20 Years, A Love Story

Twenty years ago we elected Bill Clinton and we saw the Rodney King riots.  Stamps (remember those?) were .29¢ and compact disks became more popular than cassette tapes.  The Silence of the Lambs won the Oscar for best picture and a text-based browser was made available to the public for the first time to try something called the world-wide web.  Johnny Carson hosted his last Tonight Show and Bush and Yeltsin formally declared the end of the cold war.  That was also the year we married.

Twenty years ago today.  Hard to believe that much time has gone by.  I still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday.  Hot soup being served in unstable gourds (what could possibly go wrong?).  Discovering your mom had changed the wedding cake you picked out.  Those crazy makeup guys chasing me around the hallway trying to get me to wear make up.  All the Halloween jokes.  Remembering how beautiful you looked in your dress.  Ordering pizza in our room at 2 am because we never got a chance to eat at the reception.

We were certainly the rebels of the families.  We’ve picked up and moved to three different states (two of ’em twice!).  Two apartments, one townhouse, one rental house (frogs in the bed, oh my!), five purchased houses, and nearly a year in a motor home.  Whew, we’ve traveled!  We’ve had nine different vehicles in that time… and one Volkswagen bus that never quite made it out of the driveway.

We traveled to islands, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and plenty of US states.  We got to see the Olympics in Atlanta (just left the square before the bombing), and Yellowstone by snowmobile.  Countless trips in the motor home.  Lots of skiing, some backpacking, hiking and biking.  An epic meltdown while snowshoeing.  Made it to the top of Mt Whitney and Mt Lassen.  Oh, and you bravely got your scuba certification because you knew I enjoyed diving.

Lots of good times.  Some difficult times too of course.  We’ve been through the loss of family members and friends.  We’ve enjoyed the full life cycle of two crazy, wonderful dogs and mourned their passing.  A few rough patches here and there.  Nobody can hold a grudge like me when a favorite t-shirt is thrown away.  A couple of medical scares that, while they ended being nothing, make you think.

Before we’d met I couldn’t fathom how you could spend that much time with someone.  What the heck would you talk about after twenty years?  It still amazes me that after all these years, there isn’t anyone I’d rather spend my time with.  I look forward to going out to dinner and chatting just as much today as when we met.  I love that we still hold hands when we walk downtown.  The fact that when we first met and ended up spending all night parked in your parents driveway talking, was a sign.  I think we both knew within a few weeks that this was it… and that feeling has never left me.

I love that we’ve never been content to just sit and let life pass us by.  These last few years have been full of change – moving and a new house, and leaving jobs.  The fact that you tolerate, encourage, and trust me to pursue a new career at this age is a commitment to our embracing life together.  I don’t know what the future holds.  What I do know is that it really doesn’t matter as long as we’re together.  Like it or not, you’re stuck with me for the next twenty.

The day I said “I do” was the best decision I ever made and one I’d do again in a heartbeat.  I hope I’ve lived up to my end of the deal. I don’t know how else to phrase it, other than to simply say “I love you now, and forever”.

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