Thirteen Years

Wedding Day
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Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the lovely day in October of 1996 when Ms. Laura Sperry became Mrs. Laura Johnson. Some of you were there and may remember the very day, perhaps even better than I do. To me, the day was a whirlwind of activity and I remember only bits and pieces; all of them good.

So how have the last thirteen years treated us? Well, we’ve had our ups and downs, but I think Laura would agree when I say there have definitely been more of the former than the latter.

In 1996, Laura was driving a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird. The little blue car left our driveway for the last time just this spring. Laura now drives a 2000 Pontiac Montana and I drive the MiniVan…of DOOM! (A 2002 Pontiac Montana, as it happens.) We also had an Oldsmobile Alero for three years, a car I believe Laura misses to this day.

In 1996, we lived in Fairport Harbor, Ohio (my second apartment in that little town). Shortly after we got married, we moved to Mayfield Heights, Ohio, where we lived until 2001; then we established the International House of Johnson in Willoughby (yes, Ohio).

In 1996, Laura was an assistant managing editor and I a computer sales associate. Our roles have changed to stay-at-home mom and systems engineer, respectively.

In 1996, it was just the two of us in what amounted to a studio apartment. The first addition to our family was Sushi, an angry betta, shortly followed by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two cats whose IQs have been steadily declining since 2003. Sushi lasted about two years before a combination of impotent rage and oppressive ennui caused his little piscean heart to burst.

In 2006, we were joined by Kyle, who I often refer to as “my young apprentice”. We weren’t exactly expecting Kyle; in fact, we didn’t find out he was on the way until he had been simmering for about four and a half months. He arrived on Friday, January 13th and I daresay nothing has been the same since.

Since 1996, Laura and I have attended a couple of high school reunions, umpteen weddings, and an unfortunate number of funerals. We’ve celebrated births, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. We’ve taken two Caribbean cruises. We’ve traveled to Texas, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois together. We’ve driven (or flown) back and forth to Upper Michigan at least once and sometimes two or three times a year.

The police have been dispatched to our house three times; the fire department once. The only casualty related to any of those visits was our mailbox.

There are certainly things I would change about the last thirteen years—times when the phrase “wedded bliss” didn’t always apply—but I wouldn’t change the October day that started it all, when we had no idea what the future would hold and knew only that we wanted to spend it together. I’ve seen part of that future; I’m looking forward to the rest.