We all have ’em, and they mean different things to all of us. Some we might prefer to forget. Others are precious. We guys do NOT want to forget several… wedding anniversaries and birthdays. Dangerous territory. Yet life creeps up on us at times and occasionally we do forget. Sticky notes on our desks, sticky notes on our computers, sticky notes to ourselves inside our wallet, on our bathroom mirrors… one can’t be too careful, you know.
We here at the Sagebrush Chronicles just celebrated an anniversary. Betty Ann Johnson and I met in the Bozeman, MT airport one year ago on July 28th. It was memorable, it was magical, it was life-changing. Now there’s one to celebrate, right? And we did… quietly and peacefully. We exchanged cards and modest gifts and grinned like idiots all day. You see, it’s a touch strange to be celebrating a one-year anniversary when you’re pushing 70. Strange, yet still wonderful.
But wait… life-changing?? Oh, you betcha. Let me share a few of the things B and I have done since we met last July… things I would never have dreamed of. See, I haven’t had a bucket list until recently; thought my bucket list was fulfilled with moving home to Montana to fish and snowmobile the rest of my life away. but oh no, bucko. That was not to be. I met my B, and everything has changed.
First, we went camping together. She’s a great camper… fixed us fettucini Alfredo over the fire the first night. Think I might have had a hint right there that I was in for something.
So I took her kayaking up in the Branham Lakes, deep into the Tobacco Root Mountains. She took to it like a duck to water, disappearing down the lake for about a half hour, and returning with a huge smile on her face. Yep, I was surely in for something.
We spent Christmas together in Seattle, where I met her family and closest friends. It was and continues to be my new extended family, a group of crazy characters who know how to live and love…
B came over to Montana in late January of this year and visited for several weeks. She met my son, Dillon, and they seemed to get on just fine. We went snowmobiling together and had a great time. Dil put my new sled (and himself) way up into the air and into a snowbank, upside down. But that’s another story… ;^)
After a very long and lonely two-month period I visited B in Seattle again. And after working on her house for several weeks to get ready for sale, we took a week’s trip to Maui to celebrate a friend’s wedding. While there B gave me one of my most memorable birthdays ever… and believe me, I’ve had a few. She gave me a “booze cruise” around the SW tip of Maui, with great food (shrimp!!) and plenty of free drinks. We had a fantastic time and I didn’t even get sloppy or sentimental. much……
Back in Seattle, we went up to the San Juan Islands for a 3-day stay with Brent & Jill Huntington. Yet another fantastic time, which I’ve documented here on the blog. During April and much of May, i took a breather from posting here and simply lived my new life with B… enjoying and learning.
We came back to Montana around May 23rd as I played the Madison River Foundation’s annual fundraiser for the second year. B came with me and we got a small tour of the fabulous Sun Ranch, in SW Montana. Since then we have camped, kayaked, played jazz in Helena, 4-wheeled. fished and done a day trip through Yellowstone Park, while hosting two separate groups of guests along the way.
Are our lives different from a year ago? Vastly. Better? Amazingly. Do we have plans for the future? Oh yes. Not sure one could call it a bucket list, but we have things we want to do together, places we want to share together. And we want to share more anniversaries together…. lots of ’em. Because love is where you find it, and we’ve been lucky enough to find it, recognize it, and cherish it. We will not take each other for granted. For my part, I couldn’t if I wanted to… the girl is something else.