Tomorrow marks 27 years married for Donna and I. It's one of those "tween" years, maybe a date that means less than the others that end in 5 or 0.
Twenty seven years is a long time. With the divorce rate still around 50%+, I'm tend to take each anniversary I hit as a victory, not that divorce was ever in my thoughts - it wasn't - but I'd like to hope that after 25 years it gets easier to stay on the good side of that statistic.
So what's different at year 27 than at 1?
We live in a different city, work different jobs, live in a house not an apartment and somewhere along the way we raised two kids.
In fact, it would be easier to quantify what is the same; namely, us.
Because while the circumstances in our lives seems to change with every passing day, we evidently love each other enough to be there and serve as a foundation for the other to lean on when the rest of the pot is boiling over.
None of this is meant to brag or boast, I'm just looking in the rear view mirror to see where we've been and try and figure out what's worked for us. While there's certainly no magic bullet, I can say that laughing together goes a long way. So does having a common faith, a family that loves us and friends who are cheering us along as we go.
So tomorrow we will celebrate with our usual low-key fanfare. We always agree to save the money we would spend on those $6.00 Hallmark cards and use it towards our dinner out. We will go out to a nice restaurant and have dinner - maybe with a couple friends - and then, as part of our newest tradition we'll go down to Wolski's Tavern in Milwaukee and have drinks.
For those of you who do not know the story behind Wolskis, it needs a little background. When we were dating, we lived on Milwaukee's East Side. One of our occasional haunts was Wolski's, a bar in the middle of a neighborhood, with narrow streets and an old time Milwaukee history to it. (Their trademark is giving out bumper stickers at closing time that read "I Closed Wolski's. Milw. WI" These bumper stickers have been seen all over the world, but I digress.)
Anyways, we were supposed to meet our friend Bill there that night, but he never showed. Donna had about 3 Gin and Tonics and suddenly, out of the blue said, "I just want to get married to you and have babies."
To which I replied, "Wait a minute. Are you proposing to me at Wolski's Tavern?"
Or course she looked me in the eye and said, "Yes, I guess I am."
I said "Okay," and figured that was the end of it.
I assumed it was the gin talking, but the next afternoon as we were driving to Minnesota, I said "Do you remember what you said to me last night?"
She said, "Yes, I do. And I remember what you said too!"
So the rest is history, and as a recognition of another trip around the sun as Donna and Jim, we go to Wolskis and celebrate. (Donna's not the fan of Gin and Tonics like she once was however. LOL.)
We have some interesting times ahead. This fall our nest will be empty 9 months out of the year, so it will be a period of adjustment for sure. We will be forced to re-discover each other in some ways, something we've been working toward with our weekly Saturday coffee hour at the Steaming Cup.
But we've been through changes before and are richer and more loving because of them. It's my hope and prayer that these changes will lead to something even deeper.
Here's to the next 27 years.
For those who don't know how we met, there's more HERE.