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by Abigail Van Buren

Good Marriage Is Created Through Daily Touch Ups

DEAR ABBY: In this hectic and often confusing world in which we live, one of the most priceless treasures I possess is a happy and mutually sustaining marriage. Hanging in our bedroom is a wall plaque we received on our wedding day, almost 20 years ago. Over the years and through various moves, it has accompanied us and always found a place of honor in our home. The author's name is not shown. I wish I knew who wrote these beautiful sentiments, for although 20 years have passed, the words of wisdom are timeless. Perhaps you will find it worth sharing with your readers. -- VALERY STEWART, OXNARD, CALIF.,

DEAR VALERY: Indeed I do -- and here it is. Read on:

THE ART OF MARRIAGE

A good marriage must be created.

In marriage, the little things are the big things ...

Never being too old to hold hands.

Remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

Never going to sleep angry.

Having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

Standing together facing the world.

Forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

Speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

Having the capacity to forgive and forget, and then forgetting what you forgave.

Giving each other an atmosphere in which to grow.

Not only MARRYING the right person, but BEING the right partner.

DEAR ABBY: Re: visible house addresses. As a longtime member of an ambulance corps, I endorse making house numbers visible from the street. More than once I have had to run up and down a street trying to locate the house from which 911 was called because someone was having chest pains, or worse. In addition to having visible house numbers, if possible someone should be stationed at the front door or outside to signal to the responding emergency personnel.

I do not agree, however, with encouraging your readers to find or start a group to paint curbside addresses. While this practice can be helpful in certain circumstances, it is worthless when snow, ice or leaves cover the curb.

The efforts of those who want to help should concentrate on your last suggestion: Your street numbers should be clearly visible from the street and well-lighted at night. -- C.B. YOUNG JR., RAMSEY, N.J.

DEAR C.G.: Sorry, living in sunny California, I failed to consider adverse weather conditions in other sections of the country. I should have thought about parked cars blocking curbside numbers. I concede that clearly visible numbers on the house is the better idea.

Other readers complained about places of business not having address numbers that are easy to spot. Those could be important to emergency personnel as well as to customers.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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