Tag Archive | Ciao Italian Restaurant

No. 9

Today John and I celebrate wedding anniversary No. 9. I say “celebrate” it because we had two weddings. I always have to look up the dates to get it right, but we were married here legally in a small, short ceremony on Feb. 19, flew to Costa Rica with our sisters and their hubbies on the 20th, and had a sunset beach ceremony outside our cabanas at El Sano Banano in Montezuma, Costa Rica, on Feb. 21, which was an auspicious day on the Tibetan calendar that year. hug

We wrote our beach vows and brother-in-law Paul wrote and read a poem. Brother-in-law Norm shot photos nonstop. Sisters Kitty and Cathy cried.

This July 21, on what would be my father’s 80th birthday, we’ll celebrate 11 years since we met. That’s an important date too. And if memory holds, John proposed on Nov. 17, 2003.

Next year, for our 10th anniversary, we plan to do something fab – maybe Italy again, from Rome to points south, or India, or who knows where – but this year we’re celebrating in our own neighborhood, at Ciao. That will be fab enough.

Because we’ve got each other and we’re happy about it.

When my kids met John years ago, they said, “Mom is dating Mr. Rogers!” They were happy about it and that was a compliment – we watched and loved dear Fred. And just like Mr. Rogers, John loves unconditionally. That’s too rare a trait.

Ben said just the other day that he and Liz hit the stepdad jackpot with John. You can imagine how happy that made me and how humbled and thrilled John felt to hear it (later, from me).

After surviving a bad one and living a good one, here’s what I know about landing in and maintaining a happy marriage:

Know each other well BEFORE you get married. That takes time. You’ll still get surprises but maybe no shocks.

Take the person you marry as he/she is. Spouses are not home-improvement projects, and if you marry someone thinking you’ll change him, you are doing yourself and your loved one a major disservice. And you really don’t love him if you don’t love him as he is.

But know that people change over time and that you’d better be able to roll with it.

Talk things out. Speak up if something’s troubling you. Nothing’s worse than letting a problem fester. Yuck. You’ll just get a marital boil.

But let the little things go. You’ll drive each other crazy at times. That’s normal.

And, if you get married as an older couple, as we did (48 and 52), don’t assume you’ll get a 25th anniversary – use every opportunity to make a date special.

That’s about all I know to say.

I love you, John. 

Paul, John and I – the officiant and the newlyweds – after the ceremony.

Paul, John and I – the officiant and the newlyweds – after the ceremony.

Cathy and Kitty cried through the ceremony. It was sweet.

Cathy and Kitty cried through the ceremony. It was sweet.



The after-party on our cabana porch, including Norm.

The after-party on our cabana porch, including Norm, since John manned the camera.

Give me just a little more time

For the past week and a half or so, I’ve really needed some magical power to give me just a little more time. I’ve wanted to blog and I’ve wanted to sew, but all my creative efforts have gone toward school. This weekend was the second marathon session of Family Mediation, 5-9 Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday, which was great, but now we’re sitting powerless in the candlelight, without a clue what’s going on.

No bang of a transformer blowing. No crash of a vehicle meeting a utility pole, just sudden silence and darkness with occasional sirens in the distance. Kind of peaceful, actually, except for the eerie stillness in the air. And the next round of sirens that just started on Roosevelt.

Life in the ’hood.

So much for hitting the fab pile of fabric that’s been untouched for days.

That’s been rather the modus operandi of late, one surprise/disruption after another.

Oh well. Might as well use this time to write about what’s happened in the days I’ve been absent, even though I can’t post it until we get re-Entergized. Yesterday was John’s, Kitty’s, their friend Paul’s and their cousin Joanne’s birthday.

John, Cathy, brother Paul and I celebrated John’s big day at Ciao last night. Dinner was divine, as always. Such a nice restaurant, and how lucky we Quapawians are to have it! Five of our neighbors were at nearby tables, which made for an extra-nice touch.

Thursday Julia and I went to the Little Rock Sustainability Summit at the Clinton Library, which was another treat. Afterward Julia sat through my presentation for class today (thanks, again!), then I gave her a stylish new bob in my kitchen – we had a large time. Fun can be free.

Speaking of bobs, while we were sitting at the summit, I looked out the huge library window at a hotel that Daddy (Bob Cartwright) remodeled sometime before he became ill. Reminders are everywhere, especially in April.

By this time 30 years ago, he’d lost his ability to speak. But his strong, brave, young heart continued to beat.

I’m writing this April 15, which is the day the taxman cometh, but more importantly, it’s my grandmother Verna Jewel Tackett’s birthday (she’d be 96, had we not lost her when she was 85).

In 1982, this was nine days before Daddy’s death, though of course we didn’t know that then. We just knew it was imminent.

He died on April 24, on my grandfather Doyle Tackett’s birthday. April has always been an important birthday month. Now we also have Marie-Noelle on the 18th and Elizabeth on the 21st.

Which is also the date we see Tom Petty. Hallelujah! Can’t wait. Love that TP.

And of course Sunday was Easter at Mother’s. Quiche divine,  four kinds, with roasted veggies and peach cobbler. Heavenly.

On Friday the 6th, Julia and I took Sylvia for a walk down the sidewalks of Argenta (which we used to call downtown North Little Rock when I was little), inside Galaxy Furniture, and to lunch at Argenta Market, which was all a real treat on a lovely day.

So maybe it just seems like every second has gone toward school. I guess I really don’t know where it’s gone.

I do know that two long research papers and one (hard!) test are all that’s left of this semester. Can that possibly be true?

I could still use a little more time. Can’t somebody give me some? It’s going oh-so fast.

P.S. Power came back at 10:40ish. No explanation.