I found a house and the realtor came with it.

When I tell that story, it continually evokes laughter. Neither My Rogue nor I could have imagined leaving our California bungalow for a new, two-story home in Missouri; nor that would a combination of his serious health issues and the loss of my corporate job nearly turn our lovely new Midwest lifestyle upside down. God’s Hand would avail us of great medical talent, family support, many loving friends, and new opportunities to keep us here at our lovely Frog Haven.

While My Rogue has mellowed, it is only slightly. He still will not be told who/what/when/where/why to do anything. Occasionally, as the house sous chef, he will listen to how and follow my instructions for sliced, rather than chopped, fresh mushrooms for the evening’s meal. I have learned to hide my surprise and bite my tongue so as to keep the peace. (Thanking him would only push my luck!)

We celebrated our Twentieth Wedding Anniversary on November 29th in a quiet manner with a simple dinner. We toasted each other and, I confess, we both expressed a somewhat slightly amazed, state of near disbelief; neither of us ever expected to reach such a milestone. We were in a lighthearted, playful mood and, I’m proud to report to all who know me, we celebrated without bloodshed; all my previous, weekly threats were set aside, at least for the evening! They were replaced instead by a mutual, deep-felt gratitude between two soul mates – neither of whom could find the proper words – so, we thought it better to just dive into the calamari and pasta before they got cold.

This year, we didn’t need lots of fluff and bling; we enjoyed a Just Enough Christmas Season. Such was the collection of silver linings we had collected after celebrating twenty years of marriage. Not all the linings were laden with metallic grandeur, but each gave us just enough to cope, care, learn from, and pursue onward… May you feel His Presence and Comfort in the New Year!

Annette Brochier Johnson /2014