Excerpts of Erynn

a blog about… nothing in particular and everything at once

The spider incident October 29, 2016

Filed under: diary,Marriage — Erynn Sprouse @ 5:47 pm

Spiders and I… we’re not really friends. There’s a meme with a house up in flames and the caption, “There was a spider, I panicked. But I think it’s gone now.” I don’t know… sounds like a pretty reasonable response to me.


The other day I was driving our 12 passenger van when I spotted a rather large jumping spider just to the left of the windshield.

In other words, it was only about 12″ from my head.

I’d like to tell you that I calmly pulled over the van and smashed the thing, but that wouldn’t really be blog-worthy, now would it? And I wouldn’t get to tell you the best part. But more on that in a minute.

It took some deep breaths to do it smoothly, but I got the van pulled onto the shoulder of the road, slammed it into park, and clambered over to the passenger side.

Isaiah is my spider guy. He finds them fascinating and really enjoys learning about them. We have a long-standing agreement, though: he kills them when I ask. I don’t think he minds, anyway. He’s done it enough times that he knows the drill pretty well. Don’t take a shot unless you know it’s going to land. A disappeared spider is worse than a spider in plain view (you know spiders like to ambush, right?).

Isaiah came forward, shoe in hand, ready to do his duty, but the spider was sly, and stayed in the nooks, crannies and crevices where Isaiah couldn’t get it. Meanwhile, my panic was rising. I called Jeremy, but he didn’t answer the first time… or the second… or the fifth. When I finally got to talk to him, I explained the situation, and told him he needed to come immediately.

While we waited, the boys and I watched that spider constantly. The only time I took my eyes off of it was when I was checking to make sure the State Trooper across the highway was still occupied. I was sure he’d seen us and would come over as soon as he was finished with the semi he’d pulled over, and that was a conversation I didn’t want to have. There’s just no good way to explain that you’re pulled off the road and standing on the running board of your van because you’re scared of a spider smaller than a nickel. I’m all for backing the blue, but I’d rather not be their source of entertainment.

When Jeremy arrived, he asked where the spider was and in less than a minute, the creeper was on the asphalt. Jeremy hugged & kissed me and said, “Now let’s get out of here before the police man comes over here” (read my mind!).

So he rescued me. But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was at 3:08.


“It was my privilege.”

There could be no better response. He didn’t laugh at me, chide me, or even smirk. He counted it his honor to save me from fright and embarrassment. I’ve thought a lot about that statement. His privilege. How so? Well, he’s the only one I’d have called without hesitation. He sees a side of me, knows depths of me that no one else knows. And not only does he love me anyway, but he considers it a privilege.

And that’s simply… well… I just don’t have the words.



A lot of littles April 3, 2014

Filed under: Marriage — Erynn Sprouse @ 6:29 pm

This has been on my mind and I thought I’d just put it out there.

Ladies, we have to protect our marriages. None of us are immune to temptations and our husbands aren’t either. We have to build a hedge around us. The only one you can control is you, so start there. Watch out for letting others meet your needs… even if that other person is a woman. Meeting needs is how you build love for one another and if someone else is allowed to do that, at best, you’re missing out on an opportunity to strengthen your marriage… at worst, well… I think we’ve probably all seen marriages that have fallen apart.

And that’s just it.

ramshackleMarriages can fall apart just like houses left untended. What’s the difference between a 100-year-old house with a caved in roof, shutters hanging off and paint so far gone no one knows what color it was to start with… and the 100-year-old mansion that’s the pride of the neighborhood? The difference is care; effort and work has been constantly put into the mansion. The other was left to the elements without anyone to put on a coat of protective paint, a roof when it was needed or even a simple nail when the shutter first fell off. Sure, the dilapidated old place could be restored, but it will take a whole lot more to get it back than it would have if work was put in all along the way… and honestly, when it gets to that point, most would rather just take a bulldozer to it.

tall, proud houseSo take a moment today and do something… anything… even if it’s small… and put a little effort toward your marriage. Send a sweet, romantic or even sexy text. Make a special treat. Fix your hair and dab on some perfume before he comes home. Write a note on the mirror to tell him something you respect about him. Save some energy for (ahem) bedtime. Just pick something and do it. Invest some effort into your marriage, even if you don’t really feel like it, and you just may reap huge dividends.

These are just little things… but, as one of our teachers used to say, a lot of littles makes a lot. Then again, a lot of littles left undone… well, that’s also a lot. So in the words of that great philosopher Nike, “JUST DO IT.”


