Like many of us, I answer to a variety of names depending on who is calling:
- My eldest brother has called me Hornet since I was a young girl and sported a sweatshirt with my elementary school mascot.
- My Mom often called me Annabeth, which I loved from her but would not tolerate from anyone else. So don’t even think about it.
- My Dad often called me Honey, but would immediately apologize if he slipped and called me Darling, the name he reserved for my dear Mother.
- Two college roommates and one sister-in-law call me Annie.
Legally, I have had four names:
- At birth, I was named Ann Elizabeth Rinderknecht which remained my name for one year and one month.
- Succumbing to the insistent nagging of a Mother/Mother-in-law, my provoked parents went to court and legally change my name. [This parental provocation turned out to be based on a falsehood. Whether that was known or unknown is lost to history.] At 13 months of age, I became Ann Elizabeth Carolyn Rinderknecht – my initials AECR for the balance of my first 24 years.
- For twenty-seven years I had a married name five names long, and my initials were AECRY. I was proud of that name and those initials, but ultimately I failed at that marriage. I have occasionally written about it in the pages of this blog.
- Just shy of my fifty-first birthday I married for the second time, and my fourth legal name is Ann Elizabeth Carolyn Rinderknecht Miko. My initials, and my LLC, now read AECRM. I’m done. This is it. I have told my dear Ronnie that I expect him to live to be 100. He tells me that he is working on it. If he has the audacity to shuffle off this mortal coil before me, I am going to be really and truly, indeed royally, perturbed off. He has been warned.
Ron and I moved from South Carolina to Tucson, AZ in 2012. An Ohio girl, born and raised, Arizona has grown on me. I love the sunsets viewed from our patio, and the pomegranates ripening out our kitchen window. I love the endless sky and living in the shadow of mountains for the first time in my life. After 24 years of living in the rainforest that is South Carolina, I find myself living in the Sonoran Desert. Ron’s parents brought him to Tucson from Wilmington, Delaware, when he was five years old. Back in those days, this sprawling city boasted just 35,000 residents and many of our present six-lane-roads were dirt.
My parents were best friends, passionately in love, and married for 53 years; the best parents a girl could have. My three older brothers are very talented and oddly unique. Ron’s parents and mine had died before we were married, so neither of us got to meet our in-laws, but we both like the stories we have heard. Ron and his sister, along with my brothers and I, are now the oldest generation in our families. Our children, nieces, and nephews are scattered all over the country and busy with careers, projects, and in some cases, amazing children and stepchildren.
My years have been filled with all kinds of good things, including: friendly debate, theology, worship, politics, art, laughter, history, liturgy, craftsmanship, family meals and picnics, walks, bike riding, root beer, literature and poetry as well as doggerel and bad verse, travel, gardening, cross-stitch, music, sewing, genealogy, cats, woodworking, candle making, jewelry making, entrepreneurship, and thousands of books. I am proud to be the daughter of a WWII Army Veteran and the wife of a Viet Nam Navy Veteran. My husband and I are Christians and members of a Lutheran church not far from home. It is a small and friendly congregation that has been very welcoming to us. Our pastor’s sermons give us much to think about and, bless him, he actually preaches on the text of scripture and not on the news-du-jour. We love getting fed on Word and Sacraments.
Despite neither of us being spared trials, sin, hurt, failure, sorrow and loss in our lives, Ron and I have also been blessed abundantly, not least by the relationships with our very talented and remarkable friends and family. Life is good. Thanks be to God.