38 Special

Today is Kish’s and my 38th wedding anniversary.  We were supposed to be in Austin, Texas to celebrate with Richard and Julianne and watch a performance of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, but of course COVID-19 quashed those plans.  It will be our first anniversary since the kids were little that we haven’t celebrated by going out to dinner or to some musical performance.

number-38_2227-93438 is one of those random numbers that wouldn’t seem very special by itself.  It’s not a prime number, or a multiple of 10, or even a multiple of 5.  It’s not one of those anniversary years that’s supposed to be marked by a gift of silver or china or some other substance.  And yet, I’m quite sure we’ll always view number 38 as very special — the year we celebrated our anniversary at home in German Village by direct order of Ohio’s Governor as part of the effort to flatten the coronavirus curve.  In fact, I’d wager that we’ll carry around more vivid memories of this anniversary, and the days directly surrounding it, than any other.

I’m very thankful and grateful that I’ve got such a wonderful person to share our snug little shelter in place during this terrible global pandemic.  We’ve developed new routines during this shut-in period, and I’ve really enjoyed our lunchtime walks together to get our daily allotment of permitted exercise while maintaining social distance from everyone else.

We never could have imagined, when we got married during the early years of the Reagan Administration amidst snow flurried in Vermilion, Ohio, that 38 years later we’d be dealing with such issues.  But that’s life’s unpredictability for you — and also a good reason to find that right, special someone to face the fates with you.

30 Wonderful Years

Today is Kish’s and my 30th wedding anniversary.  They have been 30 wonderful years — but it’s still hard to believe it has been 30 years since that special day when we tied the knot.

It had been warm and in the 60s only a day or two before, but April weather in Ohio is notoriously unpredictable.  A cold front moved in, and when April 3, 1982 dawned in Vermilion, Ohio it was frigid, with snow falling and a brisk wind blowing.  We were married in Kish’s family church by a minister we really didn’t know.  He had insisted on counseling us about marriage; it’s always made me chuckle that he was divorced within a year or so while Kish and I have somehow muddled through and remained happily married for decades.  Perhaps he’s just an example of the old saying “those who can’t do, teach.”

We kept the ceremony as short as we could, consistent with the requirements of the church.  The entire service, from beginning to end, took about 12 minutes.  We planned it so that we didn’t have to light candles, read scriptures, or really do much of anything other than remain upright and repeat our vows.

I was glad the ceremony was short and simple, because I was nervous.  UJ, my best man, and I stayed in the baptismal tank until we were summoned into a full church.  I stood there, uncomfortable being the center of attention in my traditional black tuxedo, but felt a lot better when I saw Kish coming up the aisle, looking cool and beautiful and radiant in her lacy white wedding gown.  I knew that I was making a smart decision, and I was right.