The other day, I was reading a magazine article. “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About (many famous people)” turned out to be quite an interesting read. I am in no way famous, but I began to wonder if there might be 10 things about me that I haven’t written or shared over these many years. And in fact, yes, there are. So here are the 10 things you probably didn’t know:

1. I like dill pickles on my peanut butter sandwiches. My dad used to eat them that way. He said it kept the peanut butter from sticking to the roof of his mouth. So it’s true: the peanut doesn’t fall far from the vine.

2. My great-grandfather came from Ireland. That explains why when I hear Riverdance music my heart starts doing an Irish jig and reel. I’ve been told I’m 51 percent Irish, and the rest doesn’t matter.

3. My first car was a 1954 Plymouth Belvedere. I traded my dad a $50 toolbox for it. I think that car still holds the world’s record for the largest steering wheel. In those days, you didn’t need to go to the gym for a workout. Turning that bad boy around without power steering gave you all the muscles you ever wanted.

4. I was my wife’s youth pastor. This practice has now been outlawed in every state and most foreign countries. But it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We weren’t interested in each other and didn’t start dating until she was in college.

5. I collect world globes and have every imaginable kind: antique globes, precious metal globes, baby rattle globes, wooden globes, magical floating globes, picture frame globes, plastic-encased globes, marble globes, stress-squeezing globes, clock globes, globes from all around the world, and that’s just the beginning. I’m a sucker for a world globe.

6. Sam’s Club is my favorite store, and I visit Sam’s in every country where I work. Oops—I’ve written about this, so scratch it off the list.

6. I once got a concussion from a bicycle wreck. I had just gotten a new three-speed bicycle and wanted to see how fast it would go in third gear. Choosing a steep road close to home for the test run, I pedaled down it as fast as I could. As I neared the bottom, I rolled through some loose gravel and lost control. Terrified, I hit the front brake, which propelled me over the handle bars to land on my head in the middle of the road. I don’t remember how I got home, but it scared my mom when I walked in looking like Frankenstein. And that’s how I became a writer.

7. When it came to school, I wasn’t a very good student. I didn’t know until years later that I have dyslexia. If u can’t spel, scool isn’t a fun plais two bee.

8. I don’t eat fruit. Now you’re wondering how I’ve lived as long as I have. But I’ve never liked fruit except for bananas, and as a child, I once ate so many of those that I threw up. Ever since then, I can’t stand the smell of bananas, and I’ve never eaten another piece of fruit. Bonus: I can’t stand the smell of tuna fish, either. I’m pretty sure hell smells like tuna.

9. I drive a black Ford F-150 pickup truck with a white tailgate. My black tailgate was stolen one day when the truck was parked in our driveway. I’d planned to have it painted, but that was before I became known around town as the guy with the beautiful truck and the ugly tailgate.

10. On Dec. 20, Cathy and I will have been married 40 years. But I don’t feel like we’ve been married that long. It seems as though it was just last month when we were dating, last week when we got married and yesterday when we had our sons. Where does the time go? I still see her as the bride of my youth. We still have date nights and love traveling together, but nothing compares with our favorite new pastime, playing with our grandson, Titus.

Love is a funny thing. I didn’t think my wife could have grown any more beautiful, but she has. I didn’t think our relationship could have gotten any better, but it did. I didn’t think I could have been more blessed, but I am. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22).

I didn’t want our anniversary to get caught up in the mayhem between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So Happy Early 40th Anniversary, babe.
I love you!