Marriage: Year Twelve

December 2014: Learning about Chocolate Cake and Bourbon

One thing I learned in December 2014: Don’t try to keep up with the guys who are drinking bourbon at your new job’s end-of-year party and also eat chocolate cake the night before you’re supposed to fly to Connecticut for a wedding.

You will recover before the wedding ceremony, but it’ll take a solid 24 hours, and everything about your life you will hate during that period of time.


Another thing I learned in December 2014: My husband might actually be a saint.

Spring 2015: Learning about New Seasons

At Brandon’s grandma’s house, there’s always something new blooming. I walk around the yard after working in Cleveland all day, dealing with rush hour traffic between Case Western Reserve and Akron, and admire all the flowers. There are so many varieties of perennials blooming here.

We go out together to dinner and a concert – Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt – and there are no children with us. We do our best not to talk about the children, to only talk about us, to have fun.

“Just think,” Brandon says, “in three years we’ll be able to leave Lydia with the boys and just, leave.” I can’t imagine it in that moment, that stage of life seems so distant.

We’re in a new neighborhood with new friends and new jobs in a new house in a new school district away from our old community, closer to family. Everything is different, even living in Brandon’s grandma’s house. Everything needs to be made new.

The distance from Ashland and my old job is liberating in a way I didn’t know I needed, so even though the days are long, and we don’t see as much of each other these days, we’re here tonight. John Hiatt is wailing, “Have a little faith in me,” and we do.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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