Posts Tagged ‘35th wedding anniversary’


Do *not* tell me the sign is misspelled. I know. I do not care. The apostrophes are in the right places. No, I do not know what possessed me to misspell the sign. Get over it.


This. Brian (my sometime soon-to-be son-in-law) said, “It smells like a Vietnamese fish market.” He’s Vietnamese (well, he’s Canadian. That’s close, right?).


We counted at least 11 in one clump, 7 in another, and one on the far side of the yard. I’ll let the reader do the research: Voodoo lily. Dracunculus vulgaris. It’s an amazing plant in the arum family. Don and I found it in the yard of a rental we lived in, back in 1983-84. When we moved, we dug it up, filled in the hole, and transported the bulbs. The Lily loves the yard we have now – it’s been transplanted 3x and spent one year in storage when we were homeless.

It blooms on June 7, every year.


June 7, 1980. Donald & I got married. This is the first year we have hosted a “stinkin’ barbecue” to go with our anniversary, even though we have discussed doing it for years. And years.

We invited only family, so if you didn’t get an invite… Hey, we tried to keep it simple.

Chrystal & Brian came over. Then Don’s nephew, his wife, and their three daughters – all of whom we are just getting to know. I knew Don’s nephew back when he was just a little kid, but there have been long stretches of not being in contact, so this is really a sweet thing to have them come over and join us. The girls are adorable.


I turned around, and my camera had been hijacked. Chrystal wandered around taking garden photos with it.


A candid of Don (Brian’s legs in the foreground).


Oh, thanks. A candid of me. Friend Kate is in the purple next to me.


Awwww. Harvey candid.

We put the dogs in kennels because one of Don’s great nieces is terrified of dogs. Our dogs love kids, but between them, they weigh 160+ pounds. That’s a lot for a kid who is afraid of dogs.


“Who could be afraid of me…????”

Isn’t that the saddest face, ever? And, actually, Chrystal spent some time introducing the dog-shy great niece to Harvey. Maybe next time, we could ease Harvey out into the crowd. Then Murphy.


Why put our dogs into kennels when guests are at our home? Let me tell you why: it isn’t about our ego. We want our dogs to be safe and we want the child in question to have a good experience with dogs. Our dogs are spoiled. They can spend half a day in their little kennels while we party a few feet away. They have water and shade. the little ones pet them through the bars. It’s a much safer environment than having the dogs loose to beg for food, run after little girls who are running, and bark loudly (scaring kids and adults).

It’s common sense.


Chrystal handed off my camera to the oldest great niece (10). I didn’t even blink. Chrystal acted as tutor, showed her how to wear the camera around her neck, how to use the settings.

I must be getting old. this didn’t faze me. $500 camera in the hands of a 10 year old I just met.

I know. My own kids just fell over, dead. I wouldn’t let them touch my 35 mm SLR (the one *I* dropped and broke). But I just let some random 10 year old handle my DSLR.

She took the photo of the log (above), a couple selfies that I can’t post because she is not my child (but I will send them to her), some random mystery photos (not sure what she was looking at – a hummingbird??), and one of the Voodoo Lily.


That is a great shot.

Moreover, she decided she wants a camera of her own. *Score!* Child found an interest because formerly uptight adult person decided she was too old to be uptight anymore.

I am so glad I have dropped those reins. I think my grandkids taught me that: loosen up. You only have the now. Kids grow up too quickly. Cameras don’t cost as much as an ER visit. Or bail money.


Next year, we may invite more people. It won’t be a landmark anniversary year, but we are feeling confident in our ability to host a small party. Don barbecued 6# of country-style ribs, plus a few hotdogs and hamburgers to order for kids. 3 kids, 8 adults. Nearly 90 degrees (WHEW!!!) outside.

I won’t bore you with the details of the wedding 35 years ago. But… There was a cattle drive that we all got stuck in. My niece (flower girl) interrupted the wedding vows to ask her mother a question. Don’s cousin arrived late in his beat-up car with the hole in the muffler. There was a dog fight. I banned everyone from tapping the keg before the vows, so my mother-in-law tapped the hard liquor. There was a salad bowl that got run over three times. Someone named Justin filled my car with rice (we never did get the rice out of the windows, so when you rolled or unrolled them, you could hear rice rattle around inside). The State Police drove by three time because they were having a party in Union. just 5 miles away. We all drove home (drunk) the other direction (except my in-laws). My maid of honor got sick in my sister-in-law’s car (no, changed her mind when they stopped to let her puke). My mother-in-law’s future husband got pulled over for DUI AFTER he spent another hour or so at the bar in Unity with the State Police. And it did not rain on my wedding because I asked God (begged, pleaded, bribed) for a nice day on June 7. It resumed raining on June 9.

And my mother thought the wedding cake was made with buggy flour because the trees overhead dropped all kinds of critters onto the cake before we cut it. And ate it, because my mom didn’t mention the bug part to us until the next day.

And my brother’s date to the wedding was named Dorcas. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t have a brother in the 1960’s who called you, “DORKUS!” all your life.

