This one was taken last October when Paula and I went to Shuckles Corn Maze in Tennessee with our friends, Mark & Patty. There have been quite a few pictures of the two of us taken over the years but I really like this one because of its spontaneity and intimacy it captures between us.
Two months later we found ourselves at the shore of the Gulf of Mexico on a cool December afternoon in Clearwater Beach, Florida. I like this one because...well, who doesn't like a kiss on the beach?
Another of my favorite kissing pictures was a selfie taken near the shore of Lake Michigan during our August 2012 vacation in Chicago.
These are just a few shots that capture a trio of the thousands and thousands of kisses my beautiful bride and I have shared over our nearly 2 decades together.
Which brings me back to the "Kissaversary" thing. It was 18 years ago today that we shared our first face-to-face expression of affection. I say "face-to-face" for a couple of reasons. One of them being, although we were in love for months before, it wasn't until the middle of May 1998 that Paula and I saw each other in person for the first time. Prior to that our relationship had been a long distance romance by way of the Internet and phone conversations.
Back on May 15, 2009, I posted the story of that first kiss. Now I could simply direct you to that post but instead I'm including a slightly abbreviated version here. It's been quite a few years since this life changing kiss but it's still as fresh in my mind and heart as when it happened. It's my way of, once again, thanking my wife for showering me with her unconditional affection for the last 18 years. I love you Paula; always and forever. Happy Kissaversary.
Now here's that special story from 1998.
Soon I realized the reason she was so uncomfortable. I was staring at her. I apologized, did my best to control the excitement I was feeling as a result of just standing next to her and pretended to be interested in wondering where the luggage might be.
When the suitcases and the duffel bags began appearing both of us watched for the one we would claim. When she identified the bag that was hers I picked it up and we walked away together.
Our destination was the 3rd level of the parking structure. We exchanged small talk along the way. The silver blue mini van was right where I'd left it about an hour earlier.
I opened the sliding door on the passengers side of the silver blue minivan and gently lifted her suitcase into the middle seat. I unlocked the passenger door and opened it gesturing for my newly arrived companion to get in.
Before she did I looked into her eyes. The spark that reflected back to me was an echo of the overwhelming joy I was feeling at that moment. I moved closer to her and kissed her.
That was Friday May 14, 1998 and I had just shared a first kiss with the woman who is now my wife. While there have been many since; to this day, each kiss reminds me of the one I will never forget: the first one.