Our First Anniversary and a “Friend” Sighting, all in One Week !

This is an unusual post for me…all mushy stuff opening with a couple of questions, followed by a few statements of fact, and ending with a sigh of relief.

First – a year ago this June 1 my beautiful wife, shimmyshark to WordPress People…but forever Char mi amor to me, exchanged marriage vows with me.  That was something I never imagined happening again in my life…but some lifetimes a guy just gets lucky.  My first question is – what is the traditional anniversary gift for a one-year anniversary?  I know the various anniversaries all have some element or other symbolic substance associated with them.  Am I write in thinking it is paper?  I think I recall that from somewhere.  I could look it up in a minute on the internet, I guess, but I’m done looking stuff up on the internet for the week.

This leads to my second question – what in the world do I give the such a special woman as a gift that is made of paper, if my recollection is true?  She got me a bottle of Chilean wine…Pinot Noir…my favorite, which is hard to come by and expensive here since the climate is not conducive to growing those tiny grapes that are cultivated at a very limited range in altitude and under conditions that are rare in South and Central America.  I know about this bottle of Pinot because I’m a snoop, and I helped her unpack groceries after her shopping trip the other day, despite her protestations she didn’t need my help.  If it is paper, that leads me to a statement –

char framed BW

My wife, the budding photographer, is having her work published for the first time next week in a poetry collection created by my friend from Pakistan, Maryam Shahbaz.  There is also an exhibition of her work being planned within the next month.

After only a few months of taking photography seriously, and being limited by the fact that the only cameras we have are a cell phone and an ancient digital thing, I’m extremely proud of her.

This is a self portrait she did one morning on our balcony.  I repeat, how lucky can a guy get?

Our move from Seattle to Central America might have helped a bit, giving her a colorful and constantly changing palette of images to work with.  But, the eye is hers, so we’ll toast her eyes next Saturday, along with the rest of her.

And, speaking of Maryam Shahbaz…


20130402_123840A communique arrived from Pakistan.  Some tough times have been had by a young woman who deserves much better, but things work out.  Her first collection of poetry, The Light Behind the Veil, is in the final stages of incubation…a few alignment edits with the printer, a few other minor publishing issues, and she’s off and running as a new voice in Pakistani poetry, a country known for its storytellers and poets.

Maryam is a private person, not used to the spotlight or a lot of attention, so I promised her I would not air any of our communications other than the fact she was alright and will return to the world of WordPress once her poetry collection is out and things calm down for her and her family.

The recent elections in Pakistan, in which the conservative forces of Flat-World-ism won out, stomping on the face of any hopes for the Progressive movement toward a better world for all of that country’s citizens instead of the favored few.

I told her I know how she feels, having lived through a few of those Back-to-the-Past elections which brought a New World Order in name only to the United States.  I can empathize with her and her country’s disappointments.

Here’s hoping for the best for her and Pakistan.

Anyway…I’m off.  Still trying to figure out this anniversary thing.  And, if paper it is, I guess paper it will be.  What does one give to someone so special made of paper?  A book of poetry with her photos in it?

We’ll see.


42 thoughts on “Our First Anniversary and a “Friend” Sighting, all in One Week !

  1. bluebrightly says:

    Congrats! Ya never know! You’re both lucky, but you know that.

  2. jerwayne2013 says:

    Loved this article. What wonderful words for your very beautiful wife. Congratulations of your first anniversary & wishing you many, many more anniversaries to celebrate in that beautiful country. U 2 make an awesome couple & I wish you only the very best in your future.

  3. Happy anniversary! And, congratulations to both of you! How wonderful to be in love! How great to hear about the book. Your wife’s self-portrait is stunning! Continued success and much love for both of you! I wish peace and happiness for both of you and Maryam.

  4. kelihasablog says:

    Awe, this is so sweet and thoughtful… I love it. You’re right though… paper is a tough one! 😀

  5. jannatwrites says:

    Happy anniversary! I’m terrible at gifts, and have never done the traditional year gifts, so I can’t help you there. Thank goodness some of your other commenters have made suggestions.

