To this day

At the Trevi Fountain in Rome, May 2008. We threw our coins, so we hope the legend comes true for us!

At the Trevi Fountain in Rome, May 2008.
We threw our coins, so we hope the legend comes true for us!

Our wedding was many years ago.  The celebration continues to this day.”
Gene Perret

This month Jeff and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.  Each year for us is a distinct milestone now, and with each anniversary that passes, we have more reasons to gratefully celebrate that we are still here together, living and loving through whatever comes.

Life really is (or at least should be) a continual celebration.  As with all celebrations, there are those less-than-pleasant details that go along with anything festive: laborious planning, budget realities, last minute complications, crushing disappointments, people who are unexpectedly absent and sorely missed.

Yet there are all the rewards that make the challenges worthwhile: laughter, love, the joy of lasting friendships, new arrivals to the party, delightful surprises, and a feeling of happy exhaustion as the production winds down.

Whatever milestones or special moments we may observe this month or this year, I hope we can carry a festive spirit with us into each day we are granted.  What do you have to celebrate today?

One year ago today:

The celebration



  1. Susan

    What a great photo of you two!
    Also what a coincidence – I saw that same fountain about a year ago. Between that and your Pike Place photo a few days ago, I’m starting to wonder if our paths have ever crossed and we never knew it. What a fun thought.
    Did you end up with a rose on your excursion to the fountain?

    • Susan, I didn’t end up with a rose – is there a legend about that too? Who knows, maybe our paths did cross at some point. I like to wonder about that sort of thing. I used to wonder whether any of the thousands of passengers I talked to briefly during my years at Piedmont/USAir ever crossed my path again. I know for sure that one of them turned out to be a cousin of Jeff’s who lived in Michigan. In many ways it really is a small world.

      • Susan

        I don’t know if there’s an actual legend, but in the evening several young men were “giving” us roses, and then once the rose had been thrust into our unwilling hands, they’d ask for payment for the rose! But I was with a group of mostly women – from Minnesota where we aren’t very convincing with our “no!” So the other girls paid a couple bucks for a rose and then turned them back in, to a woman sitting just around the corner from Trevi fountain with a bucket of roses from which the young men were picking up new roses to foist onto the next unsuspecting, polite tourist!
        I was dreadful, I’m afraid. I kept a good grip on “my” rose and just kept telling the dude, “you said it was a gift! If I pay you, it won’t be a gift!” Embarrassing.

        • Susan, somehow we missed that particular “courtesy” but I would have reacted much as you did, I’m afraid. If the coin legend holds up and we ever visit again, I will be on the lookout for strangers bearing “gifts!” All part of the fun I suppose. I imagine there are lots of romantic honeymooners who go for it (versus us older folks who guard our wallets). 😀

  2. Congratulations to you and Jeff on your special day this month. I wish you both all the best and many more years of happiness.

    • Thank you Patricia! Speaking of annniversaries, I finally finished the LONG book I was reading on Kindle and now have been enjoying The Italian Thing – I’m about 1/3 through with it so far and already feel as if I know Italy better than when I started, and for the first time seeing the insider’s view. It’s great fun and the next best thing to being able to go – and without any of the travel horror stories! 😀

      • Thank you Julia, anything that makes you laugh is good, I have had reviews from some that tell me the food and pastries made them hungry. So I consider it a success because laughing and eating delicious food and drinking the best wine ever is a winner. Then there is the love and the wonderful family and friends, read on it’s get better :o)…

        • Yes, I got hungry too – especially for the BREAD! 😀

          • P.S. love it that Pasquale is a dentist like Jeff!

  3. Sheila

    Good morning, my friend! I should have known our anniversaries are in the SAME month. 🙂
    Bill’s mom had her standard answer when asked how long they’d been married. “Let me think. How old is Billy?” Since Bill was their first child she wanted to be sure her numbers were right! The photo is wonderful. Congratulations and best wishes, Sheila

    • Sheila, surely Bill’s mom has heard that old saying that the first baby can come any time, but all the rest take about 9 months! 😀 I’m not surprised we were both June brides. Thanks for you good wishes and visits here!

      • Sheila

        I had never heard that but I had to laugh. I’ll put that in my ” memory bank”. Yikes! I hope it’s not full! 🙂

        • Sheila, my memory bank has such a huge leak in it that I can keep putting more stuff in – as long as I don’t need to rely on being able to take it out! Hee-hee.

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both! ♥

    • Thank you M! I so enjoy your visits here and seeing that lovely flower on my blog page.

  5. Maggie Clure, Cartersville, Ga.

    Good morning, Julia! Congrats on your 34th anniversary!! I have not seen you on UR lately. or I somehow missed it. and you have been in my thoughts for the past couple of days…..My prayers continue for you, Jeff and Matt! Unfortunately, I don’t come to your site every day, but when I have time, I come back and read some of the previous blogs you have written! They are always an inspiration to me! Just wanted you to know you are still in my thoughts and prayers!! Have a blessed day!!

