When I look at this photograph, the memory of this Christmas eve is as clear as day. His brother had a dog named Barney, whose slobbery ball is cropped just out of the picture's foreground. We drove up after I got off work, drinking beer and listening to Bruce Hornsby & the Range and Joe Vitale. It snowed that night. Wee hours of Christmas morning were spent lounging in the hot tub, drinking wine & watching the snow fall, multi-colored fairy lights twinkling above us. Good cheer does not even begin to describe it. Finally, we slept the sleep of drunkenness, crashed on pushed together, overstuffed basement couches. The next day began with amaretto laced coffee and snowballs on the deck. Christmas could not have been better.
A lot has changed. That deck is now a screened in Florida pool, the hot tub has long since been disassembled, pets, jobs, music and wines have come and gone. Love, however, love remains. Twenty-three years is a long time to be married these days. Twenty-three years is a long time to love someone. But it can happen. Just like that.