family photo

Siena in hat

If anyone thought I would go through my, our, my husband and my, 20th anniversary week and not touch it at all, well that’s only because those people don’t know how predicable I really am.

Why keep private what I can gnaw on in public.

So first off, does anyone besides me hear Billy Crystal  as the  nasally old Jewish Wizard in The Princess Bride, saying “Maaawriage” practically every time you hear the word marriage?    He’s there in my frontal lobe wearing his ill fitting white robe right beside Carol Kane who was born to play his nasally old Jewish good witch/wife. She’s in her ill fitting white robe, too, which blends in with her skin as she is the whitest woman ever. But getting back to the subject at hand, marriage, or more specifically, my 20 years of marriage ; it is a wonder, a miracle, and a blessing.

I could head straight for the joke about how being 100% Irish of course it takes a miracle to live with me, (Irish women have been known to turn their men into alcoholics for years) but I wouldn’t be joking!

No, were all adults here and we know how hard it is for two people with their own ways and means and styles of steering the ship to live together. Note the left out tag, “in peace and harmony.” But my God the pay off is fantastic. Better than even hoped for. ( not counting those few days a year when murder is the only option!)

I started getting married at 19. How dumb is that. Standing up in front of God and 300 guests in summer linens  saying I was going to love, honor and obey someone for the rest of my life. If I’m not mistaken I had a nicely rolled joint stuck in my white lace wedding bra as I said those words. Raised Catholic was the excuse. If I was sleeping with him I best marry him so no one thinks I’m a slut.

The second time I was older and smarter.  And picked a really great guy too. Just confused my loves,  so blinded was I by the one big thing we had in common: our obsession to start a family. We got us the cutest baby girl in the whole wide world and then I learned the difference between loving someone as a best friend, sweetest guy EVER, and being “in love” as in it for the long haul, Baby!

And as we all have heard a million, now a million and one times, the third time is the charm. After 20 years I don’t want to get cocky or let my hair go grey, God forbid, but I do think in my case it’s true.

A & P at Vassar

Love is a very complex four letter word. It can take a lifetime to understand. For  the last 20 years my lab partner in this experiment, Jeff, and I have dissected this puppy numerous times and put it back piece by piece again just as many times. He’s the only one I’d trust to do this experiment with, quite frankly, as I am beginning to think that safety is at the root of the whole dealie-do.

Have riffed and ranted  and tap danced around this long enough and I do have a few great shares up my much needed sleeve . ( Read my old HuffPo  on arms… so sad , my first to go south, my dear arms!)

I have an amazing husband. He is one of these people who, I believe, ran from his true destiny as long as he could. Once he gave in, and trust me, he fought the good fight, being a husband and a family man is his true calling and the thing he does brilliantly.

And me …I’m SO darn grateful that here is what I woke up on our 20th anniversary morning took pen in hand and wrote :

Gratitude is the only way to roll.This is the meditation, the practice, the main thing to know, embrace and live. The other stuff, the pain, the bitterness, anger and resentment, gets one, you, me, nowhere. And not fast.

Slowly over time it eats you up. Thins out all your flesh, chips at your bones, and pulls at the corners of both eyes.


Wake up and pray to stay in the thank -you mode all day. Pray to take it all in, the good, the shiny, the colors of the horizon. And the bad, rusted over, the grim and grit of everyday life everywhere. The yoga of remembering this moment and living it is not a pose held, but a constant animal of its own, really.   ( the End)

Ok and your reward is …ta da…new book share: In The Spirit of Harlem, by Naomi Fertitta. ( Wonderful journey both in pictures and text of this unique and pulsating world unto it’s own in upper Manhattan.

Wait one more;  a great riff by Kurt Vonnegut from Brain Pickings Weekly…I read this Easter Sunday. In the words of my eldest, Seriously Ridiculous.

“With his signature self-deprecation, Vonnegut reflects on the gift of compassion and how we – as a civilization, a culture, and as individuals – have failed it:

I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world. Everybody asks during and after our wars, and the continuing terrorist attacks all over the globe, “What’s gone wrong?” What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.When Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, he said, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.” What kind of a man was that? Any real man, obeying the Code of Hammurabi, would have said, “Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.”

His greatest legacy to us, in my humble opinion, consists of only twelve words. They are the antidote to the poison of the Code of Hammurabi, a formula almost as compact as Albert Einstein’s “E = mc2.”

Last, but not least at all, go to

Purple Plum Torte and Little People at Easter Time

by tgb9593… Gorgeous and Delish!!!





3 Responses

  1. liz marx says:

    Splendid … I feel like we just had a visceral lunch together… talking, sharing, laughing and a fine chilled glass of wine…

    love to you and congrats on a 20 year marriage and a life of living the key to it all… gratitude….

    adore you !!!


  2. stacey Altman says:

    Mazel Tov Annie & Jeff! You guys are a great couple and Jeff is one lucky man!

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