    • Hi Maggie, thanks so much for checking in whenever you can – I TOTALLY understand not being able to visit daily. With all the weeks spent in hospitals in the past year, I am so far behind on everything that I’ve had to sharply curtail my time online. It’s a shame because I really miss everyone, and especially at UR. I hope to back more often eventually, and want to be sure and be there the day Michael’s devotional is published. I really appreciate your encouraging words about the blog! Thanks again for being here and have a great week!

  6. Harbin77

    So happy for you two and I want to wish you a very happy anniversary. 34 years wow that is wonderful and hear is wishing you another 34 years. Jim

    • Thank you so much Jim! I really appreciate your visits and “likes” and support!

      • Harbin77


  7. Carolyn

    Happy Anniversary, and many more happy years together. I pray that Jeff and Matt are doing well. I am just waiting for the 25th to get hear and my eye surgery will be over. My prayer is for success. We are all well. Take care,love and hugs to all.

    • Thank you Carolyn! We are waiting with you! And praying with you too. Love and cyber hugs to you and Terry.

  8. Happy Anniversary Julia and Jeff. May God bless you with many more to come.

    • Thank you Alan! I appreciate your visits here.

  9. MaryAnn

    You ask: “What do you have to celebrate today?” My answer: I am celebrating the joy of your beautiful example of a marriage with God as the Center. Love to you both!

    • Aw, thanks Mary Ann. You are so generous with us. We hope to get back to see everyone out there before too long. We miss you all! Give our love to everyone out there (and to you too)!

  10. Let me add my voice to the congratulations! It is a wonderful thing to entwine your life with another’s and retain mutual respect and affection through all the vicissitudes and challenges of life!

    • Thank you Pauline! Some days we do better at that than others, but we do feel lucky to be together after all these years.

  11. Amy

    Happy Anniversary you two. God bless you with many more!!!

    • Thank you Amy!

  12. Larry

    We are one year and 6 days behind you, I remember those days coming up to the most memorable days for both of us as couples. Especially that Jeff officiated at our wedding and you were in it as well.. That was so special and it makes for great memories. I remember the Nova he drove then and the Toyota I was driving then.We indeed have made a untold number of unforgettable memories as we have traveled this road of life. Happy Anniversary!

    • Thank you Larry. Wow, how did we all get so old? But I am happy to be here, right where we are (specifically, pushing 60, hee-hee). I told Jeff just tonight, if someone could magically offer me the ability to be 20 again, I would turn it down, no question. A lot of memories are more fun to look back on than to live through, but either way, no regrets.

  13. Happy Anniversary Jeff and Julia! 34 years ! That’s so wonderful. Love that photo of you two. Funny, J and I were at that very spot, the same year but in September. Wasn’t Rome just crazy amazing? I think I said WOW every minute we were there. Sometimes, life seems to revolve around celebrations. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas Vacations and other annual family get togethers. It’s what gets me through the mundane. I think it’s important to always have a goal and something around the corner. Keeps my spirits up. Sending hugs for your special day! xoxK

    • Thank you K! Rome was certainly amazing. Drew warned us in advance that we would never be able to see it all, so he found out what interested us most and gave us a very well-drawn map that helped us navigate through all the “must-see” places – but I kept getting distracted by pretty much everything I saw on each and every corner! No wonder we’re all tossing coins in the Trevi Fountain hoping there is truth to the ancient urban legend about a return visit! Whoever spread that rumor must be getting a cut of the proceeds! 😀 I too like to have things to look forward to, ideally big and little things so there’s a treat or two each day in between the really big events. Anticipation is at least half the fun.

  14. Congratulations Julia! Certainly worth celebrating.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your visits and good wishes.

  15. raynard

    congrats Julia, one of my young officers the other day inspired me” to plan a surprise cannonball run/ Smokey & the Bandit run to upstate NY(Way up) .”To boldly go where I never went before( thank you Star Trek.) The sense of adventure I try to encourage young people with. Now let me get out of the door and deal with” the extra bridge traffic if you didnt hear in the news about my state ” the bridge leaning over. be blessed

