Forty years.........I can hardly remember us when we were first married. We came out to Wisconsin from Boston with a puppy, a U-haul trailer full of books and a slightly used blue VWbug.
Three children, three grandchildren and one on the way.
Six dogs and two cats over the years.
Small animals without names except for the pet rats.
Two houses, one a fixer-upper that John redid from scratch. The house our neighborhood dubbed, "the house my grandmother would have lived in if she lived here".
A new house, built to our satisfaction and needs.
Some highs, some lows, no tragedies.
Loving relatives, crazy relatives some drama and a drama queen.
We both have compromised, promised, argued, fought with words, laughed, cried, laughed some more and learned how to get along.
We've aged, we changed, we have mellowed, we have learned to respect our differences.
One of us claims that he will be the one giving the other a "hand up" to heaven. Only time will tell.
One of us has a mental list for whoever is in charge "upstairs" of things that could be improved. I wonder if I'll remember it.
We have learned to support each other to clap and applaud accomplishments warmly even if we don't quite get it.
We have wholeheartedly given ourselves over to our new philosophy of Twenty Summers, now a little shorter for one of us.
We did the best we could with what we knew or had learned.
We have remained BEST FRIENDS over 41 years.
We finish sentences, call each other at the same time sometimes.
We love each other and yet manage to annoy each other occasionally.
He's been there when I needed him.
He's patient with me when I make bad puns, create new words and mispronounce things.
He bought me a wonderful camera for our anniversary. I couldn't think of anything that he needed or wanted. This morning, while out for breakfast he suggested that I BURN the book. That's the book, in my head, where I can recite chapter and verse something that he did in the past that set my teeth on edge, that frustrated me, that made me cry, that made me throw a kitchen pan at the back door.
So, John, for our BIG 40 I BURN THE BOOK. It's gone. POOF just like that.
I'll keep the book of the bad jokes, the silliness, the kind actions and all the love you have shown me over the years.
Consider it done.
Happy Anniversary to us.