The exact date of the first column I penned about my wife, and our wedding day, eludes me, but there have been plenty to follow since then, I know for certain. I suppose I could look that column up, but it is really not that important right now. What is important is this year. This coming Monday to be exact.
We didn’t think about children right away after we were hitched in 1981. We were young, fresh out of college for Danny, and two years until completion for me. Yes, we were very young by today’s standards — her 22, me 20 — and working on the start of our careers. Plus, I had this big ole bag of wild oats to sow. I think there are even a few still down deep in the bottom. I was a real big bag.
We probably would have had more than one child had we started that phase of our lives earlier but we didn’t and one daughter there is. That’s not a regret it’s just a fact of our lives. Rest assured that our daughter, Rachel-Johanna, is perfectly happy being the president of the International Only Child Club, and she will boast of that proudly should anyone ask.
We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary with a party in the side yard at my parent’s house in Newton. The exact same place where we held our wedding party following our nuptials. Today it might be called a garden party, but “today” it is really still just a yard party just like it was back then.
It’s a pretty little spot beneath the massive old pecan tree where I grew up picking up pecans for Momma’s Christmas candy, and sweet pies on other occasions. That tree was also great for climbing high in the branches to see the parts of the world I could not envision from below. It’s still there with the memories, and perhaps a few secrets, hiding out up in the branches.
For our twentieth anniversary we went to New Orleans and wined and dined and had a fine time. I even got a tattoo to commemorate the occasion and boy is that a story to tell for another day.
There was a lot more to see and do in the Big Easy back then, plus there was the voodoo, too! We had fresh oysters on the half shell, and the deep fried alligator bites that I love. Strong coffee and sweet puffy beignets from Cafe Du Monde were both on the menu. One night we feasted on the finest fresh made lobster ravioli I had ever tasted. I’ve yet to find any comparable, or a recipe similar. Perhaps it was the atmosphere.
We continued that New Orleans anniversary tradition every year that followed, and every year there was something new, or different, to explore.
One year we sat up on a second story balcony in a drizzling rain eating calamari and sipping crisp wine, and that was really, really cool. Unfortunately that balcony and restaurant rode out of town with Hurricane Katrina.
For many years in a row we enjoyed popping a cork in the courtyard of The Napoleon House and ordering up a hot bruschetta or cheese board with homemade tomato jam. I did learn how to make that jam, and a bacon one too, and they bring back fond memories of the city when we’re at home alone.
For our thirtieth anniversary we returned to the Big Easy and celebrated not only that but the fact that I had turned 50 earlier that year, and that our daughter had turned 18 and graduated from high school. Lots of celebrating that year as we hit our favorite haunts and learned of a few more in spite of the major changes Katrina had made in 2005.
Last year all that came to a roaring halt with everything being shut down by the COVID-19 virus. We took a trip to the beach the week before, instead, and were back home again, isolated alone, when the big day rolled around.
We are on the road again — or the skyway I suppose you could say — this year but we’re headed north. Way up north to Monhegan Island about 10 miles off the coast of Maine and I expect there to be some lobster involved again.
Yep, this coming Monday, August 2, 2021, we celebrate our anniversary. It has now been 40 years. Wow, what a wonderful life!
So, cheers to us! Cheers to 40 years! Cheers to our friendship! Cheers to the laughter! And, cheers to an everlasting love!