our two anniv



Closeup of the chair feet, in Keene walking sandals and hiking boots.

Closeup of the chair feet, in Keene walking sandals and hiking boots.

Giving special gifts on specific anniversaries isn’t a new concept. It dates back to the Middle Ages, where underlying superstitions and beliefs corresponded with giving gifts to welcome good luck or ward off the bad.

When my brother once asked our dad what was the best decision he ever made, Dad said, “I married your mother.” Our parents were married for sixty-four years before his Alzheimer’s and her dementia set in, and their anniversary celebrations were usually low key and private. They enjoyed going out for dinner, usually with family, and holding hands as they read their anniversary cards and talked about favorite memories.

This summer Jim and I celebrate our 30th anniversary, and traditionally the gift for the 30th is the pearl. Our daughter—a wonderful independently creative gift maker—gave us a unique set of anniversary chairs this year. Full-heart, headless chairs.

anniversary Picasso chairs

Last year she painted Picasso-type art chairs with Picasso quotes for us.

This year’s chairs wear tee-shirts, jeans, Keene walking sandals (for me) and hiking boots (for Jim), and are stuffed with multiple pillows that make these the most comfortable, form-fitting chairs ever.

For us, it’s not expensive gifts, fancy dinners out or celebrations that make an anniversary special. It’s being with each other and the family we love dearly, seeing their smiling faces around the table, and hearing everyone share favorite memories. Like my parents, we would title these celebrations by borrowing another title: “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Tucked among greeting card-type romantic verses, we’ve found a sentiment by writer and comedian Rita Rudner that makes us laugh. “It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”   And a favorite toast for weddings and anniversaries is by sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein: “May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.”

Today our hearts are full, grateful for love, marriage, family, friends, and wonderful dads. And anniversaries with traditional pearls or non-traditional headless chairs.


Browning- grow old along w:meSimplify tee-shirt





Filed under art, art projects, Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, lessons for great-grandchildren, Special days in June, special quotations, Things to be thankful for


  1. It’s fascinating how these artistic genes dance around in your family gene pool. Love the unique chairs and the quotes, the Browning my favorite. Happy anniversary!

    • Thank you, Marian. I love your reference to artistic genes dancing around our family gene pool! I’m definitely going to share this with Molly (and my mom, too, though I don’t think she’ll understand.)

  2. Don

    Happy anniversary, Marylin. Such wonderful creativity and then to be the recipient of such a gift – that’s a gift.

  3. Hi Marylin, I’m so glad you posted today (Friday). I find it difficult to respond on the weekends as I spend my time with family. All that to say, I love this post about your precious family time. I love the headless chairs! Gifts made from the heart are the best ones! And I burst out laughing at how quirky and fun they are. And I especially love the quote (which I’ll give to my hubby on our anniversary), “It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” LOL May you be blessed with another 30 x 2-anniversary dates to annoy your hubby with (or each other)! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tracy. Gifts from the heart truly are the best, as you know and show through all your creations. We love the “special person to annoy for the rest of your life” quote, too. It puts annoyances in perspective, I think.
      Another 30 years together will be great!

  4. Time with loved ones is always the best gift. Happy Anniversary, Marylin!
    I love those chairs. 🙂

  5. Happy Anniversary! Isn´t it wonderful to have such a creative daughter. Those chairs are precious. Here´s to the next 30 years!

    • She is amazing, Darlene. Even as a young girl, she was always creating unusual and delightful gifts, and we saved them all. I’ll drink to a toast for the next 30 years ~ thank you!

  6. juliabarrett

    Happy anniversary! You and your family have such a creative way with chairs! So perfect!

    • It’s not a popular gift, extremely unusual chairs, but we love them, Julia. Our neighbors were tempted to sneak the Picasso chairs to their own porch. With the headless chairs, the first time they saw them, the husband thought strangers were sitting on our porch and wondered what to do. His wife pointed out that the strangers were headless, so probably they weren’t a danger. 😉

  7. Those chairs are wonderful. Those are the types of gifts that warm our hearts (and cushion our bottoms!). Love the Rita Rudner quote.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Thanks, Carrie. These chairs are stuffed with pillows, especially in the torsos and legs, right where it’s most comfortable to sink into pillows. They’re a lot of fun, and not the least bit “annoying”!

  8. Happy Anniversary! What a thoughtful gift from the heart and creative brain!

  9. Happy Anniversary Marylin! I love the chairs! Such a wonderful and creative idea by your daughter. What a beautiful marriage your parents must have had. Sixty four years is truly a gift.
    Blessings for a wonderful weekend together and for many years to come.
    xoxo Joanne

    • Thank you, Joanne. They had a long, loving and happy marriage that although blurred during the last few years because of Alzheimer’s and dementia, still survived. Jim had I both had role models of loving and lasting marriages through our parents’ marriages, so we feel very fortunate.

  10. Happy anniversary Marylin. I love the quote:” May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live”. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your family.

    • We’ve had a wonderful anniversary weekend, Gerlinde, and tomorrow we celebrate Father’s Day and Grandfather’s Day, so it’s a special time for us. We plan to make a toast using this quote; it’s a very real and touching blessing.

  11. Ah, happy anniversary to you, Marylin. I love Mollie’s latest chairs- very creative and a wonderfully original and personal gift. Have a splendid weekend with your nearest and dearest.

