When we celebrate our birthday, regardless what age we are, this is just a day in our lives. As long as we are alive, there will be another birthday. At the same time, when it comes to wedding anniversaries, a person has to be lucky to find the right partner to fall in love and with whom to share a life together, work on their relationship, care about each other, learn from each other and have incredible patience.
Elfa and I met when we were nineteen, married at twenty and had our first child at twenty-one. And on August 8th, we celebrated our fifty-two years of marriage. Last week I wrote about our celebratory eating experience. The next day, we drove to Carmel-by-the-Sea with Max, where we’ve visited many, many times. About twenty-five years ago we even considered buying a second home there. However, the price tag of over $500,000 was more than we could afford at the time, and we bought a home in The Sea Ranch for half of this price. Now, since a lot of people have some “extra” money and would like to buy a home for their retirement, prices here for a teardown start at 1.5 million. You can still buy a small condominium for half a million, which is similar to prices in San Francisco, at about $1,000 per sq ft. Last time we were in Carmel was two years ago. It was when we came to pick up our puppy Max from his breeder Melinda Leary in Monterey. This was when I started writing “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers.” This time, I wanted to have a family reunion. I called Melinda and we planned to meet on the beach. Max’s mom was not available, thus Melinda brought his grandmother. When Max met his relative, it was difficult to understand if there was a family connection. His grandma Lulu is brown, as Max used to be when we got him. Melinda also brought a ten-week young adorable puppy to introduce him to prospective buyers. Holding him in my hands made me want to have another puppy. However, with our lifestyle, one dog is enough. On the beach, we were joined by another labradoodle and soon all three older dogs were chasing after a ball and the little one was just happy to play in the sand. The next day, Melinda let me know that the couple decided to adopt the baby, in spite of having another small ten-year-old dog. We suspect that seeing Max helped them make their decision. Meanwhile, Max had a great time. During the day we walked a lot, and in the evening we went back to the beach to play with the ball.
Max has become a very handsome young man at the age of two. His baby brown hair turned into a tan color, and when we walked on the streets, many people commented how cute he is (I usually ask if they are talking about me, which in turn, guarantees a compliment that I am handsome as well).
Both my wife Elfa and I count our blessings for every extra day in our lives that we can be together and now with Max we just have more joy.
P.S. These four images show some of the encounters with the labradoodles we had in Carmel.
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