JB turned forty back in August, and I wrote him a letter:

From early emails between the reception desk and purchasing to a backpack full of Coors Light on New Year’s Eve. Lasers aimed at an adjoining Portland apartment, a punching bag drilled into the balcony. A moving van filled with our combined belongings, burning wrapping paper in our Las Vegas fireplace. A lemon tree, dual Lasik, the Sunset Station, one hundred adventures to Red Rock and Zion. The Kaibab squirrels in the Grand Canyon, an overturned snowmobile in Utah. On Y2K, an engagement ring. Another moving truck and an epic drive, oysters to celebrate a job offer from Microsoft. The strip of fake grass on our apartment deck for the cat, watching ferries slide back and forth in the Sound. Our snaggletoothed officiant ringing the church bell after we said I do. Your hand-picked dinner in Phuket as fellow Americans with burger plates looked on jealously. Diener driving us to our not-then-yellow house, thinking he had the wrong address. The first morning after Dog: the Great Brown Sea. In the high Cascades, a hummingbird in our camp. Two tiny outfits bought in Hawaii, pink and blue, because we didn’t yet know. A tiny Riley and a nurse who laughed and told us to never wake a sleeping baby. Our house torn wide open on one end, plastic to keep the raccoons out. A remote beach in Tofino among jutting black rocks and wave-smoothed pebbles. A tiny Dylan, arriving via nervous head-pats that felt like Lenny and the puppies. The loss of Dog. A patchwork Cat. A thousand dreaming conversations before finally saying goodbye to the yellow house. The deep melting glow of a ranch sunset, our family held in a great gentle hand made of sage and sky.

I could write night and day for every year I’ve known you and never come close to capturing what you mean to me. Happy fortieth birthday to you, and here’s to forty more amazing years of us.

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Janet in Miami
Janet in Miami
8 years ago

Just. Beautiful.

Pete
Pete
8 years ago

I just love that!

Juliette
Juliette
8 years ago

I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve left a comment on a blog. Can’t resist today…that was absolutely beautiful. Can only imagine the reaction to a letter like that.

Sande
Sande
8 years ago

Awweee. I have a lump in my throat. How sweet.

Now did you reference the time you took the picure of his bare ass when you guys were camping way back in the Diaryland days? I can’t seem to ever get that image out of my head when I see a picture of JB.

Em
Em
8 years ago

So sweet! I love the idea of writing the letter – I might have to do that for my husband some day.

Maureen
Maureen
8 years ago

JB and my husband share a birthday! Many happy returns to both of them! Unfortunately he is getting such a beautiful tribute-just cake!

Amy Ritchie
Amy Ritchie
8 years ago

Dammit. You made me cry. You are so lucky to have each other. xoxo

Jo
Jo
8 years ago

Damn, you can write.

Happy Birthday JB!

Kristen
Kristen
8 years ago

Beautiful. Your love and commitment to each other inspires me.

Lori
8 years ago

So great. Love it.

Robyn
Robyn
8 years ago

Tears!!

Jo
Jo
8 years ago

Dammit you made me cry at my desk. Absolutely beautifully written. Happy Birthday JB

June
8 years ago

Happy birthday, JB! Hugs and fondness to your whole family.

MLH
MLH
8 years ago

Wow. Love.

April
April
8 years ago

Lovely.

Katherine
8 years ago

Perfect. It’s funny how our memories are a mixture of little things and big things, all of which become important things.

Alison V
Alison V
8 years ago

Love. Beautiful, and such a good idea. I’m worried my memory is too poor to create something quite like this.

Melinda
Melinda
8 years ago

Awww! That made me smile. Hope 40 is an amazing year for JB and your family!

Meghan
Meghan
8 years ago

Okay that made me cry. How awesome! :)

Amy
Amy
8 years ago

Thanks for sharing that. You have a magically descriptive voice.

Victoria
8 years ago

Bawling

Kristen
Kristen
8 years ago

That was really lovely.

Jeanette
8 years ago

Awww..really beautiful!

Mel
Mel
8 years ago

That made me cry, too! Happy 40th (belated) to JB. Glad you are writing again. I’ve missed it!

Jen D.
Jen D.
8 years ago

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing a piece of you guys with us.

E
E
8 years ago

I read with wide eyes, savoring the imaginary (to me) experiences you wrote about, until I reached the “our family held in a great gentle hand made of sage and sky”, then my eyes filled up with tears. Absolutely beautiful writing, Linda.

Maggie
Maggie
8 years ago

THis is so amazing! Wish I had thought of something so sentimental for my husband on his fortieth. May have to steal it for our 20th anniversary which is coming up :)

Gabriella
8 years ago

Beautiful. Cherish each other.

LD's Mom
LD's Mom
8 years ago

I think it’s pretty cool that you are willing to share that with us. It’s a beautiful letter, and it makes us feel like special friends to get to read it too. Thank you.

Tracy
Tracy
8 years ago

I really loved that.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago

Lovely.

Marieka
Marieka
8 years ago

Now *that* is a love letter! I’m reaching for the Kleenex and marveling at your writing. You captured so many memories and took your readers along on the journey from when you met JB until now. I could practically see every moment you described. Evocative, and totally beautiful!

C
C
8 years ago

Although (almost)totally unrelated to this post, I wanted to say THANKYOU for your recent As Green As I Get post on hunting… from someone who has been a lifelong vegetarian.
I think it’s up to you what you want to put in your mouth, not anyone else, and I think your take on hunting is spoton.

Niki
Niki
8 years ago

It’s time for a Dog. A boy needs a Dog.

Maura
Maura
8 years ago

Tears….you are so eloquent.

Laurelie
Laurelie
8 years ago

Beautifully written, like everything you write. Thank you for sharing. You two have created a wonderful life together.

Christine
8 years ago

No big deal. Just crying at work.

Happiest birthday JB! Hope every year is better than the next.