Nine years out of a 31 year lifespan is 29 percent and some change. I’ve spent almost one-third of my life with my husband. More than that if you count the two years of dating first. Which would make it more like 35%. But I’m counting it from the day we got married, so 29%.
Some quick Googling revealed that the “traditional” ninth anniversary gift is pottery. And strangely enough, we did gift each other something that was sorta like pottery. I bought my husband a cute coffee mug (pottery!) and a coffee grinder along with a more expensive bag of coffee beans. He’s really into coffee these days. And he’s been building an in-ground fire pit for the last few weeks, all by himself. The bricks that surround the pit were once made of clay, so you know- pottery.
But our real gift to ourselves was a charter fishing trip on the Miss Chesapeake Beach. It was about an hour and a half drive down at a bleary 5:30 AM, but I’m glad we arrived early. Only the first 49 people who show up get to climb aboard. And it was a pretty full trip. At about 8 AM we set off into the Chesapeake Bay for a full 7 hours of fishing.
The sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the day which helped us avoid sunburns. We both roast like chickens in the sun. No, we don’t burn and then tan- we just burn and then peel and then become lily white again. I have experimented with the ‘base tan’ back in my teenage years. For me there is no such thing. I just burn and so does Willie. So we’re big fans of sunscreen and floppy hats. I mean we’re not kids anymore. We just don’t bounce back from burns like we used to. But I digress.
The wind was cooling, and the sea was refreshing. Salt water just does something that fresh water can’t. It’s sorta like how a cream cheese is delicious and creamy and everything you could ever want from a cheese. Until you have a sharp cheddar or better yet a tangy, herb covered chèvre washed down with the perfect complimentary wine. Cream cheese is your work horse, but you’ll always crave the more mouth-watering goat cheese. I got to indulge in a whole day of salty sea air, and no amount of paddling on the Liberty Reservoir would be equal.
For a short while my husband and I had a battle going of who could catch the most fish. He got an early lead and stayed there. But we caught so many fish that we stopped counting for points when he was in the low 20s, and I was in the mid-teens. Throughout the whole day, we must have caught 50 or 60 fish between the two of us. We kept about 10 of them as we had to throw back the many, many, many smaller fish we caught.
I should have familiarized myself a bit more with the types of fish in the Chesapeake Bay. I had to keep asking our neighbors what the hell we’d just pulled out of the water and whether it was a fish you could eat. But the more we caught, the more we learned. We brought in a lot of Spot, Perch, and Croaker.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t one damn shark in the bunch. I’m not going to lie. It’s kinda of a life goal for me to catch a shark. I know many are endangered. But I’m not looking to land a great white. I just wanted something in a charter boat size that is genetically defined as a shark. In my mind, there is nothing cooler than bringing up at a cocktail party that time you landed a shark. I even had plans for the shark’s teeth. Maybe the coolest bellydance jewelry ever.
But there was no shark for me yesterday. And maybe that’s for the best because when I went to bed last night, I ached all over. The ocean is a lot harder on the body than a lake. I guess it’s just all of the balancing that you do while standing at the rail with your pole. My hips feel it the most. Maybe that’s where I was adjusting my balance all day. Oh the ache! I’m such a weenie. LOL.
I suppose the highlight of my day was when I caught two fish at once on my line. It was the only time I managed it. A lot of other folks would reel in two at a time often. Just once for yours truly. Even my husband managed it at least twice. And I finally got my two’fer (as my parents would call it- meaning two for the price of one) I forced Willie to take a picture for posterity. It was almost the end of the fishing day after all.
So you might imagine that when we came home with our catch that we filleted them and had a huge fresh fish meal for dinner. And you’d be so wrong. We were so utterly exhausted that we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home and promptly fell asleep. Personally, I don’t think I would have had it any other way. So long as I fall asleep with the man I love after a meal of chicken nuggets and double cheeseburgers. If I were to change anything about yesterday, it would have been to order that milkshake at MickeyDs instead of the soda. Otherwise, it was perfect. Just perfect.
How have I spent 29% of my life? I think the way most folks have. Struggling sometimes, happy as much as possible and just trying to succeed. But not everyone has had the opportunity of doing so with the right partner. I’m very lucky. Happy Anniversary, honey. And here’s to, at the very least, a few more decades together.