Patrick and I moved to Augusta as newlyweds. We were just learning how to be married and what this whole “till death do us part” mess meant. Obviously, we have since learned that it means that I am always right and if you tell me I’m wrong I may throw a shoe. Or frozen poultry. But if you just wave a little chocolate cake and/or red wine in my general direction I usually calm right down. Its lessons like these that make that whole “parting at death” thing a lot less farther off. Patrick is very interested in long life. Until I make him watch the Saturday morning Aaron Spelling marathon.

But I think that as our leaving Augusta approaches I look back on the first 6 years of our marriage as our “newlywed” period. Childless, hours from all our family. Good god, we could eat chocolate ice cream in bed and do laundry without pants on because there was nobody to tell us it was wrong! I remember so clearly how, during those first few months of marriage, I would wander around our house after Patrick had left for work in the mornings (as I was oh so jobless and in general, a drain on an already precarious financial situation) looking at this place, this place we owned and feeling so very grown up. But also afraid that someone was going to figure me out for the child I really was.

Patrick and I are both very close with our families; we have always been able to turn to our parents for anything, without question. But for a newly married couple, that can sometimes be a hindrance. I don’t doubt that Patrick and I would have ended up married had he not been offered a job 5 hours away and I, in a little New Years scene fueled by my anger at NOT. BEING. PROPOSED. TO. on top of which I poured thirty-seven gallons of tequila, “calmly” and “politely” informed him that I would not be involved in a long distance relationship. I now imagine the scene sounded like a howler monkey. Shaving a cat. Underwater.

Against what I can only assume was his better judgment (and the dumbfounded look my father gave him when he asked for permission) he married me anyway. And that move away from the place we had lived for nearly 25 years became the best thing that ever happened to us. We learned to be a couple, to depend on each other for love, support, entertainment (please refer to job, Susannah not having one). We became each other’s sounding boards, we established our own routines and traditions and we became, for lack of a better word, a team.

From our first date, I knew that I was going to love this man for the rest of my life. But I never fathomed the admiration and respect that I would have for him. I never could have guessed that his adorability and big brown eyes would be secondary to the fact that I never want to go a day without hearing him tell me good morning or sweet dreams. He is my best friend and I have our life in Augusta to thank for that.

No, we aren’t going to be leaving here parents and unless I can suddenly knocked up and give birth in three short weeks, I’m not going to be a mother by the time I’m thirty. A few years ago those two things were unimaginable. Now I just kind of shrug my shoulders and laugh it off. Because as far as life goes, I’ve already won, the zip code seems irrelevant.