Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Anniversary’


Guess what? Bob and I celebrated 43 years of marriage this past weekend. We survived the stress of many moves, launching two children into adulthood, and actually building a house together with a gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge. We joke that we rarely agree on anything, except the big things in life, like religion and politics. Our old VA Senator Tim Kaine Tweeted this morning:

“Virginia requires magazine limitation for duck hunting—no more than 3 rounds in a shotgun. Why? It’s not fair to ducks. Yet when we try to limit magazines to 10 rounds in Congress, we’re blocked. If we can limit magazines to protect ducks, we must do the same to protect people.

This of course presumes that we want to protect our people, our children.

Bob and I agree on ONE thing for sure – that guns ARE the problem. The Republicans are trying to compromise on guns, but they are still blaming pure “evil,” and mental illness for our country’s outstanding deaths due to… Wait. For. It. GUNS. They would like to arm our teachers, the same teachers they don’t trust to pick out books for their own classrooms. I am trying to imagine my guidance counselor, Miss Toye, with a gun.

I wouldn’t call this compromise, I’d call it treachery.

It’s treating our kids like ducks in a pond, in a war zone. Early in our marriage, we agreed never to buy toy guns for our children, not even water pistols. My husband doesn’t like to play games because he didn’t grow up in a competitive Irish Catholic home and try to win best all around athlete at Camp St Joseph every summer. I OTOH love to play games of any sort!

But do you want to play Hunger Games with your children’s lives? Maybe they could outrun a madman with a rifle if he could only buy 10 rounds of ammunition? How many young lives are we willing to sacrifice for three rounds? I remember all my childhood games – duck, duck goose, hop scotch, red light green light, spin the bottle.

I remember being a young mom, moving back to NJ when the Rocker was two and the Bride was seven years old. I had wanted to stay in the Berkshires. Strangers would always ask me WHY we moved, implying that no one would want to actually move to the Garden State.

I was trying to bloom while my roots were being transplanted.

I resisted the new protocol of having to make a “play date” if my child wanted to play with someone on our street! A play date. That was the first sign that this move would be different, there was no going back. There were rules to these new suburban games. I volunteered to coach the Rocker’s little soccer team, and I drove the Bride to cheerleading practice. I tried to fit in, we all try our best to fit in, don’t we?

Unlike my generation, my children didn’t grow up with an internalized fear of nuclear war. There was no such thing as a cell phone, no social media. Bullies were confined to the school bus ride. No one had ever heard of an “active shooter drill.” Like my Catholic school in the 1950s, only the occasional fire drill could pierce the solemnity of the classroom.

When will the party of the right with blood on their hands, reinstate the assault weapon ban? Ban them for good! No time limits, no concessions. It’s puzzling why a leader on this front hasn’t emerged.

I brought a burnt orange jacket to our anniversary dinner, but it was too hot to wear on the patio. Bob didn’t have anything to wear in orange. Wearing orange is also a start, but we cannot stop the momentum. No one needs an AR-15. No. One.

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We met the Bride et al for lunch, and a trip to our favorite bookstore, Parnassus. Ann Patchett walked in as we were checking out. Then I decided to check out this sneaker/running store in the same shopping center, they scan your feet and really know their stuff. I knew I had a high arch and instep, and this proved it! Instead of my usual Asics, a brand I’d been wearing for 20 years, I bought a pair of Finnish sneakers – Karhu. Maybe my feet will thank me, we’ll see.

As Bob and I were leaving, a woman about my age asked me how long we’d been married. I smiled and said “42 years today! It’s our anniversary!”

Then she proceeded to tell me how special and rare that is, that she could tell by the way we touch each other. She must have been watching us interact with the salesperson for awhile. We talked about building houses, and then she said her marriage ended in divorce.

I didn’t tell her it was all a bed of roses. I didn’t say we’d had our tough times, but we slogged through. I forgot to mention that the way he drives, drives me crazy, or that he likes to eat his food separately, and hates being told what to do. Especially if he was just about to do a thing, like take out the garbage.

I didn’t tell her that it was his smell I first fell in love with, back in high school, like freshly washed clothes hung out to dry on a line in the sun. I forgot to say he was my music man, my Nathan Detroit. That we have totally different tastes in almost everything: films; books; furniture. He has no use for style – he is the consummate scientist and I’m the artist. But we agree on most of the important things.

