That we've been married for 35 years, and pretty much been buddies since 1972 (when Cindi and her friend Debbie introduced me to the wonders of hot cinnamon toothpicks at Belt Junior High School). Yeah, that's like 45 of my 56 years, in other words, almost all of my life! Here we stand in the autumn of our life and look back and stand amazed. The wonderful children God gave us together; the wonderful children those children chose to marry and so gave us as our own children too; the gifts of grandchildren galore (Sawyer, Annabelle, Lydia, Flynn, Henry, Felicity, Oliver? James? Whatever his name will be, due in September); the places we've lived and the friends we've been blessed with along the way. Fun with Jim and Amy and kids in NC. Countless card games: Ruth Holler teaching us Liverpool and the fun evenings with Ruth and Don, Muriel and Ed, and Cindi and I in Mebane NC; playing cards with Dave and Joanne and doing every last thing I can to irritate the daylights out of her (Spades? Why here, have the 2 of clubs AND the ace of clubs); all our pinochle friends across the years with all the variations of that game (and we love each one), especially Scott and Crys, Dave and Sharon, Stu and Jenn, Peggy and Richard, John and Karen, Carlo and Steph, Randy and Rachel, and our newest buds, John and Kate (and I probably left someone off!). The road trips when the kids were small to Niagara Falls, to PEI, to Montana (and all points in between). The wonderful trip to NYC and the magical evening of Oklahoma on Broadway (what a gift - thank you, Jim!). Hours and hours spent imposing on Cindi's sister Deb and her hubby, Doug, (they had a nice pool and lots of cousins to play with!). Discovering Dave Ramsey. Discovering Vegetarianism/Low Carb/Paleo...and always wondering what's next! The trip to Mexico with Deb and Doug; with Dave and Sharon; with all the kids. Cruises with Steph and Carlo, John and Karen. Time spent at Bethany in the Blue Surf. Our wonderful parish families in NC and NJ and here. Holidays around the old table...images of Nana falling asleep after asking for the potatoes, and Sandy and everyone else always evaluating Cindi's cooking on the basis of Nana's and finding it quite a worthy successor. The freezing Thanksgiving in NC when all Bill's family came down; or the time Karl went out and came back with a much needed bundle of firewood, and regaled us with Rindercella; the Christmas with only french fries with our meat because the water pipe was frozen and we couldn't boil potatoes. Of course, it hasn't all been sunshine, but there's no question as we look back over our 35 years of married life that it has been overwhelmingly a time of joy as we walked together down this path. We thank the Lord for each and every day that we have had together and wonder what adventures await us in the future for as many days as the Lord gives us. Happy anniversary, Cindi! I love you!