Photo Booth and Beyond

Wherein our kids threw us a 40th anniversary party and did all the work too. What’s the real story behind this shindig? What’s our secret to a long marriage? You gotta read yesterday’s post to find out. Here’s where you’ll find representatives from the photo booth plus pre and post-event pics of family and friends, some from as far away as Indiana, Michigan and even, Australia.

We had a grand time together.

Lots of “A Party” Photos

Rob and Penny on the rocks

So it’s May Day and no longer our anniversary month. Still, never too late for this story…

Long ago when we were kids, we met in an REI climbing class, fell in love and got married. This year on Easter Sunday—April 9th—we celebrated our 40th anniversary.

Many have asked, “What’s your secret to a long marriage together?” First, we both had to keep breathing and stay alive. That’s key.

On Earth Day, Cathedral Day, the Women’s Retreat and several of your birthdays—April 22nd—our kids threw us a party. People asked if we were going to renew our vows. Lord knows, we renew our vows on some level every day. We did sing Old 100th for a blessing in 4-parts to acknowledge how grateful we are. Our high-five at the end was one of my favorite “Amens” ever.

Four years ago, during Rob’s surgery to address stage 4 bladder cancer, I was alone in the hospital chapel. I held my palm out and pressed against the resistance I could feel from your prayers that were holding us. At our A(nniversary) Party, the net of love, kindness, and laughter was joyous and no less prayerful. Some of you were there in person; many more nearby and around the globe were in our hearts.

I am a fortunate girl. Hallelujah!

Here’s a collection of photos to give you a feel for it:

Our kids, Clarke and Carolina, Lead Musician and Leader of Frivolity, respectively
Rob raising his hand enthusiastically to say he’d been married for 40 years. Penny laughing.
And here’s when he was saying the same thing but not so enthusiastically. Penny still laughing.
Harmonizing “Be present at our party, Lord” to Old 100th
Our oldest guest, at 95, my mother
Our youngest guest, at 4 months, with his Grandpa
Having fun at the kids’ table
Dinner was scrumptious, thanks to
Quarter Ton Events.
Quarter Ton Events owner behind the scenes with Chef Carrie and Sous Maddie
And what’s a party without cake?
There was Magic too. Our friend, Rick Swaney, had us spellbound.
Like I said, they were spellbound.
Riveted by Magic. “How does he do that?”
Phew! We’re compatible. We each picked half cards that completed each other.
And The Cumbieros! Great live cumbia music for dancing, with Clarke on the keys.
It’s been a while since I’ve led the conga line at last call.
We had Carolina’s Little Devils helping us with whatever we needed, including kisses.
So much love and care helping Mom down the stairs. A nurse, EMT, daughter and nephew all lended a hand.
After Party: Installing bees at the cathedral the very next day
Cathedral apiarist on the move
Instead of gifts, we asked for optional donations to St Mark’s Cathedral or nonprofit of choice. Still, our mantel is packed with cards and well-wishes. Thanks, everyone.

If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re wondering where the Photo Booth pics are. Stay tuned.

Also, many thanks to Kevin Johnson, Pam Reid, Melissa Pittz, Anne Reid, and others for helping us illustrate the festivities with these photographs.

Lent 2023 (Penny)

This Book

While many in my faith tradition gathered to mourn together on Good Friday, I finished reading The Awakened Brain by Columbia University scientist and professor, Lisa Miller. I couldn’t put it down. I started rereading it this morning.

The book begins by describing a robust study that compares the brain images of those who report high personal spirituality or religion to those who report low or medium levels. Lisa has been on a quest to see how spirituality correlates with risk for depression; to see if this tact might help her patients.

My academic fields of study are education and psychology. I measure off the charts as “intuitive” (as opposed to “sensing”…I am not a scientist per se.) I have always believed that eventually science would show the efficacy of spirituality but honestly, I never thought it would happen in my lifetime.

I am pretty thrilled to have This Book in my hands. I commend it to you on this Holy Saturday.

Lent 2023 (Penny)

Un buen equipo


Yes, shaking my head. All is well.

Last night Carolina and I took Mom to the Maundy Thursday service. My head was clear, no more vertigo, a miracle in itself. Mom and I arrived with her wheelchair moments before the procession. Carolina slipped in just before the first hymn. I cried all the way through singing.

And then we washed each other’s feet. There were big smiles and giggles as Carolina is ticklish. Well also she is just like that…often an absolute celebration wherever she goes. And with good reason!

Knowing full well Jesus was given up to be crucified—I had even seen the stubs for the shackles that held his wrists in that dungeon, for Heaven’s sake,—in that quiet cathedral, I was holding her healed foot, metal and all, broken and unusable six months ago. Thank you, blessed God!

Oh to acknowledge such pain and such joy at the same time. This is Life.