Eight years ago on this very day, Joey and I got dressed to the nines, and we had a little party.  There was lasagna and crusty bread, and somehow people we love made it across the snowy country to join in the fun.  That year there was snow, so much snow that most of the United States called it a day and went to bed.   Joey’s dad was turned away at the airport, so he rented a car and drove from Denver to Salt Lake City in the blizzarding white.  He made it just in time.
        We were there in my grandfather’s house, when my grandfather was still alive, and he was so happy–usually he would be so worried about his floors and his couches and his everything, but he sat back with a glass of hot cider, repeating every few minutes, “your friends!”   Our friends went into the woods and shook snow off of pine branches so they could decorate the house.  We didn’t have flowers, but they filled the house with green needl-y wonderful smelling branches.  And there weren’t tables, but there were candles, and everyone else was dressed to the nines, too.  It was a good looking bunch.
         As for me, I was a bit like a snowball, all dressed in low-cut white with my belly expanding before me.   Sadie was there too, nestled in my belly under the silk dress.

 I’m pleased to discover that I like getting older.  I like time passing.  I like surprises.

 I made a special dinner tonight while the girls put their underwear on their heads and danced in the kitchen.  Braised leg of lamb, flageolets, buttered cabbage.  Creamy and custardy dessert.  It had been a rough day with them–pent up inside, they’ve gotten to that point in the vacation when everything is boring and Sadie wishes she were an only child.  Joey let them go on PBS kids in the other room, and we set the table together.  We were having friends over to help us eat all that lamb, and we lit candles and folded napkins.  We were alone in the kitchen, and so we sat down and had a drink together.  It was as close to a date as we were going to get, and we take them where we can get them.
It was a fantastic date.
I wait for this all to get old and practiced, to feel like routine.  But I still look at Joey, and I think, “Really?  I get to do this?  With him?”  It’s new still.  But we’re slowly getting better at it, and while that night 8 years ago it all seemed like a good idea, I’m not sure that I believed marriage could work–for anyone, really. There just were very few examples that I could see.  And still, I know it’s hard.  And it’s work.  But we’re learning how.  And still, I get to do this?  With him?
One year at a time.  Here’s to another one, with more everything.


  1. sarahannelibrary says

    Congratulations and cheers, to another couple making it work day by day. We are the lucky ones, I feel the same about my husband, so glad we are moving through the world together.

  2. Gretchen says

    I have two sons (ages 4 and 2), and my husband and I have the same "date nights" as you mentioned in your post. It feels so nice to sit down at a table together and talk, hopefully without too much interruption (thank goodness for PBS kids). BTW, your dinner sounds fabulous–are you planning on posting a recipe for it?

  3. Marc says

    So nice, Alana! Congrats on 8 years. Had a great time stealing Joey away for some guy time last night too. Even if I did wake up hurtin' a little … happy new year to all of you, and love to the family–

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