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My husband and I were taking a walk one night last week, and I complained that I didn’t have a topic for this week’s column.

Despite being able to write about basically anything, I was blank. If only a special event was coming up in my life or anything interesting was happening.

“Our anniversary is Wednesday,” he said.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” I said, having momentarily forgotten.

It’s obvious I’m not the romantic one in this relationship. I’m more of the buy-the-anniversary-card-at-the-checkout-counter kind of woman. He’s the thoughtful one.

He’s the one who cooks all our meals, fixes my breakfast and coffee every single morning and does sweet things like warms my side of the bed in the winter before I get in. Yes, I realize how good I’ve got it.

It was the best decision I’ve ever made to marry the nice guy with the great sense of humor who sat at the desk beside me in the first newsroom I ever worked in.

It is “just” our 31st. We have now been married more than half our lives, which is crazy to think about.

My brother was 16, just 17 days away from 17, when we got married. He is now married with two adorable kids himself. His anniversary is Flag Day, so I always remember that.

I do remember our wedding day pretty vividly. It was fairly warm, and I was hoping for a crisp fall day. I’d bought his ring too small, and he tried to cram it on his finger during the prayer. It has not come off since, and my mother has been worried for 31 years that he’s going to catch the ring on something and rip off his finger.

I still remember how delicious the wedding cake and chocolate groom’s cake were. This was back in the day when you served only cake, punch, nuts and pastel-colored mints at a wedding reception.

When we came out of the church, a cold front had moved through. We took off for our hotel en route to Eureka Springs, and I remember devouring the banana nut bread my Granny brought for us.

My husband and I don’t celebrate much for our anniversaries. We went to Florida last year for our anniversary, which was great, and a few years ago we spent the weekend on Mount Magazine, but it was freezing, and the fog was so thick we couldn’t see the view.

This year, it just so happens that my husband’s fall break at the University of Central Arkansas, where he teaches, is this week. For my birthday in August, our older son gave us four nights in a hotel in Washington, D.C., so we’re flying out on our anniversary.

I’ve never been. My husband has been to D.C. four times, but not in 22 years. We’re going to see every historic site we possibly can — the Newseum is high on our list — and eat good food. We also get to visit my mom’s childhood best friend who lives there and can see the National Portrait Gallery from her bedroom.

We talked about our trip on our walk, after he reminded me that our anniversary was coming up. When we got home, he worked the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, like he does every night, and I was across the room, reading a magazine.

After 31 years, I’m just as happy to be quietly sitting with him in our living room as I am anywhere in the world.

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

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