    I’m glad Maryam is okay. I hope she continues to be safe.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks. Yes, terrible with gifts also…and I did get several good suggestions from nice people like yourself.
      Maryam is OK, but she’s a young lady who takes a lot of chances in a neighborhood where chance taking is not seen as proper for a woman, or a lot of other people who have little power…in a lot of other neighborhoods.

  6. After being away from your posts for about a week this is the BEST post to update me on all the things that are going on for you two — congratulations, my friends! The book and the exhibition sound fantastic and I am hoping that you not only let the rest of us know how we can order a copy of the book but take pictures of your wife’s exhibition as well so we can share in the fun! As for a paper gift, I’m a big fan of journals. They come in all different sizes and price range, my favorite are the small mole-skin books that fit in my back pocket. That a small stubby pencil because you never know when you need a stubby pencil to write things down.

    Congratulations (once again!) you two are the best!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks, thanks, and thanks again. I’m going to help her with getting her book onto Amazon, if I can, in e-book if necessary. I’ve got one of those leather-bound journals for stuff I think of or want to liberate, but she thinks in terms of camera gear…so, dinner in the best Italian restaurant in town, a bottle of rare Pinot Noir on the balcony with our feet on the railing while two lightning storms competed for air space was all I could muster. The waiter brought us a detailed bill…traded 5,000 colones for the vino tinto…and flipped cigarette butts onto my landlord’s yard, which I guess covered the paper tradition.

  7. words4jp says:

    Congratulations – the two of you make a beautiful couple. I am so happy for the both of you. First off i think it is awesome that #1 – you remembered an anniversary (believe me, in my experience this barely ever happened) and #2 – that you are placing so much thought on what you want to gift (my first anniversary gift was a vacuum cleaner and a 6 pack of diet coke – yes, he is an ex-hub). with all of that silliness said, I would say that #1 – you are the best gift for an anniversary (sappy, I know, but true) Place a bow on yourself and in your hands give her any of the wonderful ideas presented by the comments above. Do the Costa Rican people have any anniversary present traditions? i personally love interesting jewelry (not diamonds..) but something that is any art piece or something along those lines.

    Okay, I will shut up now – I am happy for the two of you and very happy that you connected with Maryam and she is doing okay.

    later gator…..

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks for all the suggestions, and I know to stay away from vacuum cleaners now. Costa Ricans go to the beach to celebrate everything, and Americans, Candians, and Europeans come here for such occasions…but we’re here already. We’ve seen two weddings, a graduation party, and so many pairs of lovers from eighteen to eighty over the last week…guess I’ll go for simple. Take her to a Arenal volcano and throw paper airplanes into the flowing magma. Unique experience.

      • words4jp says:

        Gee – that is beyond romantic and awesome – really. I am feeling myself melt at this moment! (I am being serious)

        Go for it dude – (just do not fall in:)

        later gator……

  8. john howell says:

    I have always found the unique blending of cotton fibers, linen and wood pulp with colorful inks to be the best gift on paper anniversary. Many dead presidents worth.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I wish I had kept my wife in the dark about the exchange rate here, instead, I urged her to function on her own. Now I can’t hand her a handful of colones with big numbers on them and impress her. Bummer. Education leads to enlightenment…of my pocket where my walking around money clanks and rustles. She says she appreciates your advice…I appreciate your comments, and like The Dude from the Big Lebowski, I will abide.

  9. Congratulations on your anniversary! You’re right. This is an unusual post for you, but I’m glad it’s up. Good luck to all three of you. As an Indonesian, I sympathize with what’s going on in Pakistan; we even have talks about “Pakistanization” of Indonesia, which we absolutely dread. (I’m not talking about Obama’s real-life version of Command and Conquer, but the other thing that’s going on.) Let’s hope for the best.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I do hope for the best for you. So many people who dig no farther than what the mainstream media tells them have no idea of the problems faced by Indonesians. A great trivia question to win a bet or two is to ask one of these geniuses which country has the largest Muslim population…they never know. A few have heard of Indonesia. I will revert to my bothersome, questioning everything writing soon, if this spotty internet wills it.

  10. ioniamartin says:

    Congratulations to you both. No wonder you aren’t such a curmudgeon anymore huh? With a pretty lady like that you have no excuse to be grumpy!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks. Yes, good reason to de-grump, but it’s not like I am a sensible person, ya know? As long as she indulges me with her presence, I’ll stay difficult.

