I met Becca by chance at a high school speech meet I wasn’t even participating in, and it was love at first sight for both of us. As a teenager I barreled my no-AC 1966 Mustang through the back-country Texas hills on a 7-hour round trip to see her every other weekend (often in secret), and at 16 when my parents refused to let me visit during the holidays, I won a local talent show for the $100 prize to buy a secret Greyhound ticket to spend Christmas with her. I followed her to Ole Miss. Then West Texas. Then Illinois. Then Greece. Then Texas some more. She’s an amazing teacher, my best friend, my soul mate, the person I’m most proud of in the world, and who I most want to be when I grow up.

Our dogs are named after musicians who performed at Woodstock. Our cats are named after Egyptian sun gods so as to tease the Jack Russell Terrier (Moon) for the next dozen years. The happy axolotl was used in university research into tissue regeneration (axolotls regrow their limbs) and joined our pack after the study.