Yesterday was a very special day for me.
Twenty-five years ago, I married the most wonderful girl in the world.
For 25 years, she has proved how wonderful she is by putting up with me through thick and thin, wealth and poverty, births and bereavements.
Five years ago she followed me into the wilderness to begin a totally new adventure, building a self-sustaining community. In that time, she has quietly raised the gardens, canned the fruit and veggies, ground the grain and baked the bread, fed the rabbits and chickens and scooped their poop, finished raising our kids, hosted numerous preparedness fairs and Village events, braved a cold winter while our house was built with four of us packed into our little fifth wheel trailer, helped build our house, handled the bills, served in the local food bank and church leadership, started a business making and selling women’s purses, researched hundreds of ways to become more self-sufficient, and cheerfully supported me in my crazy dreams and grouchy moods through it all.
If that’s not love I don’t know what is.
Several days ago I blogged about thanksgiving and gratitude. There is nothing and no one in this world I am more thankful for than my dear, eternal companion. She has literally saved my life, repeatedly. Day before yesterday, we sat down together to list 25 top memories commemorating our 25 years together. More than 100 recorded memories later, the pace slowed as we cuddled before the fire. The sun set through the trees. Darkness fell as we listened to the wind outside, the rain on the roof and the swelling creek. We realized that we had barely scratched the surface and agreed that this was the best way to celebrate an anniversary whether on a tight budget – or not.
As a follow-up to our exercise in reminiscing, we did some of the more traditional things too. We found a highly rated Thai restaurant in Chattanooga and relived, with our taste buds, one of our favorite memories. That was a fun one. In our second year together, she accompanied me on a business trip to Thailand when I was working on the business plan to develop 7-Eleven there. She was 7 months pregnant with our first child. I was busy all day every day, buried in spreadsheets, so she bravely set out by herself to explore Bangkok sites and traffic on a noisy, smelly tuk-tuk. Over spicy Thai dinners, we shared her adventures.
So we resolved to spend our anniversary and whatever other time it takes, expanding the list, filling in the details and sequencing it by year. When finished, it will be a gift to our children. It’s time for them to know more about our love affair and why they turned out so well.
Twenty five years has been but an eye blink compared to the eternity we plan to be together. But it’s an important milestone on the path where my love for this goddess of patience, kindness and quiet perseverance increases with each year. I am forever in her debt.
Fitting that our anniversary falls every year right after Thanksgiving, don’t you think?