Category Archives: Musings of the Zen Master

The First Wedding Anniversary


Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary and we celebrated via text because Luisa is currently in South Africa and I am here at home:

Vikki: Happy wedding anniversary!

Luisa: Isn’t it tomorrow, the 27th?

Vikki: No. Today.

Luisa: Or was it the 26th?

Vikki: Today, the 26th.

Luisa: Well, happy anniversary to you too.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned our upcoming anniversary and she said, “We’re not going to celebrate that one though.” It was a statement not a question and I agreed that a celebration wasn’t necessary but that the anniversary was noteworthy. We then engaged in a little game of Rank the Anniversary by Importance though our lists differ. We agree on the number one spot because we both want credit for all our years together (21 years on April 17, 2015) but we are split on the second spot. For me, the legal wedding takes that spot but for her, our commitment ceremony that took place in 2000 gets it. There is, of course, no right or wrong answer but I was surprised that the legal recognition of our relationship was at the bottom of her list.

In a way, it’s fitting that we have different views on this because I concluded last year that the wedding meant everything and nothing at all.

Regardless, I look back at our wedding–a word that I am only becoming comfortable using as time passes–as a great time. I still can’t completely articulate what it meant to me so it shouldn’t surprise me that Luisa’s feelings about it are equally complex. Our kids’ view of that day is clear–their parents got married. For them, it remains an iconic moment in our lives and one that should be celebrated. Or they simply want cake. As they listened to us rank our anniversaries, we had to explain that the wedding was important but it was only one of all the moments that have made our lives together what they are.

We can mark our family life by the big ones…

April 17, 1993 (the date our relationship began)

October 7, 2000 (the date of our commitment ceremony)

July 4, 2001 (the birth of our first child)

March 4, 2005 (the birth of our second child)

October 26, 2013 (the date of our legally recognized marriage)

Each date is like a foothold in the climb. The next milestone will be our 25th anniversary and maybe after that it will be Vikki’s First Hip Replacement. I don’t know what lies ahead but I plan to keep on taking note and celebrating the passage of time, even if it’s simply texts with emoticons: a heart (mine) and two beer mugs clinking (hers).

Happy belated third ranked anniversary Luisa! I’d do it all over again if I could. Actually, can we? I do so love a good party.



Keep Walking


We got Chinese takeout last week. We rarely eat the fortune cookies so they lay about until I finally remember that the world will not end if I throw away an unopened fortune cookie, that there is no Good Will drop off site for uneaten fortune cookies. A couple of days after takeout night, I was standing in the kitchen, leaning against the wall sipping a cup of coffee and I noticed the three fortune cookies and I looked at them, concentrating to see which one called out to me. One finally did and I opened it up, cast the cookie aside and read the fortune.

For the Love of Fall


Each Fall, when my kids and my friends’ kids were young, we we picked apples and went to the pumpkin patch and threw elaborate Halloween parties. I loved marking the season in these concrete ways, watching small hands plucking fresh apples from trees, laughing as they struggled to carry pumpkins too big for them, dressing up and turning our house into a haunted house just for them.

But the kids got older and seemed less interested and harder to impress so we stopped. At first, I was relieved because memory-making can be exhausting. But lately, I’ve missed it. Maybe it’s precisely because they kids are getting older than I want to hold on to some of these things. I am not quite ready for all of this to be part of the past.



After dropping the kids at school this morning, I had to drive downtown to go to a dental appointment so I turned on some music and lost myself in my thoughts as I drove.

Last weekend, I went to Chicago with Deborah to do strategic planning for VillageQ but we also took some time to drink bourbon and discuss my book. She had read it, had detailed notes on the manuscript and wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk about it and didn’t want to talk about it because writing a memoir feels indulgent at times so talking about that memoir feels even more so. But Deborah is persistent. Notice I didn’t say patient because her response to my deflections was consistently, “Shut up and listen to me.” And I did –  I listened.

When it comes to writing, I understand the minutiae. I am the kind of person who will stand in a forest and describe the dappled light on the bark of a walnut tree rather than tell you there is a bulldozer 100 feet ahead in shadows ready to raze the forest. There is work to be done with my manuscript that will require me to step away from the beauty of the light and peek into the shadows.