I would like to publicly declare Happy Anniversary Darling, to my delightful Sir.  As you read this, tomorrow marks our 14th wedding anniversary.Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?
I met Sir 15 years ago, on Aug. 1. We’d played bridge on the Internet for some time, finally got around to exchanging photos and phone numbers, and when we realized we could in fact have bought our respective phone carriers for the amount they were charging, Sir decided it was time to take the kangaraoo by the tail and pop on down to Sydney to meet me. 
I picked Sir up from Sydney airport, somewhat shell shocked from his 21 hour "pop" door-to-door from KC to Sydney, not having really appreciated how far down under Down Under in fact was. His intention was to stay one month, and sure enough, eight months later we made the trip back to the US, much to the chagrin of the Australian Immigration Officers who reminded Sir in serious tones that his three month visa had expired some five months before.  
He managed to convince them that we were having such a good time together it just slipped his mind, and he was thenceforth released from the extremely small room in which he’d been incarcerated for those somewhat scary 15 minutes. 
We backed and forthed between KC and Sydney for a bit, when I mentioned that I needed to get my 16-year old gorgeous Madam through high school.  His reply was instant: why don’t we fly to LA, rent a car and drive to Vegas, and get married? Well why not indeed. 
I posed the question to Madam, giving her the option to come with us on our brand new adventure, or to stay in Sydney to finish school. Her reply I will never forget: "I just want you to be happy, Mum," and so she made the trip with us.  We left on a cold winter day on July 28th, and arrived, funnily enough, on July 30 in the height of summer, stopping in lovely downtown Barstow, California, to dash into the local K-Mart to buy a few bits of summer clothing needed before we reached KC, and we were married on Aug. 1 at the Excalibur in Las Vegas.
 What a great 14 years it has been. I suppose my biggest adjustment was to realize that my Irish and Scottish heritage was one of extreme calm compared with his background of Italian and Croatian, but once I realized his bluster and bellow only meant he loved me that much more, I learnt to weather the European emotions.  Oh without doubt we’ve had our ups and downs, but thankfully the ups have outweighed the downs by about three and a half pounds.
Together we’ve seen Madam graduate high school and college, we’ve rejoiced at her wedding to Beau. We’ve taken long road trips and longer plane trips. We’ve visited friends, and friends have visited us. We’ve each experienced a new culture.  We’ve laughed, and cried, and laughed again.
 So Happy Anniversary, my dear friend. My darling. My Sir.  
Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com