Thirty-five years and feel like we’re just getting started…. The best is yet to come!!!!

This has probably been our most celebrated anniversary to date!

It al began September 2 with a backyard gathering with all nine of our children, some of their spouses/partners, and my mom…..and a special family friend that dropped by for a few minutes.

The kids did the whole thing! They all helped clean up the property from the abundance of construction debris, worked hard on decorations, had special music playlists at the ready, and organized the whole “ceremony”. It was absolutely everything that I could have wished for….. It’s not often we manage to get everyone home at the same time, and there isn’t anything that makes as happy as having us all together.

Now we are off on our own trip for four days at Couple’s Resort, just outside of Algonquin Park in Whitney Ontario. We definitely splurged, but 35 years, through all the ups and downs, highs and lows, happiness and heartache…..well, we decided it was worth it.

Five course dinner each night and breakfast every morning are included. I’m going to have to stop eating for a week when I get home to undo all the “damage”!!! The food has been so good!!! The staff have been amazing, and there are real, wood-burning fireplaces in every room.

Glenn’s favourite breakfast…….cheesecake!!! We were too full to eat it at supper. White chocolate blueberry…..

Day 1 – we went for a paddle. MY first time in a ‘real’ kayak. It was more tippy than I am used to, and the entrance and exit were not pretty….and that is not an exaggeration in the least!!!! Like I said in a Facebook post, I know no-one here and never have to see them again…..so, whatever!!!!! It was one thing checked off my bucket list…and I really don’t care what anyone thought. They don’t know that 65lb were lost so that I would at least be willing to attempt this, or that I fight vertigo almost every day to one degree or another, so for me, this was a BIG deal!!! And I don’t ever have to do it again…. LOL.

The second morning, I went out early on my own. The fog was thick and it was a balmy 6 degrees.. Brrrrr…. I took the kayak that I felt most comfortable and secure in, and truly enjoyed the quiet, the scenery, and even the fog.

This was the extent of the wildlife I saw…..

A cormorant….
Geese coming in for a landing…….

Then we had breakfast, showered and changed and hopped in the car. We spent the day with some of our kids (even the furry ones 🙂 )in Huntsville….then they came back to our room to hang out in the hot tub.

Today it rained all morning, but the sun is now coming out. I think we’ll hit the hot tub. :). I have all the best intentions, but five minutes…..ten if we’re lucky, and I have had enough. We’ll go back in tonight when it is nice and chilly outside.

I can’t overstate how nice it has been to get away and just be alone, hidden from the outside world. But, as wonderful as it has been, it doesn’t compare with our special day spent with our children and their companions, and my mom.

Again, as wonderful as it has been….and it really has been wonderful, I really missed cooking for us. Cooking is my passion and my love language!! LOL. My favourite thing when we go away is to find a place to stay that has a really nice kitchen, and cook things we wouldn’t necessarily make at home. But I am going to focus on the rest of our time together here and appreciate all that these moments have to offer.

We feel a real shift coming in our roles. We rarely, if ever, parent our kids anymore…..which is harder to let go of than you may imagine. Instead, we are their biggest fans, their most loyal allies, and we have seen them embrace the values and vision that we have carried for many years. Ironically, they weren’t things we taught systematically, or even intentionally…..they just were the ‘why’ that kept us moving forward when it would have been easier to quit. Apparently, it didn’t go unnoticed.

Going forward, I feel that our roles are more behind-the-scenes. I am looking forward to sitting back and watching each member of our family take their unique role, bring their thoughts and feelings, strengths and weaknesses, passions and skills, to the family table and work together as a multi-faceted organism to set up a generational legacy that won’t just be for us, or for the future generations in our family, but a catalyst for many……the weary, the broken, the abused, and the lonely….for there is no shortage of any of these things. And to whom much has been given, there is a responsibility to pay it forward.

We have talked a lot about the last 35 years… What would we change? What would we have done differently. While there are few major decisions and life changes that we would do differently, I would have lightened up a lot and enjoyed the kids more. I am always keenly aware of my parenting short-comings, and wish I was more warm and fuzzy as a wife. But some of those same qualities and attributes that I often lament and despise, were also the same ones that made me get out of bed and face the day on those mornings that I woke up feeling totally overwhelmed by life circumstances and the uncertainty of the future.

So….for better or worse, for richer for poorer…..til death do us part. I used to always tease Glenn that he would never leave me because he couldn’t afford the child support. Now I play this song for him……. “Whose gonna love you if I don’t…” LOL

Thirty-five years, and it’s come to this…… 🙂

Happy anniversary, Babe….. <3