

    Thanks always for your honesty and true life situations. Covid -19 has put pressure on all relationships and yet has given us time to really realize what we have and how God has blessed.

  9. Image for Laura Laura

    I love this story I love the flashbacks to Oprah and her wagon of Lard ( I was in college too and dating my now husband). Thank you for the flashback to prairie skirts and big hair. And big plans! Little did you know you were making big plans ... Laura

  10. Image for Crystal Laxton Crystal Laxton

    Wonderful story! A true tear jerker! I am so happy that some people can still remember not to sweat the small stuff... And it's all small stuff. 😊

  11. Image for Debbie Debbie

    What’s beautiful story. Thank you for sharing your heart. To Linda, thank you for sharing your heart as well. I know he is waiting for you, too. With love to you both.

  12. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I have been married to my sailor for 58 years....but.....when I fell in love with him, I had to write a "Dear John" letter to the sweetest Army guy. It would have been nice to tell him in person but he was fall away serving our country. Life has many turns, but always kiss your sailor good night!!

  13. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    I love your stories and this was one of the best. We certainly can say terrible things to each other and then we have to take them back and that's even worse, they taste so bitter! Have a great day with that sweet man God gave you.

  14. Image for JC JC

    Now more than ever these times have given us the opportunities to realize the importance of those wonderful relationships in our lives. Thanks for sharing yours!

  15. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Your stories are wonderful, and so are your readers comments! I love all of the additional insights and stories! Some sad, but good reminders as well!❤️

  16. Image for Julie Julie

    You have wonderful stories of life, each one you share is a gift to your readers! I so enjoy your blog, you have great creative ideas and have made a lovely home, but even better are how you share the precious moments in life, thank you!

  17. Image for Patricia Sheehan Brock Patricia Sheehan Brock

    KariAnne you are an amazing storyteller. You missed your calling, your additional calling. You should be writing a books. I so want to sit on the porch with a glass of tea chatting with you. Maybe someday. God willing. Have a beautiful blessed day I so want to sit on the porch with a glass of tea chatting with you. Maybe someday. God willing. Have a beautiful blessed day.💕

  18. Image for Maria Maria

    Oh sometimes you make me cry!! Cry with goosebumps. I too lived in my childhood home for about six years, then we made the decision to sell it and build our current home, the home I love, the home I planned, yet I will never forget how privileged I was to care for my childhood home for a time. The home my Mom was so proud of, the home where she took her last breath....home. My husband was a Marine and I remember when he was serving in Desert Storm and we had two young children, I would just wait for our phone on the wall to ring. And when it did I knew that he too waited in line and our time was limited...and I cried. KariAnne, thank you for sharing your life:)

  19. Image for Lyn Lyn

    Ah, the phone calls. My husband worked out of town for months at a time when we were first dating. One night he called and he told me he was coming home for the weekend - he drove 800 miles and pulled into our driveway somewhere around midnight. A day and a half later he drove back - leaving in the evening and got back to Virginia Beach just in time to go to work the next morning. He had a hot car and a lead foot! I knew then it was love. We have been married 50 years, 2 weeks, and 4 days. Since the quarantine we have been together 24/7 since March 14. There have been a few times I wish I could just take a day to myself, not to have to cook, whatever, but if I have to be quarantined with anyone it has to be him. Through all the years he has been a constant source of calm, sweet and helpful - I can't complain. Kari-Anne, I love your story.

  20. Image for Barbara Z Barbara Z

    Sooooo sweet! I love your stories, love your writing, love you fabulous sense of humor! I could easily imagine you in your prairie skirt and lace socks, and - no doubt - red lipstick, and that image brought a wonderful smile to my day. Thank you!

  21. Image for shelley shelley

    AGAIN with the always do that to me! I think I'm going to read some random story about a pay phone that was forgotten when the world came out with smart phones and's about true love...

  22. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    I am crying, but they are sweet tears. In this horrible dark time in the world, when so many bitter tears have been shed, thank you for giving me a reason to weep at beauty.

  23. Image for Pam Harris Pam Harris

    You and your family make my day! I want to tell you a little story, for two and a half weeks I did not receive a post from you and I was worried something had happened with your family, your mom or your children had gotten the dreaded corona virus and that you were having a hard time and I worried about you all (this is my job, I worry). Then I remembered you were going to build an office/workshop in your back yard and thought you were so busy with that you didn’t have time to post.. It occurred to me finally that I had not checked my junk file and so I did and there was two and a half weeks of your post’s, I was so excited! I spent all day that day catching up and enjoyed every minute. Thank you for all that you do!

