24.

Earl and I took a shot of ourselves in Virginia Beach before heading home. March 2006.

This picture hangs on my wall in my office. It’s probably one of my most favorite photos of the two of us. We spontaneously decided to drive to Virginia Beach on a snowy Friday after work, spent the night in Newark, Del. on the way down, and then drove the rest of the way to Virginia Beach Saturday morning. We spent Saturday there and drove the 10+ hours home, not hitting snow again until we were north of York, Pa. In the middle of a Central New York winter it was a great respite. I wrote about it here.

One of the countless number of reason I am in love with my husband is because he’ll travel anywhere at anytime with me and enjoy the experience as much as I do. Due to Coronavirus and sensible precautions, we have not done much of this spontaneous travel in 2020. To celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary, today we hopped in our Jeep Cherokee and drove around the northwest corner of Indiana and the northeast corner of Illinois before heading home to Chicago. It wasn’t a long drive. The highlight of the trip was a pass through a Target to use the restroom and a Taco Bell drive thru for lunch. We drove through a couple of small towns we hadn’t seen before and had some great conversation, held hands, and laughed a lot.

24 years ago today we had a small commitment ceremony on a pier on the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, Pa. Our commitment was witnessed by Earl’s youngest brother Rick and at the time his girlfriend (now wife) Helen. Rick was a senior in high school. Earl and I were quite young.

That night I married my best friend.

The big photos and celebrations and attendance of our marriage was at our legal wedding ceremony, when the law allowed us to get legally married in New York State back in 2011. It was a beautiful day and a moment I will always treasure.

But the original commitment ceremony will always be our wedding day, and will always sing a song in my heart. On that night I married my best friend. He is the only other human being on the planet that can occupy the same space as me when I want to be alone. He’s the only one that has ever fully understood me. He is my best friend. I see fireworks whenever I see him. We laugh. We cry. We love together. We have no secrets. I never thought I would find what we have.

I’ve said in the past that becoming a pilot was the second best thing that I’ve ever done. 24 years ago today was the very best thing I’ve ever done.

Follow.

Sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow. The more confident of us is the one with what I call Grrr-isma. He can own the room in seconds; I need to go through a few warm-up exercises and tip toe in from the shallow in. He is my rock. He’s my biggest fan. I don’t think words can express my true feelings. I’m rarely without words but he leaves me speechless.

He is my love.

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The 21s.

Twenty-one years ago today Earl and I went on our first date. We had known each other casually for a couple of months beforehand, but our first official date was on this day in 1996. We met up in Albany with a group of friends and ended up ditching the friends and going on a long ride in my ’94 Hyundai Excel through the lower parts of Vermont, just getting to know each other.

I knew on that day that my life was changed forever. I had no doubt that I was driving around with the man that was destined to be “the one”. I had found the love of my life.

The journey was just beginning.

Twenty-one years later, here we are, beginning a string of 21 year anniversaries that will include our first date, when we moved in together, the first time I said “I love you” to him and our commitment ceremony. I remember each of these things like it was yesterday.

And there is still no doubt in my mind, not one trace of doubt, nor has there ever been, that I was completely correct on 4/13/96. I had met the love of my life.

I am one lucky man.

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Real.

I feel this everyday.


Today, with the Supreme Court decisions striking down DOMA and California’s Prop 8 as both being unconstitutional, my feelings have only magnified. I shouldn’t need validity of what I know to be true, but it’s good to now be afforded the same federal rights as other married couples. Should the need arise, my husband now has full access to my pension. As I mentioned on Facebook, with it he can buy a monthly nice, cold pop (that’s a whole different blog entry). Taxes will be less of a nightmare and social security will go where it is suppose to go.

Our future just got even brighter.

I didn’t think I would get really emotional about the ruling announcements today, but some tears were shed in my cube as I saw the news go across the ticker.

Congratulations to the United States for taking another big step toward equality across all of your 50 states. Welcome to the 21st century.

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Waiting.

So I’m sitting in my rocking chair waiting for my husband to get home from work. It’s after 6:30 p.m.; he has been in New England all day on official business. I just finished work myself; I always love those hysterical IT calls at 4:59 p.m., just as you’re getting ready to close all your applications and call it a day.

It could be worse. I don’t have room for complaint. I like what I do. Especially when I can do it from home.

