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Silver – A Reflection of 25 Years

Mushy Post! You have been warned…

I surprise people when they find out how old I am, a blessing of the ageless Johnson genes passed on from my grandmother. My husband Kevin has not been as lucky, graying early in his 20s. I may be able to fool others with my age, but I can’t hide behind the numbers. Today is my SILVER anniversary, being we have been married 25 years! What?! How did this happen?

So today I’m going to share with you all something special. I do not bring in my personal life much here on a public blog, I’d like to share 25 things that have made my 25 years so special.

  1. Winning the Lottery: Kevin often tells people this when he talks about me. It’s the sweetest thing. I don’t think either one of us knew what we were doing when we said “Yes” but every year brings out more of how lucky we are to have been so naïve.
  2. One Big Sleepover: I remember right after we got married and we went up to our new apartment (an ugly place with lime green carpet and frosted mirrors) located in Logan, Utah where Kevin was finishing school. I kept thinking, why isn’t he going home? And then I would remember, oh right, he doesn’t go home. We get to hang out together all night. And we often do, just goof off and watch TV until late. It’s fun hanging out with your best friend all the time.
  3. Brown Eyes: I never knew I loved brown eyes so much, but wow, yeah, brown eyes are gorgeous.
  4. The Love Couch: We were very poor students. When we moved from the ugly green apartment, he went to the Triplex owned by Kevin’s dad and brother. With this, Kevin’s dad found us a couch. The “Love Couch” as we called it, added to our character as a couple. It was a tan, white, and brown zigzag hide-a-bed, including a full 8-track stereo and speakers with adjustable silver orb lights. Kevin hooked the TV to the speakers and we have surround sound. It was so heavy and bulky, but so comfortable. Only us could love a couch like this.
  5. Brainy: I’m still awestruck sometimes when I think about how smart my husband is and how he still chose me, a very mediocre student of life with a lively imagination. He still calls it the smartest thing he has ever done.
  6. Homemade Valentines: I let Kevin off easy our first year together, since I have always hated Valentine’s Day. I told him all I wanted was a homemade card. And boy did he deliver. This tradition has continued with silly homemade cards. My favorites – the doomsday squad raining hellfire on the surface while we are safe in our submarine; the pie-anna explosion like Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam; and the Big McLarge Huge MST3K candy valentines. Every year it’s an effort to be funny and creative. I love this tradition.
  7. How He Mixes His Cereal: I find it charming that he likes to eat Cocoa Puffs with his Strawberry Mini Spooners. Or that we will dump the rest of one cereal into another. Or that he sometimes has cookies with his cereal. Geez, it’s all charming.
  8. The Jolly Roger: At a work-paid outing to our local amusement park “Lagoon,” I commented about how stupid is was when boyfriends won giant stuffed animals for their girlfriends, seeing one couple dispalaying this before us. Kevin asked what would I like instead of a giant stuffed animal. I pointed to the Jolly Roger flag that cost a ghastly amount of tickets. Kevin then went to play Skeeball, running some machines out of tickets, until we had enough to buy that Jolley Roger. We proudly display that flag in our home.
  9. A Masters in Geology: I remember when Kev graduated college and told me he wanted to go on to Grad school. I was anxious for him to get a job and for us to move out of poor college life, but he found a field that he loved and he told me, “I can go get a job and work a day to day job and be okay with it or I could get a job doing what I love in a field I love,” which meant grad school. Toward the end, it was a struggle, since he lost his thesis in a dead computer and had to rewrite a lot of it, but I’m so glad he told me that. I couldn’t see him in a button-up job anyway.
  10. Married To a Geologist: Speaking of that, being married to one is funny. I drive a lot because he gets distracted by mountains and explaining formations to the kids. We have rocks and minerals in our house, not the polished stuff, but the raw forms, since he doesn’t like it when the real beauty gets destroyed. I will also often find rocks in his pockets, or hydrochloric acid.
  11. Strong Calf Muscles: He’s 6′ 2″ – very handy when you are 5′ 4″ and can’t reach things. He sometimes feels like a giant when I hug him. We discovered if I stand on a stair, it’s perfect. I also have amazing calf muscles — a side effect from reaching up to kiss him. He likes my size too, he calls it “candy size.”
  12. Favorite: I don’t like pet names. I was clear about that when we started dating. So, we both landed on “Favorite.” So he’s my favorite.
  13. Blushing: He loves to make me blush, and will often do whatever he can to do it. Enough said.
  14. Our Kids Are Their Own Cousins: My sister was dating Kev’s younger brother and they set us up. After we married, they got married a year later, making our kids their own cousins. It’s nice having my sister as my sister-in-law too.
