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When it gets close to the deadline to write my column, I often look to see if a significant date or event is happening that would give me fodder.

It finally came to me, as my mind frantically searched for an idea, that Oct. 10 is a significant date — my 30th wedding anniversary.

It’s not like I’d forgotten, but it got here faster than I expected. We are taking a short trip to Florida later to celebrate.

My husband can’t just up and leave his college students to take me on a trip halfway around the world. I love the beach, and I’ll take it.

On our anniversary, we usually just go out to eat, or he cooks for me; we stopped exchanging cards a few years ago. I’ve saved some mushy ones and funny ones from the first couple of decades.

When we were in Jonesboro a few weeks ago, we drove by the old apartment fourplex where my husband lived when he proposed to me. We pointed out the window of the upstairs unit to our son and daughter-in-law.

My DIL said she’d never heard the story, and I asked my husband to tell it. “Because you don’t remember?” my DIL asked. My memory is bad; that’s true. But I remember.

We had met at the newspaper in Jonesboro and dated for about three years. I decided I was not going to find a better guy than him, or one who would put up with high-maintenance me. He made me laugh more than anyone else in the world, too. And he was as passionate about his job as I was mine.

I expected him to propose on his birthday, but he waited until the next day — which happened to be April Fool’s Day — and invited me over for dinner. (At this point, everyone asks, “Did you think it was a joke?” That never entered my mind.)

He answered the door wearing a tie and sports coat, so I knew. I was nervous, because I honestly was still trying to decide if I’d say yes.

He had cooked a lot of my favorite foods — never mind if they went together — and then, at some point, he asked me to marry him. I really don’t remember that part at all. But I said yes.

We had a wonderful wedding six months later, and our wedding cake and groom’s cake were delicious. The temperature had turned chilly by the time we left the church, which I had hoped for. I had a cold on our honeymoon, and the Cardinals were in the World Series.

We had a baby two years later, despite the fact that neither of us thought we wanted kids. He was pretty great, so we had another one 3 1/2 years later.

Life goes on. We moved away from my parents and we started our lives in a new city not far away, which was traumatic and exciting. Unless you’re a grandparent.

We raised our kids — having our share of sicknesses and a few emergency-room trips — and we saw them graduate from high school and college. There were days we wanted to run away from home, but we didn’t.

We saw friends divorce, and it shocked us almost every time. I wonder if people thought we’d last.

We have been through the death of his mother and grandmothers, and one set of my grandparents. We have experienced the extreme joy of becoming grandparents, which is everything I heard it was cracked up to be.

He cooks; he dotes; he supports.

We went to the wedding last weekend of two of his former students, Shelby and Collin. There were cards on the table for guests to write what they “wish” for the bride and groom.

I said I wish for them a best-friend, can’t-live-without-each-other marriage — lots of laughter and pretty babies.

I said I’d rather be doing nothing with David than something with anybody else, and that’s still true, 30 years later.

And, I wish for my husband and me that we have at least another 30 years as great as these have been.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

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