Number 38 is a great number to celebrate

By TIM BEELAND,

Time flies, as they say, when you’re having a good time. Boy is that ringing true this week. You see, 38 years ago come Friday, my bride and I got hitched before a standing room only crowd at the Sebastopol United Methodist Church. What a day it was! What a life it has been!

We’ve lived in six different areas of this great state, renovated three very old homes together, and reared one very smart and beautiful daughter. We’ve done pretty well for ourselves, I would like to think.

I will say that restoring 100- and 150-year-old homes and not cutting off one or the other’s head in the process is a monumental achievement for two people. There have, however, been a few cuts along the way, but they were all unintential...I think!

These days we are still working on that oldest house — sometimes I think  we’ll die before it is finished — and that in itself, I suppose, helps keep us going. It keeps us busy anyway. We are raising some foster dogs and foster cats in place of a blood kin daughter and that too can be a struggle. Not to mention that we are also the designated caregivers for two of that blood kin daughter’s hand-me-down Chihuahuas.

The foster dogs are greedy and the boy gobbles up the girl’s food if a human body is not there to separate them and the three — sometimes four — cats just lie around meowing and looking though the dining room window with the saddest of sad eyes even though they have just finished their breakfast or dinner.

Strays are like that, I think, they were starved for so long before they made it to our home that they are now going to eat as much as they possible can at every sitting.

The dogs, you can pet them and they love to go on our evening walks. The cats, they don’t care so much for the human touch and will hiss and growl if even looked at for very long.  We have a good bit of work to do in that arena. And, of course, those two Chihuahuas think we have broken every cardinal rule by even allowing strays in our yard to begin with. I’m pretty sure that those two would be in favor of a border wall around our place even if it did mean they might face deportation themselves.

As far as pets go, Danny and I have had our fair share of good ones, and a couple of questionable ones, over the course of our 38-year marriage but I don’t believe we’ve ever before had quite this many eating out of our wallets at one time. That said, we’ll be taking a break from them this weekend and celebrating our anniversary in New Orleans.

The Crescent City became our annual August 2nd destination probably 20 years ago and we were there just prior to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation and back again a year later to witness the city’s rebirth. Admittedly, these days there is more of a concern of getting shot on the streets after dark in the city, but we only live once and if we’re smart and keep an eye out over our shoulders hopefully we’ll be fine.

Prior to Katrina one of our favorite hotels was the St. Helene. After the storm it was used as dorms for laborers and then closed for a while. It has now been converted into studio apartments and we’ll be living in one of those this weekend. It has a nice big balcony overlooking Chartres Street and is adjacent to The Napoleon House restaurant that serves up a mean cheeseboard with tangy tomato jam and bruschetta. A bottle of chilled Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc will go nicely with that for lunch one day.

Other than that, and a fine dinner on our anniversary, we don’t have plans to do anything specific other than people watching, a good bit of walking and looking, and a whole bunch of reminiscing about all that we’ve seen and done together over the last 38 — really 40 — years.

And, most likely, at one time or another, we’ll wonder out loud about what those foster dogs and cats are doing at home all alone. The Chihuahuas, on the other hand, will be at the Ross Barnett Reservoir under the watchful eye of their real mama!

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