The hospital golf tournament is always around our anniversary. So, sometimes we play golf to celebrate. Oftentimes, there is a county Farm Bureau Annual meeting on August 26 or 27th. That gives Blake a chance to tell his audience that he promised to take me out for our anniversary....(laughter from the folks of Ray..or Nodaway...or some other home away from home in Missouri).
I don't know how many years we've shared our anniversary with our Farm Bureau friends and neighbors across the state.
But isn't that a hallmark of a long marriage...one with decades of anniversaries? The layer upon layer of events and memories: cakes and candles, births, weddings, storms, droughts, photographs, vacations, graduations, jobs? The trivial...The dramatic....?
Last week the lawnmower belt broke...and the air conditioner leaked water down from the third floor to the living room on the first. I don't know how many lawnmowers we've repaired..or how many air conditioners...or how many times a roof has leaked...Refrigerators can be counted on one hand, but washing machines and dryers? That's another story for a family so close to soil and potting soil.
Our first television was a repo from a Nigerian college student. Our first computer was a TRS-80 from Radio Shack. We've outlasted several cell phone companies. The combined mileage of our six Dodge diesel pickups is not the distance to the sun...but its a big number.
Our marriage has been built with paper backs and self tapping screws, PVC pipe and 3/4 inch garden hose, patching tape and Tums and coffee cups and baseball caps. Long days, long nights, long talks and long trips bind us. He fixes broke stuff. I find lost stuff.
There's no way to condense all this time to its essence. Choosing this anniversary over any other one implies an emphasis that isn't really necessary. On the other hand, forty is a serious number, and perhaps indulging a bit of sentimentality will be forgiven...and maybe even celebrated.
So...here goes...for Blake, my friend and partner, for all these years and more....