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Twenty Years Of Us

Today, Julie and I have been married for twenty years. Twenty years! See those two wooden scoops in the photo? They belong to a canister set someone gave us for our wedding. The scoop on the left has hefted steel-cut oats out of its canister for the past two decades. The scoop on the right, coffee beans. Almost every night, for twenty years, one of us has plunged that spoon four times into a canister full of coffee beans, to grind for our morning coffee.

The wood has wicked twenty years worth of oil from the beans. Mind you, we didn’t store the spoon in the coffee. It drew the oil from four scoops daily, for twenty years. That’s 29,200 scoops of coffee. The measure of a marriage.

We celebrated with a very old-school dinner at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse. Champagne to start, then salads (is there anything better than a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese?) a filet mignon for her, a ribeye for me, lavishly infused with butter. Asparagus, potatoes Lyonnaise, and a grand cru Burgundy. Sinatra on the soundtrack. Cheesecake and coffee to finish. I brought home my bone for my sweet dog Roscoe.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I’m a rich man.

78 Comments (Open | Close)

78 Comments To "Twenty Years Of Us"

#1 Comment By Caroline Nina in DC On December 31, 2017 @ 3:52 pm

Post that cute wedding picture you have posted before!

God grant you many more years!

#2 Comment By bayesian On December 31, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Congratulations indeed, for being and knowing that you are a rich man (now I can’t lose the image of Topol singing “If I were a rich man”). Here’s to your next twenty being even better (two days ago was 26 for my wife and me, and the past year has been perhaps our best ever, DJT’s best efforts notwithstanding: with my somewhat later start the odds are rather against our having another 26).

Did you have a particular reason for getting married on the 31st? Tax break :)? An urge to stay up until midnight on your anniversary since the racket would wake you anyway?

[NFR: It was December 30, which was the first reasonable day we could do it after Julie’s college graduation + the Christmas holidays. She’s eight years younger than I, recall. Plus, it was also the wedding anniversary date of my sister Ruthie and her husband Mike. It seemed like a nice symmetry. — RD]

#3 Comment By JohnT On December 31, 2017 @ 5:11 pm

Those two spoons would make a great short story. Congratulations Rod. Many more years. Btw this approximately our 11th anniversary as writer and reader.

#4 Comment By Tony D. On December 31, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

God grant you many, many years!! And a blessed St. Basil’s Day to all the Drehers.

#5 Comment By PA Moderate On December 31, 2017 @ 6:17 pm

Happy Anniversary.

#6 Comment By John Burzynski On December 31, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

Congratulations and blessings to you both for many more years!
It is the little things in a marriage that often have the most meaning. My wife and I have spent the last 20 or so years of our almost 30 years of marriage taking turns hiding a Dilly Bar stick in places where the other will eventually find it…underwear drawers, purses, coat pockets, etc. sometimes it takes a few mknths for the other to stumble on the stick but eventually it is quietly discovered and re hidden from the other, without any conversation about it at all. Quiet satisfaction….

#7 Comment By Andrew On December 31, 2017 @ 6:37 pm

Marvelous. Thank you for sharing. God bless you, Julie, and your entire family this new year. Your blog is an online oasis. Please keep up the good work.

#8 Comment By Pogonip On December 31, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

Congratulations and many happy returns!

#9 Comment By mrscracker On December 31, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

Congratulations and wishing you each many blessings in the New Year!

#10 Comment By Will Oberton On December 31, 2017 @ 8:02 pm


#11 Comment By David Palmer On December 31, 2017 @ 9:02 pm

Congrats to a couple of spring chickens.
After 20 years the anniversaries start accelerating away and before you know where you are you’re up to 50 years, wondering what happened in between.
Detur Gloria Soli Deo

#12 Comment By Pilgrim On December 31, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

Happy anniversary, and wishing you all a happy new year…..
May 2018 be a good one for you and your family, including the extended one—especially your mother.

#13 Comment By DOD On December 31, 2017 @ 10:34 pm

Many years to you together! Yes, you have real wealth and thanks for sharing it with us in countless ways. Stagger onward!

#14 Comment By Steve in CBus On December 31, 2017 @ 11:05 pm

Congratulations and many, many thanks for all your hard work. God bless you an yours, and happy new year!