  12. Life is Good! Congratulations, Marylin on your anniversary. Creativity seems to abound in your family as well as endless love. 🙂

  13. Molly

    Mom, thanks for the public showing of my latest creations! It is so fun to create fun chairs! Happy anniversary to you and dad! Can’t wait for the next 30!!!

    Love you!

  14. Absolutely love the chairs…and the ones from last year also! Marylin…I always leave your blog feeling better than I did when I came…you uplift and entertain.

    Happy Anniversary…may the day unfold like a blossoming flower, filling your life with beauty and love.

    • The chairs are very different, Vivian, yet both years’ gifts are wonderful and we wouldn’t be able choose which we enjoy more. This year’s chairs are very sink-in comfortable, though, and the shoes on the chair “feet” are so funny. But the Picasso paintings and quotes hold a special place in our hearts, too!

  15. I hope you have a wonderful 30th year spent together in marriage, Marylin. The chairs are so cool and daughter shows ca ring by her spending time thinking and making her gifts.
    I liked the yellow ones but now love the unique personal ones, too. (Also, comfort found in your newest addition to your porch.)

    • Thanks, Robin, I feel the same way. She comes up with truly creative ideas, and even though her children are young, they’re already showing similar talents, too. We’re excited to see how their creativity evolves, too.

  16. Happy anniversary, Marylin. I love thoughtful gifts 😀

  17. Pearls come in all shapes and sizes, so why not in the form of chairs. 😉 They are certainly gems of creativity. Happy anniversary, Marylin. Perhaps after 30 years a marriage becomes a pearl itself. 🙂

  18. Happy anniversary Marylin! You have a wonderful thread of creativity flowing through your family 🙂

  19. Happy anniversary Marylin. The chairs are amazing. It is wonderful that there are still marriages and families so loving. Enjoy the day.

  20. We had a wonderful day, Andrew, and tomorrow we celebrate Father’s Day for our son-in-law and Grandfather’s Day for Jim, so it will be a full weekend of special celebrations. And then things will get back to normal, but we’ll be buoyed by the memories for a long time.

  21. What a creative way to celebrate your anniversary! But then, it seems you come from and are part of a very creative group of people. Darlene sent me over here, and I’m so glad she did. Nice to meet you! Happy Anniversary!

  22. I simply love everything about this post. Oh, those chairs! Oh the creativity! Oh the love! Following. Need to read more about your obviously loving family! (with cool senses of humor!)

    • Despite the Alzheimer’s on one side of the family and the dementia on the other side, Debby–or maybe because of it–our family does make the most of our time together and include laughter in all we do. The chairs, both sets, are good examples, and I’m glad you enjoy them! 🙂

      • “Maybe because of it…” Yes, I suspect it may be. Often what we are dealt shapes what we become. I know our difficulties made my family closer. Not saying I wouldn’t have preferred to live without those particular challenges but I think some good has come out of some very bad. At least I hope so.

      • I never would have chosen it either, Debby, but good things come of it. I think we are more aware of how precious every day is, and we don’t take anything for granted. Like you, I believe these difficulties make our family closer, too.

  23. Happy 30th Anniversary to you and Jim. It sounds like you have a “pearl” of a gift from your daughter. Those chairs – this year’s and last – are very creative.

    I also love the quote from sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein: “May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.” His story “Stranger in a Strange Land” made a huge impression on me when I was in college.

    • STRANGER is my favorite sci-fi novel, Judy, so finding Heinlein’s “real” and touching toast made it all the more special.
      Molly’s gifts are always heartfelt pearls for us, and she is a pearl of a daughter and now a mother to her own daughter and son as well. We are blessed on so many levels.

  24. Beautiful chairs and quotes. Happy Summer. A very happy 30th wedding anniversary to you and your husband, Marilyn. Enjoy.

  25. Jim

    “There are two people sitting on Jim and Marylin’s front porch,” said our neighbor Karl to his wife Jessica. Jessica took a closer look and whispered back to Karl, “They don’t have heads!”

    They didn’t realize that our daughter Molly’s imagination had cranked out another delightfully outrageous chair-creation for our anniversary. Yep, you outdid yourself, Molly. You seem to be establishing a very fun anniversary tradition with chairs. First, Picasso chairs, then headless sit-on-people! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year’s anniversary. Pressure’s on! 🙂

    Mom and I treasure your energy and creativity, Molly.

    • Or, Molly, if you and Trevor and our grandchildren just make cards and sing “Happy Anniversary to You” and sit around the table and remember happy memories with us, it will be a wonderful celebration, too. Dad and I love you all so much.

  26. Claudia

    Your daughter has a unique air of creativity! What original things she does for you!!!

    • She always amazes us, Claudia. And her creativity is rubbing off on her children, too, in the things they create, too.
      As I remember, you and writing friends once made some very creative chairs for a fundraiser, so your were originals, too! 🙂

  27. jakesprinter

    Glad to see your wonderful world of writing once again my friend Marylin love it .

  28. Happy Anniversary, Marylin! I hope you and Jim annoy each other for many more fun-filled and loving years.

  29. What a great anniversary blessing, Darla: yes, may Jim and I annoy each other for many more fun-filled and loving years! 🙂
    This thank you is from both of us.

  30. Oh Marylin, what a heartwarming and delightful post. Wishing you and your husband a very happy 30th wedding anniversary filled with the love of family. So wonderful to find someone to annoy and love all at the same time and may you be both be blessed with long years ahead to continue to do both 😀

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