This past week, hubby and I celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary.
Yeah, I know.
That’s a big number.
Tough one for some people to wrap their brains around.
Usually when I share that news with people, especially young people, they get strange looks on their faces that tell me they are having trouble processing so many numbers.
Then, they usually make a nervous joke.
Sometimes, I just smile.
Other days, I politely school them about ageism.
In today’s world where approx. 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, and too many people bolt at the first sign of marital discomfort, I understand why people react the way they do.
To be married to the same partner for all that time is a bit unusual these days.
So many people have divorced, married more than once, or have never married at all.
Some people simple cannot fathom being with one partner for four decades.
But it’s worked for us.
Some believe marriage is an antiquated institution, one that especially limits the freedoms of women, who often bear the brunt of having children and parenting them, even when they have demanding careers of their own.
I understand that view, too.
Without question, my career often took a back seat to my husband’s work life, especially because we had a child with a disability that demanded 24/7 care.
Something, or someone, had to give.
Which is kind of marriage in a nutshell. We each get a turn at that reality.
I took on the big role and responsibility for my much of my son’s care and disability advocacy, causing me to give up a job I loved, while working as a freelance writer whenever I could.
My husband built a great career that paid the bills and ensured the insurance coverage we needed to provide our son with the best programs and medical care possible.
In short, working together as a team all these years has worked out for us.
Neither of us gets our own way all the time.
But it hasn’t been without life-altering personal cost.
There’s compromise and lots of spirited conversations to be had in marriage, and we don’t shy away from either.
One of the things that has always given us great joy, especially before we had the responsibilities of children, is road trips.
We’re back to taking them again.
Another chance to relive simpler times and reflect on our lives together.
We indulge whenever we can.
That’s one big reason we are still standing.
What people sometimes don’t understand about long-term marriage, is this. By being together all these years, we have built in a wonderful friendship, a trusted confidant, travel partner, and a familiar lover with whom we get to walk on this sometimes-heartbreaking life journey.
I can’t image having gone through some of life’s most devastating losses without Dick by my side.
That still holds true today, as we now face the future uncertain challenges of aging.
I’m sure that’s going to be lots of fun.
Tongue firmly in cheek.
After all these years of staying together by choice, I know hubby will have my back, and I will have his.
No matter what future storms throw at us.
So last week, to honor our solid commitment to one another, we ventured out on several road trips to different places to celebrate our anniversary.
That included visiting one beautiful spot located on Old Mission Peninsula,14 miles outside of popular Traverse City, Michigan, where I got to indulge my wish to pick my own anniversary bouquet at a charming place called Old Mission Flowers.
It was a perfect summer day at this lovely spot near the tip of the peninsula surrounded by vineyards and an incredible 360-degree view of Lake Michigan.
There were zinnias and lilies and brilliant shades of gladiolas!
I grabbed some clippers and a lovely vase (reasonably priced) and went to work benefitting from the fruits of another gardener’s labor.
When I had finished my photography and snipping garden gems, hubby and I stopped down the street for delicious sandwiches al fresco at the Bad Dog Deli.
We had lots of company there, too.
It is peak tourist season in Northern Michigan, after all.
We plan to take a bigger trip soon to celebrate. But not until travel seems less risky, less uncertain, and less intense.
But for one day last week, a simple celebration in a lakeside field of floral dreams proved an incredibly satisfying way to honor 46 years of solid partnership.
Once again proving the power of being a tourist in your own town.
Or at least a reasonably close destination.
Not to mention all the benefits of being married to the same partner for all these years.
No matter how shocked some younger folks may be by that marital reality.
Have you taken any celebratory and local road trips lately that did your heart good?
For more, visit OldMissionFlowers.com.