I’d been widowed for a few years when I met him at the dog park. Long story short, he asked for my number. I gave him my email instead. I figured that was safer, because even an ax murderer could be a dog lover. I came home and had a note from him in my inbox.
We couldn’t have been more different, a true case of same planet, different worlds. He is Dion, Manilow, Reagan, CNN, NASCAR and Twinkies. I am Joplin, Zappa, Carter, PBS, Browns and sushi. Then we found some commonalities. Keen shoes, dogs, shapeless hiking shorts, sappy movies, Mowtown and Earth Wind and Fire, Smithsonian Channel, biking, traveling and old cars. We tip-toed around each other for a few years. Someone like me wasn’t in his master plan. I wasn’t all that sure I wanted to open myself to caring for someone again, and besides I had plans of my own. When I retired I was going to buy a little camper to hitch to my Honda and travel with my dog. Over time, something changed between us and then he proposed–a total shock that left witnesses wondering how (or if!) I’d answer his question. We married on September 10, 2011.
September 10 2016 is our fifth anniversary. Traditionalists say that a gift of wood is appropriate. If Ben was reading this over my shoulder, he’d make a tasteless joke about that, and I would laugh. Our anniversary present to ourselves is this trip, because things are a lot less important than living life well. It turns out I am following my original retirement plan, but now it includes a 40-foot RV, two dogs, a Subaru and Ben Price. Not what I’d planned on, but much more than I’d imagined.
I’m watching Ben walk across the parking lot towards the coach as I write this post. He went to Lowe’s to get a night-light for the RV bathroom and came back with a piece of wood to fix a drawer I complained about. That’s the way he is; always something to do or make. He’s also munching a doughnut, and I think to myself think he eats too many sweets. I care deeply for this man. The door pops open and he say what he always says: “Hey sweetie.”
Happy anniversary Ben, it’s been a good ride with you, I love you and I am blessed.