We've been married for 36 years today. Through the good and the bad, we've been together. Although I must say that there's been remarkably little bad and a whole bunch of good. It's only recently, when our parents started dying, that it's been bad. Otherwise we've had a very good life together.
I can hardly remember not being married I don't know what I'd do without my husband, because he's my best friend and companion. He's not perfect, of course, but neither am I.
We aren't going to do much in the way of celebrating, as so many of our friends have retired and moved away, so the usual suspects won't be partying together. Plus, we're all getting older, which is taking its toll, and a lot of us can't drink (hypertension) or dance (bad knees). Plus, we've all told all our jokes and stories to each other too many times.
Six years ago, on New Year's Eve 2000, we went to Palm Springs for a week to celebrate our 30th. I got beautiful new wedding and engagement rings, with my diamond reset, and my original rings were modernized with a tanzanite. The new and the original rings are very much the same design. It's just that styles change and in thirty years they change a lot.
We had a wonderful time in Palm Springs. We stayed in an older hotel that was, at the time, a Holiday Inn (now it's an up-scale resort). It's just a block off the main drag and we went walking and window-shopping every day. We didn't buy much, but we had a great time watching the other people and enjoying the shirt-sleeve weather. Every afternoon we'd go back to the hotel and sit out by the pool until the sun was gone. That was at about 1530 because Palm Springs is tucked up against the San Jacinto scarp, which is really tall. As soon as the sun "set", it would start cooling down and everyone would vanish to their rooms.
We had such a good time that week that we decided to buy a house in the Coachella Valley, to spend winter somewhere warmer than the Antelope Valley. We didn't want to leave SoCal and we knew we didn't want to live on the coast (too cloudy and foggy for us), and this looked pretty good. In the subsequent years we built a three-bedroom, three-bath house in Sun City Palm Desert, retired, and set ourselves up to live in two deserts, not just one. We discovered that the charming house we'd built just wasn't big enough for the two of us, plus the two collies. It's a very compact house, quite rectangular, and we just felt as if we were on top of each other.
In 2003, on my birthday (9 April), my dear husband offered me my choice of birthday present. I could have either a great big bouquet of flowers or a big new house in the floor plan we both really liked. Well, that took me about twenty nanoseconds to decide. We went down to the sales center the next day and set the process in motion. We ended up with the new house less than a thousand feet from the original. It took just under a year (we took possession on 1 April), as the builder was closing out the development, but the actual construction only took about three months. This time we watched the construction closely. We'd go over every day or two and I'd walk around and take photos and video. That part was so much fun, I'd almost build another house just to do it again. The newer house is about 1.5 times the size of the original and it's laid out much less compactly, so it works out a lot better. I have some photos here.
Somewhere in there we sold the Oceanside house, which was a small two-bedroom, two-bath half of a duplex in a seniors-only area that we'd bought for my husband's parents to escape Iowa winters, but for a while we owned a nine-bedroom, seven-bath house, except that it was in three separate pieces in three different counties. Then, until escrow closed on the original Palm Desert house we had a ten-bedroom, eight-and-a-half-bath house, still in three separate pieces but in only two counties. Now we're down to a mere seven-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath house in two pieces.
Well, I've drifted kind of far afield from my original topic, haven't I? I do that in real life, too.
Happy New Year, everyone.