    • Rayard, I didn’t hear that news about the bridge. But we have learned the hard way what a disaster it can be to have a bridge closed or otherwise blocked. The morning Matt had his first pacemaker placed (in Norfolk) in 2008, it was a major surgery – due to the shunt in his heart they had to place it directly under the heart and place the leads on the heart, which meant they had to cut his chest open. Jeff spent the night with him in the hospital the night before the surgery, and I went home to walk/feed the dog that night and headed out early in the dark the next morning. While I was crossing the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (I was on the approach over the water) there was a wreck inside the tunnel and everything just stopped for hours. Unknown to me the only other alternative bridge, the Monitor-Merrimac, was also out due to an accident. I was in a panic because I was missing Matt’s surgery and did not get to kiss him goodnight before they put him under. Then two hours later when they finally got traffic started again my car was dead and was blocking one of the two lanes over the water. If not for a heroic Air Force officer who stopped to help me I don’t know what would have happened. Since Matt’s surgery ended up taking all day, I did get about halfway through and was there when he woke up. The papers said the next day that it was the worst traffic snarl in the history of Hampton Roads. I guess I”m just lucky that way. 😀 On the plus side, I did get to see the sunrise over the water and even took pictures.

  16. Wish you many more years of togetherness! Let the celebrations continue forever!

    • Thank you Bindu! I hope that they will.

  17. Congratulations! Great picture of you and Jeff!

    • Thank you Merry!

  18. Michael

    The” Italian Thing” is a Book? My dad’s relatives are from around the Torino area- so hope to visit there someday soon. I did read- Grisham’s= “Playing for Pizza” which was kind of fun. Heading to the beach today and of course now we have a little rain.
    Congratulations on your anniversary. That is pretty awesome.
    My wife and I celebrate birthdays this month. She is five days older than I say I always say,” I married an older woman.” Now I can sing a famous Beatle’s song about being loved at a certain age.

    • Yes, Patricia’s book is called The Italian Thing and I got my copy off Kindle. Reading it, I feel as if I’m on an extended visit there. Wow, relatives who live about halfway between the French Riviera and the Swiss Alps – what’s not to like about that?? I hope you get to visit there soon! We’ve had rain here too. Hey, your wife didn’t rob the cradle nearly as much as I did – I am two years older than Jeff! (to the exact day — we have the same birthday). He’s 29 and I’m 31. NOT!!!!

  19. Michael

    “Out in the garden digging the weeds- who could ask for more.”

    • Sounds good to me. I’m a bit odd that way.

  20. Congrats Julia!
    Marriage is a blessing, but it is also hard work. We are approaching our 30th, and I am so grateful we both put effort into making it healthy.

    • Congratulations to you too Denise! The effort makes it all the more rewarding. Or so I tell myself when I am playing the martyr, hee-hee. I do think it’s good to admit that “happily ever after” is not without rough spots. As my friend Ashleigh Brilliant has said, “The secret of our wonderful relationship is that much of the time it’s not really so wonderful.” 😀 Seriously, though, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us – I am always encouraged to hear from other 30+ anniversary veterans. I am hoping and praying my Mom and Dad get to celebrate their 65th together this year!!

  21. Michael

    Wow two years . So you were a senior and you dated a sophomore? I always dreamed of dating a senior. So you met Jeff on his birthday while you were waiting on him at your friends restaurant- where they were also celebrating your birthday?

    • Not exactly, although before I knew him, in fall 1977, he did show up with some other guys to a birthday party someone was giving for me in the dorm (they came just to get the cake, he said later) and I remember after everyone sang happy birthday to me, they sang it to him too. We didn’t start dating until a few months later, though. Probably I wouldn’t have ended up with him if he hadn’t been a sophomore, because I wasn’t taking him seriously until it was far too late to turn back! 😀

  22. Michael

    When people ask me- we are also past the thirty year mark- I say the first thirty are the toughest, but after that its a breeze.

    • 😀 Relatively speaking, anyway. 😀

  23. Susan

    Julia, your 2008 bridge story sounds dreadful! And yet you had the presence of mind to take photos of the sunrise. That is a real testimony to the peace that you keep with you, and a great reminder to not panic. Panicking wouldn’t have helped anyhow, but it can cloud one’s ability to see the beauty before us. What a gift! Maybe God was saying, “this sunrise is for you, Julia”

    • Yes Susan, it was a true gift that helped to calm me down. Since my car was among those that were over the water when the traffic stopped, the horizon was all around us and it was hard to ignore. Quite a few people just got out of their cars and started walking around. The scariest part was when the traffic started back up and my car wouldn’t start. I had not left it running, nor left my lights on, but the battery was still dead. I was blocking one lane with cars speeding by in the other, impatient after two hours of waiting. The wonderful man who stopped to help me had a logistical nightmare because he had to find a way to park closely enough that he could get jumper cables to my battery. In one lane over the water with cars speeding by, that was quite thrilling (I should say terrifying — we managed together to move my car as far to the edge of the bridge as possible, but the rest was pretty risky). He refused my offer of money and though I tried to contact his commanding officer to commend him for his heroic efforts for me, I could never get a response. I just hope his kindness comes back to him in some form one day.

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