*** I highly do NOT recommend getting behind the wheel of an automobile when intoxicated. If I were to do it again, we’d have slept in the park and driven home sober in the morning. Driving home that night was among the STUPIDEST decisions ever.  I am ashamed to admit we did that. ***


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My husband’s sister and her husband came over to visit us this past weekend. Their 35th wedding anniversary was Sunday (our 34th is coming up on Saturday). I was not there for their wedding, but they were most certainly there for our wedding: for three weeks preceding our nuptials, my future brother-in-law warned me that having an outdoor wedding in June, in Oregon, was asking for it to rain.

I assured him that God would *not* do that to me. I made no alternative plans. It rained buckets every single day from the 18th of May (when Mt. St. Helens erupted) until The Day. It even rained in the morning of The Day. Then the clouds parted, the sun came out, and I had a beautiful outdoor wedding that was only slightly interrupted by 1)an unmuffled car arriving during the service, 2) a dog fight, 3) my niece (and flower girl) announcing (loudly) during the prayer: “Mommy, why you sleeping?”

Believe me when I tell you that my brother-in-law has never forgotten that it did *not* rain on my outdoor wedding. A lot of other things happened, but it did not rain.


They arrived in time for the Stinkin’ Flower blooms. My husband promised his sister a bulb of the Dragon Lily for Christmas. She promised to return it to us C.O.D.


We wanted to take them out to our favorite place to eat: The Highland Stillhouse Pub. It sits right above Willamette Falls, has good service, and there was live music by Beltaine, one of our favorite local Celtic bands. They play a lot of sing alongs.


Yeah, sure. They’re really singing along to “Steppin’ Out, Mary.”


My husband and his older sister.


We invited some Comic Relief to join us. Brian and Chrystal delivered, as always. Brian is the straight man to Chrystal’s one liners. They’re sort of like inviting Harvey Korman and Carol Burnett to dinner. I had to cut Kilt Man out of the photo.

Kilt Man wore his tidee whitees under his kilt, but someone neglected to tell him how he should sit in a kilt. <ahem> Don’t men have to learn “sitting in a skirt 101” like women do???


The Skeptic brother-in-law is still not smiling, 34 years later. Ha! This guy is such a huge softie. I don’t know how he manages the poker face.


One of the benefits of sitting in a pub right above Willamette Falls in the summertime is the turkey vultures. They are just catching the thermals and trying to rise to the height of the bluffs on either side of the river. Kind of ominous, if you’re eating dinner.

After dinner, we crossed Hwy 99E to the Falls overlook. My husband (the able-bodied hiker) decided we should walk down to the cat walk and cross the highway to the promenade, and then back to the car. I’m not sure he was thinking about his sister’s disability, but she powered on and humored him.


I have never walked this far from the main overlook & did not know that Hwy 99E had a name.


The old Blue Heron Paper Mill sits on the site right now. The City of Oregon City is debating what to do with the site. I’d love to go down there and take photographs before they start dismantling things.




Everyone was well ahead of me when I started up the stairs to the catwalk. This beauty was taped to one of the risers.


The catwalk and the narrow passage of highway traffic.


View of the falls from the catwalk.


The Oregon City tunnel. It is right on a corner, so if you are side-by-side with a Semi, you need to back off and allow the semi to take both lanes through the tunnel. This is part of my daily commute.

Later, we all posed for a big family photo (I did not post it here as my sister-in-law didn’t like the photo. If she decides she’d like it posted for the world, I’ll edit this and post it. But out of respect – no family photo)


This was Take Two. Everyone stood around Murphy and I set the timer. I hurried over to my place, kneeled, and Murphy (who was just too excited to be included), turned and gave me a huge, sloppy, doggy kiss. And then the camera flashed.

Sunday, we drove down to the Aurora Colony and traipsed through a few expensive antique shops. I do not usually go antique shopping there because the prices are so… <ahem> over-priced. They are probably reasonable, but I am a cheapskate. It was nice to find that we own a fortune in antique marbles – if you could actually sell them for the prices given!

We stopped at the Canby wine-and-art festival on our way back north. It was so-so this year, but there was a winery from Eugene outside that was selling a nice syrah-grenache-cabernet blend (I wasn’t buying wine, but I tasted it). I mentioned Faerieworlds to him and he said they had a booth there last year. He also said he’d had another person come through this weekend who also mentioned the faire and who offered to make him a costume for it. Gee, I wonder if that was my good friend, Queen Mary?

We drove back to Oregon City and I said: “One more stop.” Don (my brother-in-law) did not know we have a working elevator named Elevator Street.


I took them all to Elevator Street and insisted they ride up to the top of the bluff. The elevator operator was great, and repeated everything I’d just told my in-laws about our wonderful vertical street. I want his job.


While we were at the top of the elevator, this train passed by. It was a long train, and every car had military vehicles on it: Hummers, 6-paks, mortars, tanks. Hmmm…


I lied. I admitted. There was one more stop: the overlook. Please click on the photo. It was smoggy, so you couldn’t see further than downtown Portland: on a clear day, you can see Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.

We had a great time.


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