  15. Not A Fantasy Lover: Kevin is not a fiction book lover, but he has always loved that I’m creative. I didn’t know when I married him that I would become a fantasy writer, but he always encouraged my writing, because he saw that it made me happy – in the same way that I’m not a sports person, but I encouraged him to play volleyball and basketball, because it made him happy. Kevin is not my audience, and he was not read any of my books. This was hard at first, but his reasoning is a tender one. He never wants to hurt my feelings. And how his brain works, mixed with a cocktail of Asperger’s and perfectionism, he is afraid of offending me. He loves me more than my writing, and I can accept that.
  16. The Tanned Skin of a Mediterranean God: I am pale, sometimes transparent. I burn so easily. Kevin has never had a sunburn. He just browns. When my youngest drew pictures of our family when she was little, she always used a brown crayon for her daddy. She thought he was Polynesian. When on vacation in Portugal, I received a sunburn so devastating that I got sun poisoning, ending in water blisters all over my legs and my skin eventually began sluffing off, not just peeling. This was rather traumatizing for him, so now he is over-protective when I’m in the sun.
  17. A Musical Team: Kev plays the guitar, which is swoon-worthy. Early in our marriage, he learned songs I could sing, like Indigo Girls or the Cranberries. Some of my favorite nights were staying up singing to his playing. I love also sharing the same musical taste. We can talk about melody and construction and find bands that illustrate this for us. I love sharing music.
  18. Insomniac Theater Bingo: Early in our marriage we had cable, something you had to have in a small, cold college town if you wanted to watch TV. This was before streaming or satellite or even personal phones. I had never had cable, so this explosion of all the channels I had never watched or known about was brain-slug inducing. Late nights on VH1, they had Insomniac Theater – the late video show for night owls. This show stared to be predictable, so we would call “I get Puff Daddy!” or “I get Jewell!” “Well, I get Paula Cole” and I would say “oooohhh, well, I get Spice Girls – the I’m Giving You Everything one filmed in on the Salt Flats,” just to see who would win. We started making bingo cards and crossing off spaces. I rarely won. Kevin always won. We still do this to some degree, when we see some old music video show of the 80s or 90s.
  19. Fixing My Alternator: I fell for Kevin when my alternator broke on a visit to see him in Logan. He and his cousin fixed it right there in the Autozone parking lot. My little Hyundai Excel had a terrible oil leak, so to see these guys so dedicated to getting super grimy was a lot of fun, and so endearing. .
  20. A Slow Sell: Not that I’m a huge spender, but Kev is careful with money. It takes him years to warm up to ideas – like Disneyland. I had to ask him years in advance to plan that trip. As long as I work within his methodical slowness, I can eventually get what I want.
  21. Another Life In Portugal: My husband spent two years living in this beautiful country. He had always wanted to return with me, and in 2018, we did. What I saw here was the piece of Kevin that I was always missing. Sometimes he would get sad for no reason other than he was homesick for Portugal. I understand why now. It is an incredible place, with such rich history. While we were there, he turned into a young, spry 20 year old, someone I never knew. It was beautiful to see and connect to his other life.
  22. Fandom: I like that we share fandoms. I like that he will watch Jeopardy with me and I like to watch Futurama with him. We have geeked out together in various ways. Though he will never like Harry Potter and I will never get into Joy Division. And that’s okay.
  23. Moving Through Miracles: I can’t list all of the miracles, some being too private, but moving through miracles together has made us a stronger couple. Both our children are miracles and took years of emotional hardship. This strengthened us more than any other trial, because I thought I knew love, but I didn’t until I had children.
  24. A Close Call: I nearly missed my chance with this guy. I can see now how one conversation could have changed everything. I would have completely blown it. There were specific people and relationships in my young life that clouded a lot of my logical decisions. I needed Fate’s help. Fate knew Kevin was perfect for me and would change me and make me a better person. I don’t know how to thank Fate for sticking its foot in the door and introducing me to this great guy.
  25. The Rock of Gibraltar: While on our trip to Portugal, we went to Spain and made it to Gibraltar. I could see it across the bay from our hotel. It has a massive, solid presence there in the strait. Seeing it in person gave me an appreciation I wouldn’t have ever known without being there (including the pickpocketing monkeys). I say this because this year has tried to sabotage everything that has made us great. And I keep getting hit with wave after wave of problems and situations I have never dealt with before nor thought I would ever encounter. And yet, Kevin is my Gibraltar, the solid foundation that I can always see, can always lean on if I need it. He is a fortress, a protector. He is solid ground I can always feel.

I’m being so gross right now, I know, 25 is a big number. And I really don’t have the words to say all the things that I love about this guy and him choosing me. I will say this.

I wrote a poem years ago that I think sums it up well. I call it December 4th.

December 4th

Do you have a parachute?
Yeah, I think so. 
Do you know how it works?
No. But we have a few minutes before we hit the ground. We’ll figure it out. Do you trust me?
Okay. Grab my hand and keep your eyes open.
Kay. <deep breath> Ready.

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