  11. Maggie says:

    Scott – Congratulations to you and Char on your first anniversary. I am sure you will figure out a wonderful gift after all you know her best! I am so happy that life is good for you in Costa Rica, I may even be a little jealous that you get to see the beach everyday. I read your posts all the time (they get sent to my email) but not necessarily in a timely manner… they make me smile, laugh, and sometimes I just have a confused look on my face and Ramil says “What” and I say “just one of Scott’s posts”. End of conversation. I like that you put your wife’s pictures in your posts, tell her I am a fan of her photography – I try to take good pics but my subject matter – my two kids 3 and 6 don’t always cooperate. So, much more to say…I will just have to email. Happy Anniversary to you both my dear friend!

  12. "HE WHO" says:

    Congrats to you and Shimmyshark! And news from Maryam! Sounds like you’ve got a great day going. For our first anniversary (1970) my mother gave us a humongous dictionary. You don’t need it these days but back then it was a godsend and to tell the truth, I always have one next to my computer, even now. Hope it just gets better for you guys!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I used to have BBC English Language Dictionary…filled a drag-along piece of luggage. Yes, internet, or adopt my ignorance and grammar gaffes as style. Married since 1969…just amazes me. I was teething then, I think. Nothing but respect for two people who can cooperate and live with each other that long. We should all be sending you congratulatory cards…and not e-cards, real ones.

  13. Wow – one year anniversary!! Congratulations – your wife is not only a saint but gorgeous. Plus talented. Plus thoughtful with the wine. Plus long suffering. Hmmm….but Pretty and Slow and the Pack send our heartiest congratulations to you both! We love a love story, and yes paper is appropriate. I think you should get her a book of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry and then read some of them to her. Romantic. Sweet. Leads to a Second Anniversary…warmest wishes.

    • P.S. We appreciate the update on your Pakistani friend, too. We were worried when we saw the election furor. So glad she is ok!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Shhhhh…she reads these sometimes. You go canonize her and I’m going to be a supplicant for the rest of my life. 🙂
      EBB is a good choice…I read her Hunter Thompson and Sam Coleridge now, and she’s turning incredibly daring and adopting risk-taking behaviors. She is supposed to try to keep my spastic personality in check…she will fail, but it’s fun to watch her try.

  14. mrs fringe says:

    Love, love, love this post! Congratulations 🙂 You are a lucky man, indeed. And smart enough to marry your love, and move to Costa Rica.

    I can’t help you with anniversary stuff, Husband and I tend to be bad at that kind of thing.

    I’m very happy to see you heard from Maryam, and she is ok.

    Oh! Had an idea for the anniversary present–money, yes, but the start of a fund for a better camera 🙂

  15. When I googled it, I found some ideas. How about a map framed? It could show where you started and where you are and you could mark all the places you’ve been together or where you want to go.

    A scrapbook of your first year…or a memory box

    Personally, I like the framed map. Good luck. And congratulations

    P.S. I’m also glad to hear that your friend Maryam is doing okay

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks..good suggestions. My wife was just saying she wants to go to Spain where a friend of mine just bought an old castle. Re-piling stones…the perfect anniversary trip.

  16. Bizangelgirl55 says:

    Congratulation on your anniversary. You make a lovely couple.

  17. Congrats! Not sure about the paper thing. Expensive photo stock? Photo album? All I know is that handing a napkin to your wife during the anniversary dinner doesn’t count. Tried that and got punched in the shoulder.

  18. shimmyshark says:

    You big mush… And, you found your Pinot? I’m drinking it now. Here’s to ya !
    On my Way…

  19. Doris says:

    Congratulations, you two make a beautiful couple, she is so beautiful. Maybe you can do a book with her photos and poems or something like that http://www.blurb.com/?ce=msn_general

    or a album with photos and poetry or verses made out of paper you can make it your self or check this site

    a frame, you can cover it with some local paper from where you live
    or a diary made of paper and you write something on the first page
    thanking her.

    glad you friend is safe.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thanks…she brings the beauty, and I guess I’m bringing the paper, because it seems I was right. Thanks for the suggestions. It beats pea shooters and paper wads…might not make it to two years.

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