Like parenting and grandparenting and politics.

Religion or lack thereof.

Our mostly positive outlook on life.

Netflix this past year was hit or miss. But it’s rare to find him sitting down for a long period of time anyway. I’m currently watching The Kaminsky Method, and he sits in every now and then.

As we drove home today with my new sneakers, I thought about how lucky I am. Bob tends to the garden, he still loves to fly, he’s taking his (every 10 year) emergency medicine boards re-certification test online even though he’s retired, and he’s taken to doing the dishes which is only fair since I do the cooking. Although he has become the pasta chef extraordinaire! So maybe that’s a part of it, we still find each other interesting. We actually talk to each other.

And he will hold me when I can’t sleep.

Tonight we’ll celebrate at a swanky local restaurant, and tomorrow I have to be on set at 8 AM!! Believe it or not, I’m going to be a “hip nana” in a music video. Maybe this will be my second or third act?

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Fog Happens. That was the bumper sticker I loved on Martha’s Vineyard. To this day I have remained a bumper-sticker-free driver, although I do appreciate a good joke on a taxi. There is one company in town that adorns its taxis with snippets of wisdom, like this one: “Only dead fish go with the flow.” And you know that silver fish you sometimes see on a car that means the driver is a Christian? Well a friend gave me that fish with the word “Gefilte” inside; it stands above my desk keeping guard. My car shall remain fish-free!

This morning it’s hard to see your fingers in front of your face. Birds are grounded and the red tail hawks are not circling the backyard looking for vermin. I wonder if planes will be grounded too, and that has me worried since we are supposed to fly out of here today for our 37th Wedding Anniversary river cruise up the Danube. Fingers crossed the fog lifts and s&*t doesn’t happen!

For a person who doesn’t like to travel, I seem to be doing a lot of it. We are supposed to have WiFi on the boat so hopefully I will continue to blog.

I will be happy to take a hiatus from CNN. The fog of war continues as our brave armed forces “assist” the Iraqi forces in taking back Falluja. Trump continues to spout nonsense to Bikers in DC, many were Vets yesterday showing respect for the fallen as they cruised the monuments.

And don’t get me started on the gorilla and the toddler. Bob says they could have tranquilized the big guy, but I said he may have collapsed on the baby…we met a large animal Vet the other day at Starbucks. Pat is married to our small animal Vet. He tends to cows and horses all over the Shenandoah Valley and he told us they are “Wild” animals and cannot be trusted. That made me feel better, sort of. Still I turn away from the video. So, as much as I’d like to be all Dame Jane Goodall about gorillas, I’m sure the zoo did the right thing. Right?

Time for another cup of coffee, to clear my foggy brain, and make sense of the final packing checklist. To edit out the useless, and stick with the essentials. We always pack light, one carry-on each for any trip, of any length, anywhere. Bon Voyage!  IMG_4484



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The Briefing Room will be losing one of the sweetest White House Press Secretaries in recent years. Jay Carney, who btw looks like an altar boy I once knew, happens to be married to a fellow journalist, Claire Shipman. He told the morning news feed that he has two small children and he was missing too much of their lives! I almost spit up my coffee.

What a relief, to hear a man in a position of power say such a thing, proudly, bravely and without rancor. Is it just coincidence that Shipman and her co-author Katty Kay just published a book about the confidence gap between men and women? I recently wrote about “The Confidence Code” and a woman’s tendency to talk less in meetings and ruminate more; “tortured cycles of useless self-recrimination.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/fashion/katty-kat-claire-shipman-new-book.html?_r=0

Reminds me of Josh Levs, a CNN reporter, who recently fought CNN’s parent company Time Warner for equal paternity leave. Moms and adoptive parents were allowed 10 weeks family leave whereas dads only got 2 weeks paid leave. “It can’t be a conversation by women about women,” Levs said of resolving family-work conflicts. “In a country that prides itself on family values, we need to do a much better job of valuing families … and that includes fathers.”

One of the best things we women of the 60s and 70s did was to raise our sons to expect to be involved in their children’s lives. Millennials today want to not just be in the birthing room, they want to be present in the sturm and drang of childhood. Hooray I say! Let’s all lift our coffee cups to men who change diapers.