I’m sitting here realizing that I have no idea where the day went. I remember getting up and getting my day started. I remember my two 15-minute breaks where I rode the exercise bike to break the monotony of sitting at a desk, but I don’t remember much else. I think that’s good. I think that means I lost myself in my work, which made the day just zoom by. I hope I didn’t sleep through the day. That would not be good.

I keep looking at the driveway to see if I see lights. It’s kind of funny that I still giddy at the thought of my husband coming home from work. Those fireworks never get stale.

Disbelief.

I have to admit that I am still in a state of disbelief after New York’s passage of same sex marriage last night. The cynic in me thought it would never happen. I am delightfully surprised to be proven wrong. Thought I was very impatient for the process to take place, I think the sequence of events and the way in which same sex marriage came to New York will help avoid any situations like in California with their Prop 8 stuff and all that. I can’t imagine having my marriage taken away from me. It’s an odd feeling of comfort knowing that when I pass on I will still be married to the one I love. Married. Really married. No more worries about being at my loved one’s side when in need.

My mom called within minutes of the passage of the bill. She called to declare that she prefers that we feature chocolate cake at the celebration and that she hopes that she’ll get to walk down the aisle. We haven’t thought the mechanics through but I can say that my mom’s call meant more to me than I was able to relay over the phone last night. She’s a nut, but she’s nifty.

At work today I was daydreaming a little bit about Earl and I sharing health benefits for the first time in 15 years, opting for the best plan available from either company for the both of us. I thought about not being hassled at the border because one name is on the car registration and another name is on the passport. (The last time I crossed the border I had to show the insurance card for the car, which has both of our names, to prove that I hadn’t stolen the car.)

New traditions will be forged. For example, I’m rather proud of my last name and I know that Earl is proud of his. The proper tradition says that a woman never really has her own last name, she is using the name of her father and then the name of her husband. This is something that is not applicable to us. I’m sure we’ll come to a common thought. But these new traditions will never supplant that which is true today. It’s enhancement of the love we all share.

Family and friends have shared wonderful thoughts on the subject via Facebook. These things make me smile. Within moments from our status updates we were getting “likes” and comments. I guess I’ll always be an outlaw as far as Earl’s family goes, but a good outlaw, I guess. At the very least I took one step away from the “uncle in the aunt slot” status.

This is one of the occasions where love has drowned out the hate, something that is becoming unfortunately less and less common in our world. I hope this has been the reversing of a trend and that all of our brothers and sisters across the country will be able to share the joy we are feeling today.

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A Dozen.

It was twelve years ago tonight that Earl and I stood on a pier at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. On that night we were accompanied by his brother Rick and girlfriend (now wife) Helen. Rick and Helen watched as Earl and I exchanged our handwritten vows on the cold night. Few were on Penn’s Landing. A ship of Marine’s rode by and waved.

It was beginning of the rest of my life.

I can’t imagine my life without Earl. Twelve years ago we promised each other we’d be there ’til death do us part. No clergy, no laws, no approval from any other. Just Earl and I with our two witnesses.

I married my best friend that night.

Here we are on the Navy Pier in Chicago, August 2003.
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Bright and Early.

So today is Saturday. Because my body likes to play tricks on my soul, I am wide awake at 6:46 on a Saturday morning. “Heh! He’s out of work and waiting for school to start in a week – let’s get him up bright and early.”

And so I lie here in bed with the PowerBook catching up on various blogs wondering if I will still be awake after lunch.

I have to give props to Earl for going to work this early on a Saturday morning. He went in to catch up on the stuff he was unable to get to all week. I guess that’s why he’s the big guy and all at work. There are an infinite number of things that I admire in that man and his dedication and determination are just one of them.

The DirecTV man is suppose to be here between 8 and 12 this morning so that he can repair our dish that was damaged in the wind storm the other day. Aside from this brief flit with frivolity we have no plans for the remainder of the weekend. We were going to drive to Buffalo tonight for their bear night but the post-holiday budget doesn’t include hotel rooms at this time.

Now I’m starting to yawn and feel like I need to take a nap. So much for that bright and early Saturday morning.

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A Decade Plus One.

It’s official. It was eleven years ago this evening that two men stood at the end of a pier at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, and in front of two witnesses and a passing boatload of Marines, Earl and I exchanged our vows and made our commitment ’til death do us part.

It was a beautiful moment.

And no one fell in the Delaware River.

Looking back at those 28 and 36 year olds, we didn’t really know a lot about each other, but we both knew we knew enough. And we were right.

I wouldn’t trade one second of the past eleven years for anything else. It’s all good.