#15 Comment By Durin On December 31, 2017 @ 11:48 pm


#16 Comment By HM On January 1, 2018 @ 1:36 am

Rod, may God continue to bless you and Julie

#17 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On January 1, 2018 @ 7:47 am


#18 Comment By March Hare On January 1, 2018 @ 8:29 am

Wow, what a difference a good night’s sleep can make.

Last night I was wondering what it was about your coffee habits that you regarded as “wicked”. This morning, it’s clear that the word is a verb, not an adjective.

Congratulations on your anniversary, with many more to come.

#19 Comment By grumpy realist On January 1, 2018 @ 10:37 am

P.S. I suspect the chicory in French coffee was originally a way to eke out the dreadfully expensive (imported) coffee by adding something with a similar taste. Since coffee was rare in France but chicory available everywhere as a weed and roasted chicory roots were easy to produce by a kitchenmaid.

This probably was acceptable especially since the habit for breakfast coffee in France has been cafe au lait, with the coffee brewed appropriately and the milk and sugar help mask any difference in taste. (We tried the breakfast coffee straight the last time we were in Paris and immediately nicknamed it “Venezuelan Crude.”)

(The Brits seem to have jumped over the problem by immediately going to tea, avoiding experiments with burnt samples of their native flora. Burnt turnips, anyone?)

#20 Comment By William Burns On January 1, 2018 @ 11:36 am

Congratulations! A happy marriage is the best thing we can get on earth.

#21 Comment By ginger On January 1, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

Happy 20th, Rod. Wishing you many more!

Having just celebrated our 26th this week, I can honestly say that our marriage is the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

#22 Comment By Robbie On January 1, 2018 @ 12:30 pm

“And here is love
like a tinsmith’s scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.”

–from the poem “Mossbawn” by Seamus Heaney, who also found a humble spoon to be an articulate expression of love.

Happy anniversary to you both.

#23 Comment By Tom S. On January 1, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

Congratulations, Rod and Julie.

#24 Comment By Erin Manning On January 1, 2018 @ 6:58 pm

Happy anniversary, Rod and Julie!

December 31st, our oldest girl turned 22. December 29 our whole family was in Birmingham, Alabama, for the wedding of my youngest sister. It’s a festive time of year for weddings and birthdays, to be sure!

#25 Comment By Rob G On January 2, 2018 @ 6:57 am

It used to be that all the supermarkets up here in Pa. carried Luzianne coffee with chicory, but for quite a few years now it’s been hard to find, first with the seeming takeover of the canned coffee market by Maxwell House and Folger’s, then the whole Keurig thing, which reduced even further the choices in loose coffee. The last time I found it was in an Asian grocery. I like it 50/50 with hot milk, no sugar, but it wouldn’t be my everyday joe. For that I usually have either Costa Rican or Sumatran “full city” roast (medium-dark) from a local importer/roaster whose prices are surprisingly reasonable. They also do a fantastic medium-roasted India Monsooned Malabar, which is unlike any other coffee I’ve tried.

#26 Comment By JaredK On January 2, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

If you love the wedge salad you have to give this recipe a go! I never understood the wedge salad. I looked upon all iceberg lettuce with disdain. But then some friends and I were going to an amphitheater to see the musical Titanic. We were in charge of salad and I thought iceberg was fitting and clever. So we found this and lord what a hit it was…


If you can find organic/local iceberg, it’s worth it. It’s a looser wedge which helps provide space for the toppings.

#27 Comment By Bill Hoffman On January 3, 2018 @ 10:43 am

Congratulations and thank you Rod, for keeping our roots strong.

#28 Comment By Pavlos On January 8, 2018 @ 5:20 pm

The latest statistics show that the median US annual income is $57,617 – above 50% of households, and below 50% of households

So I’d wager an American that feels they don’t have a lot of money has a lot more than that, and when compared to the world, even a whole lot more.
It’s especially typical of conservatives to feel they don’t have a lot of money, which is why they’re always railing against welfare, as if welfare recipients are just simply lazy and could/should have money too (like conservatives) if only they’d work.
Just a little research into income inequality in the United States is sure to open eyes and ears, but only of those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
There are a whole lot of US citizens for whom some overseas trip to a monastery or whatever isn’t even on the horizon of possibilites, and represents a gross luxury no differently than a Silicon Valley yacht.