Today is our 39th wedding anniversary, and neither of us are any the worse for wear. We actually got married on Thanksgiving day, and this is only the third time the dates have coincided.
I was working at Blue Cross at the time, and December through the end of March was our busiest season. We had Open Enrollment for the Federal Government, students and Medicare recipients, as well as 19 years olds coming off their parents policies. If you died you had to send in your next of kin to take your place. Fortunately, we did have a four day weekend for Thanksgiving, so The Squire and I decided to jump at it. That or wait until after April 1st.
This was a second marriage for both of us – a second wedding, but a first marriage, and there’s a big difference. Oddly enough, we had both had civil services the first time around, and we wanted a religious ceremony this time. I wanted to look like a bride, without being Queen of the May, tra-la, tra-la, and this is the dress I found. It was actually a bridesmaid’s dress, but it was just what I wanted.
And so was The Squire.
The Squire will be 70 on the 29th, and I was determined to throw him a party for this landmark ocassion.
After a bit of mental mumbling, I decided the easiest and best place was to have it immediately after the late service at church today. I passed around a note during the Annual Meeting on the 10th. “Surprise party on the 24th. No gifts.” I did call a few folks who don’t attend our church; my brother-in-law, our closest friends, our eldest daughter and her family – but even people who normally come to the early service came back over at 11:30 to wish The Squire a Happy Birthday.
Eldest Daughter baked her dad a birthday cake, and one member of the early church group (do you have two separate congregations at your church?) went over to the grocery store to pick up a deli tray I had ordered. I had hoped to have everything in place before the service ended, but it didn’t run as long as I had guessed it would – will have to ask Fr. M to preach longer sermons – so The Squire was coming into the hall from the narthex door as Eldest Daughter was coming in the back door.
My husband was well and truly flabbergasted, and nearly moved to tears. Lots of birthday cards, a number of gift cards to Barnes & Noble, and a very happy husband. Ta-dah!
And not a single person had a camera.
It is a Rule of the Universe that people who need ten hours sleep always marry people who only need six. As a consequence, I am usually sound asleep long before The Squire comes to bed, and as a rule still sawing wood when he gets up.
This morning I came downstairs at 8:30, fixed my coffee, and sat down at my computer to read the online newspaper and the comics, and generally get geared up for the day. As soon as I started reading the paper, The Squire began handing me pieces of paper to put in the recycling. “Take this.” “Throw this away for me.” The recycling bin is on my side of the desk, so his requests were not unreasonable, it was simply that the timing was off.
I have a shirt which reads “I drink coffee for your protection”, and it’s no joke. You do NOT want to get near me until I’ve finished my coffee – preferably in peace. I finally asked him if there was any particular reason he felt compelled to clear off his desk now, and just exactly what time had he gotten out of bed, by the way? “Oh, about seven or so.”
At least he had the good grace to act embarrassed.
We have added a third great grandson to our family. Grandson Christian and Skye had a son, Xavier, an 9:53 on November 13. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Everyone is doing well. We told the other two young marrieds they need to have daughters to even up the odds.
The kitchen, she is finished!
The Squire and I hung the last of the wallpaper after church on Sunday, and yesterday I sorted through the dozens – literally – of cookbooks, trying to decide which to keep, to donate, or to toss. It seems you always turn to maybe three or four recipes in a cookbook, and never use the rest. I copied the recipes I really wanted from several books, and put them aside to donate. Most of the rest went back on the shelf.
The real problem is that I have accumulated about fifty or so paper booklets from the 20s, 30s and 40s. I can’t bring myself to part with them, and there are some I honestly do use, but they are too fragile to take the pulling out and putting away of daily life in the Rice Paddy kitchen. I think I am going to get a clear, flat plastic box, and stow them in that.
My favorite is a handwritten collection, written by my great-grandmother. One of the recipes is for Hasenpfeffer. It starts off, “First, get your rabbit”. This has become a family line, and good advice in any situation.
Somebody will go on about planning for this, that or the other, building castles in the sky, and be asked, “do you have your rabbit?”
The Squire has requested (under pain of death – sorta) that I start emptying the myriad boxes, crates, and cartons from my mother’s “estate”. Today, I actually plowed through three cardboard boxes.
A few days ago I had discussed the Charge-a-Plate that most of the people in Baltimore carried in those pre-VISA days. Lo and behold, in one of the boxes, I found my mom’s plate, and the “velvet” lined case used to carry it. Notice on the case itself, a small ring to attach the case to the inside of your purse. Even though the card carries my mom’s signature on the back, the front is embossed with my dad’s name, Ernest Parker, as it was assumed in the 40s and 50s that the husband would be the breadwinner in the house hold.
Totally worthless, but pretty nifty, none the less. Something for my kids to sort through when I shuffle off.