The Couch June 2, 2012

Filed under: Marriage,tips — Erynn Sprouse @ 11:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

Today we were privileged to attend the wedding (okay… we were so late we missed the actual ceremony…) and reception of a couple from our congregation. She was beautiful, he was dashing, the cake was delicious and we toasted with REAL Dublin Dr. Pepper. Wedding gifts can be tricky, but we think some of the best gifts we received came in the form of words from couples we admired, some with 50 years gone since they said their vows. With that advice in mind, here’s a story I wrote for this newly joined couple…

The Couch

The couple sat on the porch swing, the reporter in a nearby chair. Three glasses of sweet tea dripped with moisture from the muggy June air. “Tell me, Mr. Atkinson, to what do you attribute your long and happy marriage?” The Atkinson’s youngest daughter had called the local newspaper to inform them of this momentous occasion and they’d sent the young reporter, Jack, over to cover the story. 70 years of wedded bliss is newsworthy, to be sure. A newlywed himself, the reporter was eager to hear what this couple had to say about marriage. “Well,” Mr. Atkinson began, his voice creaking with all of his nearly 90 years, “I ‘spect it’s that couch in our bedroom and the mugs in the kitchen.”

“Umm… excuse me, sir, but the… umm… the couch, sir? And the mugs?” Jack wasn’t sure this was going to work. Maybe Mr. Atkinson wasn’t all there.

“Yes, son, that couch and those mugs. That’s what’s made us happy all these years.”

Mrs. Atkinson stroked her husband’s hand, smiled at him and nodded to Jack, putting in her own two cents, “Best purchases we ever made, I daresay.”

Mr. Atkinson continued, “Every night of all our 70 years, we’ve sat on that couch with those mugs full ‘o tea. Sometimes it was for hours, and sometimes only ten minutes, but we’ve sat there and we’ve talked. We’ve covered wars, politics, jokes, television shows, radio shows, children’s antics… I ‘spect we’ve talked the whole world over sittin’ on that couch. Yep. Best thing we ever bought was that couch.”

Jack smiled and thought to himself, “Sure. Sounds great… for 50 years ago. Every night on the couch with my wife? Couldn’t happen. We’re too busy. Too many things going on and besides, my wife travels too much for that.”

As though he could read the young man’s thoughts, Mr. Atkinson broke in, “People today, they think they’re busy, and I ‘spect they are. But so were we. I was a traveling salesman for a long time. Never knew when I might have to up and go or when I’d be back once I did. But we made it work. I called my sweet Adeline every night. Sometimes it was 1:00 in the morning and she’d have to whisper not to wake the kids. She raised six of ‘em, ya know. Four beautiful girls and two of the strongest men there are. Yep. You gotta work for happiness. Ain’t nobody gonna hand it to ya.”

“But sir,” Jack just had to ask, “There wasn’t even one night when you just couldn’t work it out? Not even one when phones were down or… something?”

“Well, son, there were a few like that, now you mention it. Back when our first son was just a baby. Oooh, that was a storm! Took out half the buildings next town over. Phones were down for a week and I was out on business two states away. Still, I talked to my Adeline. I wrote it down. All the things I’d’a said if I’d’a been there by her side on that couch. She did too. She wrote me a letter and saved it till I got home. That first night back, I ‘spect we sat on that couch for a year talkin’ over all our doings, all the thoughts on our minds. You know, I kept that letter she wrote me. It was 10 pages front and back. Sometimes when I’ve been lonely– you know, my sweet Adeline, she been sick sometimes and in the hospital. When I’ve been lonely, I read that letter. ‘Spect I know it by heart.”

Jack sat back and looked at the couple. Wrinkled, brown, weathered skin stretched over frail bones. Hands gently touching, smiles on their faces every time their eyes met. 70 years of wedded bliss. Newsworthy. Noteworthy. And they made it sound achievable, too. On his way home, Jack bought a little blue loveseat for his wife. He bought two mugs and a box of tea. He knew where he’d be that night… and every night.


The most romantic thing February 14, 2010

Filed under: diary,Marriage — Erynn Sprouse @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So tonight Jeremy and I were sitting on the love seat, chit chatting, unwinding, destressing and reminiscing about our first Valentines Day 11 years ago (which was spectacularly romantic). Out of the blue, I started crying. Just a little weeping… then sobbing… then all the way to “I <sniff sniff> don’t <sniff snork sniff> even know <sniff sniff> why I’m… I’m… I’m… <sniff sniff snork> crying.” Jeremy reaches over and pulls me over to lay on his chest. Not even a hint of a chuckle on his face (though I suspect that’s more because he’s gotten good at hiding it than that it wasn’t there). Now I’m cuddled into his chest, sobbing on his shirt, sniffing & snorking, downright pregnant-lady-crazy when (because this wasn’t bad enough) I burb big & loud. Through teary eyes, I look up at him and say, “Sorry. Prob’ly <sniff sniff> wouldn’t have done that <sniff> our first Valentine’s.” He smiled his handsome smile, dimple & all and said what may be the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard: “This is better.” Still looking at my wonderful husband, I said, “Your crazy, hormonal pregnant wife crying on your chest for no reason is better?”
“Yep. This is better.”
I love that man.