So this one is, according to the traditionalists, the Silver Anniversary. But it won’t be, primarily because of lack of silver. And gold. This is the Flat Broke Anniversary. Two kids in college will do that to you, and a deluge of unforeseen hospital and doctor bills, and the joys of home ownership that include new back doors because the old one has rotted away. Oh well. So we’ll eat dinner at home tonight. In the immortal words of marital counselors George Jones and Tammy Wynette, “We’re not the jet set/We’re the old Chevrolet set/Our steak and martinis/Is draft beer and weenies/But ain’t we got love?”
Our first home was a cockroach-infested place on 17th Ave. in Columbus, about a quarter mile down the street from the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Every year in August the sheep and cattle would head back to Green Acres at the end of the fair, and the approximately 2,500,000,000 flies that had been hanging out with their barnyard hosts would end up in our apartment. Across the street was Camp’s Carryout, which got robbed every Saturday night. Camp’s was a fine place to pick up the occasional six-pack or bag of chips, but you quickly learned to avoid it on Saturday nights because somebody was going to show up with a gun. And so we mostly stayed in our 3rd floor apartment, which was at the exact same height as the elevated train tracks next door, and the trains would rumble by and shake our humble abode, making conversation impossible for five or ten minutes. We didn’t have much furniture. We had a bed, a couch, a rickety kitchen table and a couple chairs, and an awesome stereo system. Priorities were priorities.
We’ve picked up a lot of stuff along the way, but I’ve still got that awesome stereo system. It’s my constant companion. As is Kate. Kate was in nursing school when we got married. I was substitute teaching for a whopping $32 per day. Archery? Sure, I can be an archery teacher today. Frankly, I don’t give a rip about the stuff. We were poor then, we’re less poor now, but none of it matters. Kate was, and is, the best thing to ever happen to my life. I know what matters. I’ll just have to look across that no-longer-rickety kitchen table.