That’s my personal plumber in the photo. She’s also my best friend and most-frequent fishing companion. Yup, that’s Mrs. Merwin hard at work installing a new kitchen faucet. Except after that experience she’s taken to calling herself Josephine.

This will all sound a little odd to some people, so let me explain. When we were first courting I discovered she likes doing carpentry, painting, and other odd jobs most typically done by men. She found out I like to do grocery shopping and cooking. (I think it was my cooking that finally won her over.) Not unselfishly, I also pointed out that my doing the shopping and cooking meant that I got exactly what I wanted to eat.

So in sort of an unusual role reversal, we exchanged wedding presents way back when. I gave her a monogrammed leather briefcase. She gave me a set of copper-clad cookware.

One thing we can’t do is any sort of repair job together. She is at least as bull-headed as I am, and always knows what’s right. I always know what’s right, too, but our versions of rightness in home repair are often different. So when it comes to that, I’ve learned to leave her alone, which ended lots of arguments.

Eventually she discovered that flyfishing while wading a trout stream was fun. Same thing for bass or striper fishing from the boat. So she often joins me on or in the water. Once in a while, she sits and reads a book. But she often fishes and with remarkable persistence. Between the two of us, she caught the largest brown trout last year (on a Black Ghost streamer). Persistence pays.

So I often think to myself: “How lucky can you get?” So tell me. Were you lucky in love? Or does she make your life miserable? Or does she simply oversee things with a kind of amused indifference? Let’s hear it…