As I mentioned in a previous post, both Melissa and I have been married before. I was with my first wife for nine years and Melissa was with her first husband for seven years. I think we would both agree that our first marriages were extremely painful toward the end, perhaps only exceeded by the disaster of pain caused by divorcing our respective partners. I can’t speak for Melissa, but my first marriage is a price I would gladly pay again if I knew then what was in store for me the second time. Until I married Melissa I had no idea what a great gift marriage truly is. Using a metaphor with which I am intimately familiar, my marriage to Melissa is exactly like nurturing a sickly plant in good, deep, fertile soil, except instead of a plant what she nurtures is my soul. In no small part, I am what I am today thanks to her.

On Friday of this week, Melissa and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. In honour of this, and in addition to our regularly scheduled photos of contented retirees, I have included a few favourite photos of mine which I hope capture some of the fun we manage to get up to while doing what we love !

Melissa, thank you for being my wife. I love you very much !! Happy Anniversary !

Jason and Sparky, November 2009…Melissa often wonders which one is the donkey and which one is the ass…. 🙂

Bonnie, Jason, Melissa, Lexi, September 2008
Bonnie, September 2008

Melissa, Jason, Bear and Trooper, September 2008

Bear with an audience floating in our pool, Orwell, VT, August 2005. Bear LOVED jumping from the deck onto the raft and floating around while we swam and played !

Our child Bear, Melissa and Bridget, Orwell VT, May 2005


Melissa with Oreo the cat on a rope in our front yard, Orwell VT, April 2005. Oreo didn’t lead well…surprise, surprise !

Melissa and Jason on our first trip together, Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA, August 2004

Lexi, April 2004

Bonnie with her mother Gabby, April 3, 2004 [hotographed by yours truly on my first trip to Middle Tennessee


Bugle meets Bonnie…my absolute favourite pic ! March 26, 2004. Bonnie is 8 hours old in this photo. Note the insolent expression which persists to this day !


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Retirement, golf in the morning, swimming in the afternoon . . . Homer says it is all very tiring.

Faune and Winston


Slinky, Lightening, Chili and O’Reilly


Ivan and Tony trotting up the hill together


Apollo and Hemi walking down the hill together


Ivan


Clay


Tony


Lightening and Teddy


Lexi and Norman enjoying a grooming session . . .


. . . and just hanging out together