Thirty-Five Years

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have noticed that every October I get rather sentimental.

It’s partly due to Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October – it seems like a good time to be reflective – but I tend to generally be that kind of person anyway.  I don’t need much of a reason to get all mushy.

… but October is extra special and this year I’ve been thinking a lot about the past 35 years.  You see, that’s how long I’ve been married to this man.

2003 - Black Tie
2003 – Quebec City


Thirty-five years … this Thanksgiving weekend.

In my youth when my parents used to talk about events 30 – 40 years ago, I couldn’t help but think that they were old.  I mean really old.  I couldn’t imagine reminiscing about events in my past that were SOOOO long ago.

…. and yet, here I am.  Reflecting on 35 years of marriage.

Family - group-4
1988 – young parents

So these are my thoughts and a handful of grainy photos from our lives well-lived together – so far.

Thirty-five years.

Two sons.

One son-in-law.

2018 - wedding 1
2018 – Jordan & Dempsey’s wedding


Three addresses we’ve called home.  All in one city.

Countless friends who have graced our lives.

We’ve mourned the loss of 3 parents …. and too many friends.

We’ve travelled thousands and thousands of miles together across 22 countries.

2008 Majorca
2008 – Majorca

We’ve survived countless renovations, wallpapering, and dance lessons.  We’ve agreed to never attempt the latter two again.

We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve argued.

We’ve shouted at each other.  We’ve given each other the silent treatment.

… but we’ve always forgiven and moved on.

Love, respect, and a sense of humour always prevail in a life well lived.

1982 - before marriage
1982 – yes, let’s get married!









  1. Congratulations! I love how you summed up so many of the things through the years… from wallpaper to countries visited. (You made me want to do a similar look back on our next anniversary. ) It’s always a treat to see couples who have made it through the ups & downs and the dance lessons (however did you get him to agree- I’ve been trying for years!) and are still together and happy. I love the old pictures too!


    • I enjoyed writing this post. It’s a great way to put a long-term relationship into perspective. Obviously the details we prefer to focus on provide the flavour 🙂

      I’m one of those lucky women whose husbands love to dance. Gilles is one of those rare guys who would happily be on the dance floor all night. When he wears me out, he always manages to find another willing partner. At one family wedding, my nephew and I laughed from the sidelines betting on whose spouse was going to wear the other one out first 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Joanne! This is indeed an occasion to celebrate!
    Thank you for sharing in word & image your couple journey – I am thrilled & encouraged to share in your joy! and be inspired to aim for 35!
    Wishing you many more love- & adventure-filled days together!


  3. Congratulations Joanne and spousal unit! You look very young to have been married 35 years – just imagine what your blog post will say when you hit the 50 year or 60 year or 70 year anniversary! (The Car Guy and I will hit the 50 year mark next year, and as you can tell by my gravatar, I look very young too…)


  4. I love your tribute to 35 years Joanne. Amazing how we collect so many wonderful memories along the way, each one proof of life lived full! You wrote this well my friend, and congratulations to you.


    • Thank you 💕
      There are so many ups and downs in a typical marriage – sometimes complicated by stuff outside the marriage. It’s important to wrap some perspective around it.
      I know I’m very fortunate that in balance, the good far outweighs the bad, and looking back over the past 35 years I can see the richness of that texture 🙂


  5. Congratulations to you both. My parents were also married in October – as was one of my sisters. I think you were trend setters as it now seems to be a more and more popular month for weddings.


  6. Happy Anniversary!! Thirty five years is something to be proud of and a true accomplishment these days. I love looking at the old grainy pictures of the past. Yes, the quality was poor but the memories were priceless. Such babes in life back in ’83..and were we really that young?

    I see very young people walking down the street with one or two children in tow, barely seeming old enough to have completed high school. Then a quick peek at when my daughter was born…yep, I was that young too and nobody could have convinced me then that I wasn’t all grown up.


  7. Congratulations to you both. You look so young and in love in 1982 and with such fabulous hairstyles. I see Gilles has donated his to his sons 😉 We have just celebrated 15 years (both third marriages) and cannot understand where the time has gone. Some rocky roads in the beginning, but we soldiered through. Marriage doesn’t get any easier even if you are ‘grown-up’. And I am amused to see that with the exception of the sofa picture, you are always photographed standing on the left of Gilles. Or is that the right? I can never work out sides in photos.

    Anyway, keep on enjoy each other’s company, love, friendship and humour and adventures xx 🙂


    • What an interesting observation! – You’re right about the left … except in the 2nd photo where I’m on the right. Not something I’ve ever noticed before.

