On Monday, Mr. Karen and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Using the word “celebrated” perhaps gives the wrong impression, as we did not have a party or dress up and go out to dinner or exchange elaborate gifts. We spent a pretty normal night at home, except I got a card and a little gift. He got neither card nor gift that evening–it’s not that I’m a bad wife (really, I’m not), it’s that I’m not good at waiting. I got him some things last week but instead of saving them for our anniversary, I gave them to him right away.
I was thinking it would be nice to do something big for our 20th anniversary. Since we went to Paris to celebrate our 10th, going to Hawaii sprung to mind. The problem with that plan is it gives me only two years to visit the eight other states I’ve never set foot in. Now that we’ve visited Alaska, Mr. Karen’s been to 49 of the 50 states. I thought it would be nice to see the 50th state for the first time together, and Mr. Karen agreed to that plan (maybe because he was afraid I’d be sad if he didn’t let me catch up in the state count before he finished his 50).
When I wrote about my life list of states before, I had twelve left to see. I’m down to nine now, including Hawaii. I picked up Alaska on our recent trip and Rhode Island in 2003 (yes, I am counting that even though I spent most of my time there in the airport). I also realized that I have been to Arkansas. It was for work, and only for two nights, but that’s a lot more time than I’ve spent in Delaware, for instance. I’ve actually been to Kansas now, too, but since I ended up there accidentally on my way from Missouri to Oklahoma and didn’t get out of the car during the ten or fifteen minutes it took me to get unlost, I don’t feel right crossing it off the list.
So, let’s see–before I can go to Hawaii I need to visit Kansas intentionally, Alabama, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Carolina. That’s at least four vacations worth. Three if I combine New Mexico and Kansas based on their proximity, but I probably wouldn’t because there’s skiing in New Mexico so we’ll probably go for that and when we’re on a ski trip it’s very rare we do anything but, so a detour to Kansas (not known for its mountains) doesn’t seem likely. So there’s one trip to New Mexico–maybe as soon as this winter but there are a couple other new to us places we also want to ski so maybe not–one to Kansas, one to New Jersey and Connecticut, and one long driving trip to cover Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. I’m sure I could fit that all in before October, 2006 if I really wanted to, but I think I’ll enjoy myself more if I don’t. Maybe we’ll wait until our 25th anniversary to go to Hawaii, or maybe we’ll go on an anniversary not divisible by five. I like the number five, sure, but it does not rule my life.
And after Hawaii, I have a notion to move on to the Canadian provinces and territories. I’ve only been to two of the former and one of the latter as of right now, so that leaves eight and two, respectively. There’s always somewhere new to go, and that makes me happy.
Two years ago, I’d just met Denise in person for the first time. Fortunately, we have gotten the chance to spend more time together since. I do wish she lived closer to me–I hate inviting people over when I know they have to come a fair distance but I really need to get over that.
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