Tag Archives: husband

Of Anniversaries and Birthdays and Mid-Life Crises

Today my wife and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Kim and I met at Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1986. We got married in North Reading, Massachusetts, her home town in 1992. Our reception was at the Hawthorne Hotel in Historic Salem, Massachusetts. We moved to Michigan in July of 1993 and bought the home that is the theme of this blog in December of 1995. Two children, several jobs and lots of pets later, here we are celebrating 20 years as husband and wife.

Ours is not a perfect marriage, none are. But it’s pretty close. We’re very similar people and we like each other. Yes, I specifically used that word… “like”. We like each other, we’re friends, we get along, we know when it’s okay to talk to each other and we know when it’s best to leave the other to themselves. That old adage that opposites attract should be thrown out the window. Opposites don’t attract… well, perhaps they attract, but do they last?  People that are the same, that have the same interests and personality traits have relationships that last. Sure, we are in love too. But “love” is one of those vague words that has so many levels of meaning. It’s a word for young people testing the waters of newly discovered relationships. It’s a word for romantic’s spending a week in Paris or watching a sunrise on the beach or picking daisy’s in a field. It’s a word that’s important in our lives, but when it comes to a successful marriage words like friendship, commitment and loyalty should trump the word love any day. When you’re raising kids and trying to pay a mortgage and thinking about college years… you better be friends… you better be committed and loyal… and you DAMN WELL better LIKE each other!  So, to my wife, if you are reading this… I may love you… but I really LIKE you. Thanks for being my best friend.

Today is also my oldest brother’s 50th birthday!  This is quite the milestone day! I have two older brothers, both of whom I look up to tremendously and who have been friends and mentors to me. Unfortunately they both live far away and I don’t get to see them that often. But they are important in my life and I wish the oldest the happiest of 50th birthdays today.

I have to admit, as I sit here and type this morning, all these large numbers, 50’s and 20’s make me feel old and throw me deeper into my so-called mid-life crisis, which I have written about periodically and that I suspect I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Mine is not the traditional mid-life crisis of fast sports cars and yachts and trips to the Caribbean. It’s more of a “can I check the fuck out and become a quirky, long-bearded homesteader who raises bees and writes poetry and doesn’t have to deal with the daily shit storm of life?” But that’s not very responsible and fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) I am a mostly responsible guy and understand that’s not a suitable option at this stage of my life.

Plus, I’m not sure my wife would “like” me anymore!

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So Many Days Before

One day he woke up an old man.
He rolled over in his bed and saw his wife was not there.
But he knew she had awoken before him and gone downstairs.
Just as she had so many days before.

He rolled his old, worn body out of his bed.
And rubbed away the remaining sleep from his  eyes.
Arthritic pain and stiffness reared its ugly head.
Just as it had so many days before.

A glance in the mirror revealed deep creases in his skin.
He wondered where those wrinkles had come from.
He remembered the days when he seemed invincible to aging.
Just as he  had so many days before.

Downstairs the windows were opened wide.
And a fresh, cool, country morning breeze was flowing through.
He felt blessed for another day of reasonable health.
Just as he had so many days before.

His wife glanced up at him from the other room.
Her long gray hair in a  pony tail and glasses perched on her nose.
She paused from her book, smiled and said “good morning”.
Just as she had so many days before.

In the kitchen he poured a cup of coffee.
Into his favorite coffee mug with its brown stained porcelain.
The deep, rich aroma awakened his senses.
Just as it had so many days before.

As he took the first sip from the coffee cup.
He stared out the window at the fenced pasture outside.
Where his animals would be spending their day grazing.
Just as they had so many days before.

For a moment he thought about his children.
He wondered what they would be doing today.
Spending their hours working hard and raising his grandchildren.
Just as they had so many days before.

He wondered what the weather was like where they lived.
Whether it would be sunny and warm or rainy and cold.
And he missed them and wished they lived closer.
Just as he had so many days before.

He thought about what he might do today.
What activities would  fill the many hours available to him.
He remembered the days when so much freedom seemed implausible.
Just as he had so many days before.

He was reminded of those years when there just wasn’t enough time.
When excuses for putting things off were readily available.
He thought about some of the things that he’d never accomplished.
Just as he had so many days before.

But in reality he knew he had accomplished so much.
He knew that he had lived and loved and been a good husband and father.
He knew he could still write words that might have a small effect on someone.
Just as he had so many days before.

So he sat down at his computer and began typing.
The dark veins in his hands pulsed through his thinning, aged skin.
It reminded him of his grandmother’s hands when he was a boy.
Just as it had so many days before.

He typed a post about life and love and growing old.
A post about finding the time to do the things that are important to you.
The words flowed onto his computer screen effortlessly.
Just as they had so many days before.

When he finished he knew that he had produced something meaningful.
He knew he had written something small, yet substantive and important.
Words that would be eagerly read and digested by friends and strangers.
Just as they had so many days before.

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