Guess who is celebrating a 10th blogiversary this month?

Two bloggers I happily follow have bragging rights to 10-years’ blogging. They are faithful commenters on my blog too. Drum roll please for. . .

Marie Washington who blogs about writing and life at El Space:



Pam Wight, author of the “roughwighting” blog, which you can find here

Congratulations, Marie and Pam!



This month, Plain and Fancy is also celebrating a Ten-Year Anniversary. Since February 2013, I’ve blogged regularly at

Because I have been writing about marriage in My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir, my blog milestone led me down memory lane, recalling early wedding anniversaries we celebrated through thick and thin.

The early years were mostly “thin,” our fifth anniversary celebrated with a $10.00 lamp from a Jacksonville antique shop. I have held onto it for fifty years, its 60-watt bulb emitting a fuzzy glow from under an old-fashioned cloth lampshade with fleur de lis next to the table and chairs in our kitchen.



By the 10th anniversary, we were a little more financially fit and sprung for a schoolhouse clock, I believe costing about $150.00. With a soothing tick-tock, the clock has enjoyed pride of place above the kitchen table. (The fruity floral plates were added later.)


Tenth Anniversary Gift: Schoolhouse Clock with floral plates from Czech Republic


It occurs to me that these gifts, lamp and clock, are symbolic of light and time.


It’s true, isn’t it, that relationships of any kind, marital or otherwise, need seasoning, which the warmth of light and the passage of time can offer. Reversing the lament of Percy Bysshe Shelley, life and time and love can replace grief with joy, delight, and light.


Precious metals, special objects, even common ones often mark important milestones of all sorts.




My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir marks a few anniversaries, not the early ones, but those more recent, anniversaries with a number “five” in front of them. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 38, highlighting the meaning of the word “Compensation.”

from Ch. 38    A Wedding Anniversary Meditation: Compensation  

My husband and I live independently, on a street with moms or dads pushing baby carriages, runners in athletic gear straining for mile-markers, and retirees savoring a mid-morning stroll. As we go through our day indoors, we joke that we now live in “Assisted Living,” helping each other with laundry, meals, and errands. The “Help” works both ways in our marriage. We compensate for one another’s weaknesses with our own strengths. John Milton asserts that the complementary aspect of marriage makes for a “cheerful and apt conversation,” according to one of his tracts on marriage and divorce.

Take a lesson from the animal kingdom. Zoologists know that herds of African wildebeests and zebras migrate together because their strengths compensate for their weaknesses, making them more compatible and less vulnerable to attack. Wildebeests (also called gnus) have poor eyesight, but they have a keen sense of smell, whereas zebras have good eyesight and a poor sense of smell.

Each species has its unique set of qualities to benefit the other. Traveling together, they can fend off enemies who threaten their survival. Like the yin-yang symbol, the two breeds of animals are complementary. Rather like in a good marriage. . .

In our marriage, I’m the “wildebeest.” struggling with poor eyesight, yet I have bionic ears (thanks to my mother’s genes).

Cliff is hearing impaired but sharp eyed, a good thing, because he is a visual artist. Like compensation, the word accommodation, another hefty “-tion” word, is a first cousin to compensation and, practiced often, a boon to harmony. . . .



Snag a copy of My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir this week. Pre-order it now on Amazon. E-Book will be available very soon.

You can also discover family secrets in my first memoir, Mennonite Daughter, The Story of a Plain Girl, also on Amazon.



Are you celebrating a special milestone event this year?

Do you remember any milestone gifts: birthday, graduation, wedding?