Today I read the word “crowbar” in a book, and winced a little bit. I have a vague memory that when I was very young I used that word in front of my father, and got a quick life lesson in word connotations. He instructed me not to use that word, but rather say “pry-bar” because “crow” was a racist slur against black people and the word “crowbar” had racist connotations. Whether that is true about the word origins or not, the larger lesson is true: racism is bad.

That was not the only value I learned from my parents growing up.

Mom also had a thing with words. One I learned from her was “stick-to-it-ativeness.” Basically that is the idea that you should finish what you start–a tough lesson for a kid who would want to quit and do something else as soon as the fun had gone out of a task. It’s a lesson that has served me well up to this point.

Today is my parent’s 44th wedding anniversary. And that’s quite a lesson in “stick-to-it-ativeness” in itself.

Happy Anniversary! I love you both.