Have I been lucky in love? I would have to say so, and not because Anne would punch me if I said otherwise. We have been married for more than thirty-two years, plus we dated for eight years before that, for a total of forty years of romance now. We were high school sweethearts. I often joke that she was my computer date, because we met in a high school computer class. Yes, we are just that geeky too. Our first date was a high school concert that was headlined by Bob Seger, who later went on to national fame.
For college, we both went to Michigan State. Anne had a full ride there, with her Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Award. She managed to squeeze two degrees out of that award and I eventually graduated. After school, we moved back to Ann Arbor. I worked for Chrysler and Anne for the EPA. While our respective employers were certainly sparring, there was no such conflict between the two of us. Our luck in love seemed to spill over, when Anne inadvertently played matchmaker to her cousin, Anne. Both Cousin Anne and Bill are still happily married today.
I grew tired of working at Chrysler, an opportunity appeared in Saint Louis and I made the move from Michigan. Anne agreed to follow me and I cemented our relationship, by finally proposing to her. She accepted. Our destination wedding was the cabin’s beach, after one last day of Independence Day. Newlyweds now in the big city, having come from a smaller town, we felt like babes in Toyland.
After another two years, our wanderlust had grown to the point that we took a six month leave from work and bicycled around the country. Camping and also taking the train, we started in Texas, made it to New England and then turned west, eventually packing up the bikes in Seattle. We still refer to this trip as our Great Adventure.
Returning to work and Saint Louis, time began to telescope. Dan and Dave, the boys of noise, came along and we were soon enveloped in full domesticity. Looking back now, twenty years seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. One-by-one, our sons went off to college. Now they are grown men and Anne and I are alone together again.
We went to our fortieth high school reunion last fall. Retirement is no longer some distant nebulous goal. Our passion has cooled with age, we aren’t teenagers anymore, but our friendship and love continues to grow. Looking back over my life, I feel most fortunate, lucky in love, but looking forward, it looks like our best years are still ahead of us.