Friday marks Rich’s and my fifth wedding anniversary. It’s also the day that our new house closes in Kirkland, Washington. Five years ago, I never would have believe so much could happen in such a short amount of time. We sold our Tualatin and Sherwood, Oregon homes and combined them into a house in Round Rock, Texas. In between, Rich lived in an apartment in Austin, Texas.
 
After getting to Texas, we bought a lot in Anacortes and a house in Mount Vernon, Washington. The week after we got to Washington, we made an offer on the Kirkland house. Meanwhile, I’m living in an apartment in Redmond and previously was in temporary housing in Bellevue, Washington.
 
In the five years, I’ve had a Toyota Corolla, which I sold for a Honda CRV with air conditioning. We added another car, a Honda FIT and took two vehicles to Texas and back, Rich’s Dodge Dakota truck and our motor home. Rich’s Kia, which we decided to take to Texas at the last minute, has probably been melted down after I totalled it earlier this year.  
 
It’s still astonishing that I survived the crash in the Kia with only a fractured hip and broken ribs. I was only wearing the shoulder harness and the driver’s side of the car was pushed in 18-inches. Miracles happen.
 
Rich has continued to work at IBM for the past five years; although switched from doing work on 64-bit processors to Linux drivers. I’ve had three jobs: Intel, Dell and now Microsoft.
 
We’ve added two birds and lost one. We arrived in Texas with six cats. Three have returned to the Pacific Northwest. Three passed away from old age and three were added.
 
We’ve weathered quite a few crisises, which have been temperred with joys. One of our greatest joys was sailing in the British Virgin Islands, visiting San Antonio and other historical spots in Texas, waking up on Valentine’s Day and seeing snow in Texas, watching the thunder from our bedroom balcony; buying groceries and cooking together, sipping apple cider in the hot tub and watching the bats overhead, and spending Saturday evenings watching NetFlixs. And we have great joy watching the sunset, riding our bikes and enjoying the beauty of Mount Vernon.
 
We’ve had sorrows and problems. A few weeks before Rich moved to Texas, his father passed away. The day after he arrived in Washington, his mother succombed to cancer. My mother got bilked out of a tremendous amount of money, starting within weeks of my moving. We dealt with the crisis for over a year, finally putting the culprit in jail.
 
We’ve wept over giant oak trees that have fallen or died from oak wilt on our property. Our first year in Texas, a large snake swallowed a nest full of baby birds in our Redbud tree. My horror of snakes was deepened by that experience. We’ve dealt with a corrupt Municipal Utility District that re-routed a road, causing our house to flood several times. And of course, we’ve longed, during the hot days of summer, to return to the Pacific Northwest.
 
I’m constantly surprised by Rich’s resiliance, determination, calm-demeanor, and capacity for love during these past five years. He is my world. My inspiration. My cheerleader. And the reason for getting up in the morning. As we said in our wedding vows, "It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."
 
Rich is the right partner. Let the next five year of our lives begin.  
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