  24. Image for Nancy Federici Griffiths Nancy Federici Griffiths

    Thank you, Karianne, for sharing that oh so sweet story...I’m writing this with tears in my eyes as it touched my are one of the lucky ones who found such a beautiful love...❤️ PS I’m one of the lucky ones too...🥰

    1. Image for Barbara at Mantel and Table Barbara at Mantel and Table

      Nancy, I totally agree with you! (And about being one of the lucky ones too!) :) You don't happen to have a Marty in your family who lives in Portland do you? I've never come across another Federici before! ;) Either way, fun to meet you here! ❤️

  25. Image for Beverly O Beverly O

    Sweet story and know that I can totally relate! Well, not about the lace socks and heels but about the regret and phone apologies. On another note, where did the bench come from? I looked for something similar and that color for my front porch and found something else that I am very sad I have at this point!

  26. Image for Barbara at Mantel and Table Barbara at Mantel and Table

    Oh KariAnne, you're such a beautiful writer! I have tears in my eyes - honestly! Thank you for your wonderful posts! They not only make me smile and share your joy, but you make me remember my own joys. And remind me to honor them every day. THANK YOU one more time! 💗

  27. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Hi Miss KariAnne, I do love your stories and this one is very special. Keep up the great writing my friend so I can keep reading them. Sherry

  28. Image for Katherines Corner Katherines Corner

    well, my friend, silly and ridiculous is my kind of argument too. I loved reading your sweet heart-filled story. Today I snapped a bit at my hubby because he was ready to go to the post office ( to mail my shop orders) and I was snippy and said, wait a minute...blaa blaa. Then he said okay take your time. I felt like well...I felt really bad. Although I didn't go immediately downstairs to apologize, I was printing labels. I did go down shortly after and apologized. He kissed me I kissed him and are hearts hummed, the way they do when I'm not snippy and well, even when I am. We celebrated 18 years of marriage on June 1st and on May 27th we celebrated 21 years of being a couple. I wish you continued years of bliss and thank you for the inspiration for an upcoming post too. xo

  29. Image for Judy Judy

    I don’t usually comment on posts, but your story brought a tear to my eye as did some of the comments. I enjoy your blog and will keep reading and enjoying it. Thank you

  30. Image for Darlene Darlene

    Oh KariAnne we can all relate to your story! I have been married to my first love for fifty-two years. Have had many of those times over the years, and all it takes is a hug, kiss or touch to make it all ok again. Your stories are so entertaining and lovely. All the best!

  31. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Dang girl! You write the most beautiful and loving stories. I'm so glad I found your blog and look forward to it each day. You are such a special person... and we've never met that Sailor, but I'll bet you a dollar he's quite special too!! God bless you both and your lovely family. Keep telling your stories - we're waiting for them...

  32. Image for Sherry Duff Sherry Duff

    Love this story!!!! When my husband-to-be was in college several hours away, I would wait for the light blue slim line phone in my bedroom to ring on Friday nights so we could talk!! We will be married 35 years in August. Has it always been perfect? No, but I wouldn't change anything!! Our love is strong and will last through time! Thanks for this uplifting story during this very chaotic time in our country.


    KariAnne, thanks for bringing us such beautiful love stories! How nice of you to share your heart with us! You are such a special gal to realize that you were wrong and needed to apologize to that special hubby of yours. And how thoughtful of your hubby to call you! How great to be able to keep the communication lines open. It's so good that we can admit when we are wrong! It's also good to be able to "agree to disagree" if things should come to that. Bless you both! You are such a "special" couple and such a wonderful example to your family of what a loving marriage is.

  34. Image for Michele M Michele M

    I love your love. It warms my heart to know two people are so perfectly meant to be together. God bless your marriage and the big plans you STILL have......just TOGETHER! Right? Hugs hugs hugs. ♥♥♥

  35. Image for Sue Sue

    Well, you made my heart skip a beat. So beautiful. My sailor and I will be celebrating fifty years next month. Time goes so quickly, cherish every day.

  36. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    Reality of love isn't the grandeur of love in books on TV or movies. It's the simpleness of a heart contented, the knowing look across the room or that special "private-line" connection you share "no party line here". A soft sacred place you both share. Hang onto it. Thank yoy for sharing.

  37. Image for Janet Janet

    The worst arguments my husband and I ever had were the ones where we disagreed but were really saying the same thing. I guess it was the male-female perspectives getting jammed up! We always managed to figure it out and work it out though. I wish he were still here to disagree with and quarantine with. He was the smartest, funniest man I ever knew or hope to know. I lost him March a heart that just couldn't keep going any more. I hope you and Mr. Twinkling Brown Eyes have many more years together. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

  38. Image for Sarah Jones Sarah Jones

    ❤❤❤ This love story is just the sweetest and the best and made my heart smile. Thank you for sharing and helping me remember what a treasure my own love story is!!

  39. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    What a beautiful story of love and forgiveness. I pray you have a lot of young wives following you who can learn the value of putting her spouse first from this story. (Young husbands, too!) Thank you for once again sharing your life and your heart with us all.

Comments are closed.