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Entry date: 8-5-2022 - Happy Anniversary, Babe - A Letter to My Wife and my Friends

Dear Friends,

Today is our anniversary, Rhondi and me. We celebrated last Saturday with a wonderful meal at a place called The Loon Lodge. The chef there is a favorite of ours, especially a certain steak that Rhondi had been wanting for five years. It was really good. Once again, she ordered better than I did.

She does that a lot. Except when I talked into the quinoa salad at a place in Phoenix we love. Why I cannot think of the name of it now is beyond me. I do not love how my brain hides things from me sometimes. I suppose I should get used to it.

But it is a talent of hers. Being an amazing creator, an artist, really, in the kitchen, she has a sense of what is going to be good. I had the meatloaf, which was superior to about any meatloaf I have ever had, even the turkey meat loaf they used to serve at the Coronado Café. I loved that dish.

My wife is supremely talented. As I contemplate the sixteen years of our marriage today, I think of all her wonderful traits. They far in a way outweigh the ones that are difficult for me and even those that are difficult are damn good. She calls me on my bullshit and I love/hate that. She is good at it, though.

Our wedding day in 2006 was such a whirlwind day. It was nice to go into marriage this time around with zero doubts about getting married. No offense to Shannon, because we did give it our best a lot of the time, but I had a lot of doubt going into that particular day. We kept trying to put a bigger Band-Aid on a wound that was never going to heal.

With Rhondi and I, though, we are supposed to be together and be partners in this life. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like had I met her earlier, but our timing was best. I don’t think either of us was truly ready for the other until we did meet on St. Patrick’s Day 2005. Truth is, I needed her a lot more then than she needed me, I think.

Our wedding, though, was lovely. Of the many beautiful spots around here, I still love the spot where we got married. It was right in front of a very small pond and there was a meeting hall where we had the reception right there. Not fancy, but perfectly Maine and representative of the family up here. I met so many people for the first time that day. Some for the only time, I am sure, but I was so happy to see them and be around them.

I figure a lot of them were probably like, “Who is getting married? Doug’s daughter?” It was all good, though, and people welcomed me into the family without any discernable reluctance or trepidation. Fun was had by a lot of people on August 5, 2006, for sure.

Life being what it is and often coming around for circular passes over the same ground or thoughts or feelings, our server last Saturday was the daughter of the gal who married us. I think Rhondi is going to get to cook a meal, at some point, for her favorite chef up here and I’m sure will go all out in making something glorious. He is married to the gal who served us, and I am so bummed I didn’t get her name, but I will.

We talked to a younger couple who were sitting near us for a while, too. They were also celebrating their anniversary (their 7th or 8th, I believe) and they shared a lot of Rangeley history with us as the young guy’s grandparents and great-grandparents were Rangeley residents. It was a nice conversation, for sure, and they were interesting and friendly people.

I feel badly that I kind of stopped Rhondi from exchanging information with them when we left. I realize know that part of building a new friendship is putting yourself out there. It seems like that was so much easier when I was younger. I connect with people quickly but reaching for something more lasting these days seems hard.

Honestly, though, I feel like I have everything I need. I have wonderful friends, but Rhondi makes my life complete. I don’t know if she realizes that she does that for me. As she reads this, she’ll probably make a face (oh how I wish I could see that face), but it is true. I am very content to just be in the same room with her. It’s not exciting or terribly romantic, but I get a lot of comfort just being in her presence and it is a comfort I have not had a ton of in my life.

I celebrate our anniversary. We have gotten through a lot, as any couple who makes it 16 years does, and we are better than we have ever been. I am flawed, as our we all, sure, but it has not been the easiest road to “16” for my wife. She is a very patient and forgiving woman.

People think I am crazy, I think, when I tell them that I drive a car and a dog across country twice a year. I would do it ten times (or however many, really) if that is what it meant for me to be by her side, though. I will spend the next few months without her, except for our morning and evening phone calls, because she’s the best person I know, and it is important for her and Doug to be in Maine.

I cannot wait for our next adventure, whatever that will be. I cannot wait for 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 and however many anniversaries we will get to have. I might (no, I will) even get good at being a romantic and spontaneous guy, too, because she deserves it. For today, though, I will just try to sweep her off her feet with my words because they are all for her.

Happy anniversary, babe. I love you.

(I wish I could) See you tomorrow.

Rhondi took this and added the heart. I wish I could say that it just magically appeared, but she's good at stuff like this.

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