In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

You've Been Married How Many Times?!?

Next year ROM and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Not nearly as impressive as the big one- 50th, but for us it's one hell of an achievement! I don't think anyone who knew us dreamed we'd last this long. I'll never forget when we went to get our marriage license at the county clerk's office in a small rural Midwest county. The clerk was a very sweet looking older woman- kind of like Aunt Bea from Mayberry. She started taking our information such as name, age, address, etc. Then she asked me if this was my first marriage, and I replied no. She asked "Second marriage?" I said "No". She looked up at me over her reading glasses with an eyebrow cocked and asked "Third?" I sheepishly answered "No".  With her eyes so wide I thought they would pop out of her head she peered up at me over her glasses and in a shocked voice said "How many times have you been married?" When I answered five times, there was dead silence. I immediately felt the need to explain myself so I started babbling that it wasn't as bad as it sounded- my mom married me off when I was a Jr. in high school and I wasn't even pregnant, so of course that one didn't work out, my second husband was horribly abusive, the third one I had no explanation for other than he bored me to death and the fourth one died. She just nodded her head as I rambled on and said  "Oh!"- several times. When it was time for her to take ROM's information she didn't beat around the bush and didn't even bother asking if this was his first marriage. She got right to the point- "And how many times have you been married?" When he replied three times she never batted an eye, just kept writing. I'm sure she's now been dead for many years but I would love to be able to tell her this one worked.  In fact I love him more now than the day we got married, absolutely adore this amazing man of mine. He truly is my everything- even though he once shot me... but that's another story for another time.

Back to our upcoming 30th anniversary... We've never been good about buying each other gifts for special occasions and holidays. Instead we usually buy each other things when we just happen to see something we think the other would like. As we approached our 20th anniversary someone asked me what ROM was going to get me and I laughingly replied that he owed me 20 years of anniversary gifts. And that got me to thinking. I suggested to ROM that we buy each other gifts for all the years we didn't for our 20th celebration.  I looked up a list of traditional anniversary gifts for each year and printed out the list for each of us. I can't tell you how much fun we had searching for gifts for each year. It was like a scavenger hunt and we only had a few months to do it. Some things we found locally and others we found on eBay and online shops. When the day of our 20th anniversary rolled around we were both like little kids on Christmas morning dying to see what was in all our gift wrapped boxes. We both came up with some amazing gifts to fit the theme of each anniversary. And we haven't bought each other anniversary gifts since then. So we've decided to do the same thing we did for our 20th. After the 20th, traditional anniversary lists only have themes for every five years, but I did find a modern list:
21st- Brass, Nickel
22nd- Copper
23rd- Silver plate
24th- Musical instruments
25th- Sterling silver
26th- Original pictures
27th- Sculpture
28th- Orchids
29th- New furniture
30th- Pearl or Diamond
And the search begins!

Speaking of anniversaries- I have to do something with this monstrosity of a plant (Philodendron "Red Emerald"). I bought this plant almost 12 years ago as a little bitty house plant that sat on my desk just before we sold our house in IL. She probably wasn't 6 inches tall- pot and all. She made the move to Florida with us and has thrived on the lanai. The latest support stake has broken down with her weight. I decided this behemoth of a plant needs a stronger and more permanent support. The image on the left is how she looks now and the photo on the right will be her new home. She'll have a metal trellis on two sides of her new table. I will gently and very carefully try to untangle her, repot her and tie her to the trellis, hopefully without breaking off any of her arms. 

Of course Isabella will oversee to make sure I do it right...


  1. You and ROM are simply made for each other. What amazes me is that you both weren't so turned off to the idea of marriage and gave each other the chance to try. I am deeply happy for you!

    I also absolutely LOVE your anniversary idea. We've never done much of anything gift-wise on anniversaries either, so I may just swipe it. We'll have to start earlier than 20 though....we got married much later!

    Good luck to Emerald and her transplant. I'm sure Bella will help any way she can.

    1. I'd swore off even dating when I met ROM but he swept me off my feet. You should do the anniversary thing- it's so much fun trying to find something for each year theme. We have 7 mos. to find 21 thru 30 before our anniversary- the hunt has started!

  2. Bella will be a huge help!! We know how sassy she is .... esp when she's on her drugs :-)

    Only you ROH would make us lol with your hilarious stories! xoxoxo

    1. Bea, nothing gets done without Isabella's supervision ;) Unless she's passed out

  3. What happened to the 5th husband? or is that ROM? I do love your stories and your pictures. I used to live in St. Petersburg and miss that area.

    1. LOL! I got them mixed up. The fourth one was crazy and the 5th one died.

  4. Loved this post! Many more happy anniversaries to you two and happy gift hunting. xoxo Tuz

    1. Tuz! Where you been? Haven't seen you on Twitter in ages. Hope all is well with you.


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