And to my honey, who stuck by me for 35 years as of tomorrow, I’d like to say in brief, “Cheers!” Even if he did hang one piece of wallpaper upside down a long, long time ago, he proved to be the most loving father and supportive husband in the world. For sitting with me in the family room while “sleep training,” for teaching them how to ride bikes and drive cars, for telling me countless times that everything would be OK, even after endless days of toddler turmoil and teenage angst. I salute you dear partner in life. And I’d pick you again, in a heartbeat!    IMG_0073


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Well folks, 34 years ago tomorrow I was busily sweeping up around the swimming pool and hoping the sky would clear up for my wedding day. Bob was trying to find the rabbi, in an age before cell phones, and got lost in Livingston.

We did everything wrong. We were not only co-habiting before the wedding, we bought a house, got pregnant and moved all in that same year – the trifecta of stress inducing change. Oh, and Bob started his first job as an Assistant Director of an ER; it was 1979.

The Deer Hunter won an Academy Award; Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” won the Grammy’s Record of the Year; the Iranian Hostage Crisis happened while Carter was in the White House; Mother Theresa won the Nobel Peace prize for her work in India, and in PA, a nuclear reactor had a meltdown on Three Mile Island.

We, surprisingly, survived after all these years. Through shoulder and back surgeries, through deaths of parents and our siblings, through 3 miscarriages, through 2 more monumental moves. One back to NJ from the Berkshires, and this last (I hope) to the Blue Ridge Mountains. What, you may ask, are we doing right?

Well for one thing, we talk A LOT. We can easily be quiet together, don’t get me wrong, but there’s always something that needs discussing. I will say, “Did you hear that author speak about her book “Gulp” on NPR?” He will say, “Yeah she was fascinating.” Then I’ll ask him why my shoulder still hurts, and he will say, “Your problem is ‘ballistic movement’ with your AC joint.” I will say “What?” And usually this will lead to a long explanation, so I will interject, “What should we do for dinner?” And usually we end up with, “Don’t get me started on health care in this country…” Full disclosure, we both think Obamacare didn’t go far enough to effect real change.

And for another thing, we still LAUGH. We can still kid around together, we can call each other out on things, maybe because that time when we went to the Prom together feels like yesterday. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/05/19/us/20110519_PROM_USERGEN-5.html I forgave him for going to Woodstock without me, and he forgave me for setting up housekeeping in Westchester first. We’re on the same side in this game they call marriage, and that’s maybe one of the most important lessons I’ve had to learn.

The truth is, we made a pact to renegotiate the marriage contract every 5 years. Here’s a news alert for newlyweds, gay and straight:

It’s never equal you know, never a 50/50 split. Some days it’s 70/30 and others it’s 51/49.

I wanted to be closer to family once the Rocker arrived, he wanted to open an Urgent Care. Every anniversary we’d celebrate at a fine French restaurant, but this year L’Etoile is closed on Monday. Mon Dieu, what to do? Maybe we’ll just use the Maps App to find a new favorite restaurant. Man, look at those bat sleeves Robin!

Wedding Cake 1979 20130602

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…was yesterday.” My psychologist brother, Dr Jim, told me that this is a Navy SEAL saying, which explains the title of that book in the news, “No Easy Day.” You may or may not agree with the Pentagon about possibly seeking criminal charges against its author, but spokesman George Little said “Sensitive and classified information is contained in the book.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/no-easy-day-pentagon_n_1855783.html

Yesterday we received very sensitive information about breastfeeding. My daughter and I talk about how taboo the subject still is, how strange it is that women show much less skin nursing under a well-placed receiving blanket or one of those fancy “hooter hiders” than they do at the beach. Baby Boomers have been making menopause proper dinner table conversation, maybe these Millennials will de-mystify breastfeeding and make public displays of nursing mamas acceptable. We decided that the Lactation Consultant specialist at their hospital is a veritable saint; and that the Love Bug is an epicurean delight.

Today is the Bride and Groom’s Wedding Anniversary, and tonight I have the honor of babysitting for the first time. They will walk to their favorite neighborhood restaurant for a romantic dinner. Bob has told them to make a date every week if possible, to get out and talk about life and all things not-so-baby-related. We did try and do that once the Bride was about 6 months old, though at the moment leaving her for more than 2 hours seems unimaginable.

Yesterday love was such an easy game,

Today it’s time to celebrate,

Tomorrow the Rocker arrives with Ms C to meet the baby. Hello bliss

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