      For a guy who had SO MUCH hair, it really was quite traumatic for Gilles when he started to lose it – actually shortly after the boys came along. He blames them 😉

      … and you are so right about marriage not being a cake walk – especially since both of us are very strong-willed. When we are aligned, it is a thing of beauty, but when we aren’t … yikes. Sparks fly.

      I do wonder though where the time went. How is it even possible that I’m this old?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have always thought the name of your blog was perfect for you ( from my reading of previous posts) but even moreso now after reading this summary. Congratulations on your anniversary and also on a life lived full


  9. An Impromptu Congratulatory Haiku:

    The dreams you could see

    In the hope of Eighty-Three

    Now, reality

    Okay, not my best, but that’s what you get with a drive-by comment… 😉

    P.S. I’m also mystified by the “182 days” thing…


  10. Hearty congratulations, Joanne. We’ll hit 35 years next year and I, too, wonder where the years have gone. However, I can’t imagine life without my husband and i’m sure you feel the same. Our older daughter is getting married next weekend. Time does fly by but we’ve been blessed in that it’s flown by well.



  11. Joanne–what a beautiful post! I love the words, the photos…..everything. Happy Anniversary! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Life to you and your family. Salut!


    • Thank you, thank you, thank you 💕💕💕

      I’ve never quite decided whether I love October because of all the wonderful events that have happened during this month over the years (including our first son’s birth), or whether I just love this time of year and coincidentally all this wonderful stuff also happened 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely post, Joanne. Happy Anniversary! And Happy Thanksgiving for Monday. We are off to the nephew’s today to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving (since we obviously don’t get the public holiday) with one of my favourite Canadians (my niece) and my favouritest half-Canadian (my great-nephew). Cheers to all the lovely Canadians I know. 🙂


    • oooo – Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! Are you having turkey too? 🦃🦃🦃

      My guys will be descending on us in a few hours when the chaos will begin. In the meantime I am enjoying my morning coffee 🙂

      Unfortunately, Gilles still works full-time and has an American sales territory which means he doesn’t get the holiday weekend. We’ll have to go away to celebrate our anniversary during American Thanksgiving next month 🙂


    • thanks Joe – it has indeed been a great 35 years … in spite of the inevitable downs that come with the ups.

      We’ll be pretty old and decrepit in another 35 years. Maybe we’ll still be spunky enough to attempt wheelchair races up and down the halls of the senior’s home we’ve been relegated to 😉


  13. Happy anniversary! Your solid marriage has provided Jordan and Dempsey with a good foundation to build on. I loved the pictures from “way back when.” You haven’t changed a bit (and I expect you to say the same thing when I post pictures of me from long ago 😉 ).

    I hope you and Giles have a wonderful celebration planned… even if it’s just enjoying each other’s company at home.

    (Btw, “182 days plus and minus” is a full year 🙂 )


    • It is scary, Carol, and it just seems to go by faster and faster. I think I do a pretty good job of ‘savouring the moment’, but it still seems to slips through my fingers.
      When I stop to reflect though, that’s when I truly appreciate how rich our lives have been.
      I’m sure you feel the same way 🙂


  14. Congratulations! I’m not quite as far as you yet, but I still know how impressive it is to have your marriage stand the test of time. Like you, I can’t imagine where all the years have gone and yet when I see what we have accomplished in ways large and small, it should not be a surprise. Sending best wishes for many more wonderful years to you and your family!


    • It kind of reminds me of that expression life happens while you’re busy making other plans. Marriage is rather like that too. You’re in it – swimming and swimming and swimming – but only on reflection can you actually see the patterns and texture of your lives together. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that the design after 35 years together looks pretty good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely post Joanne. I have goosebumps after reading it. We were married in 1983 as well. So much happens over those decades, the ups and downs and here were are as you say wondering how it could be 30 or 40 years ago. Many congratulations and wishing you decades of time together ahead.


  16. So much to be thankful for Joanne! Congratulations to you & Gilles on your 35th & wishing you a wonderful gathering of family at Thanksgiving. May your hearts be filled with love 💕


    • I know it, Lynn … so much to be thankful for!! I would imagine this Thanksgiving will be extra special for you too as your clan all settles back close to home. I expect you will be a happy mom … and grandma 🙂


    • Our best friends at the time also married in June following our wedding. Sadly, they moved away and we drifted apart after children were born.

      So next year it’ll be you getting all mushy and sentimental 🙂


  17. That is truly an accomplishment! I doubt that I will ever be married 35 years as I married Mr. Wonderful late in life. However, I am enjoying every moment. You two grew up with each other and never allowed yourselves to grow apart. A miracle in this day and age.


    • You make an excellent point. Only in hindsight do we realize that we don’t really ‘grow up’ until much later in life. It really comes from weathering the storms together … a lot easier said than done!

      Liked by 1 person

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