The next two weeks are a very special time for both me and my wife, and we plan on doing a lot of celebrating and relaxing.
Yesterday my beautiful bride and childhood sweetheart hit one of her birthday milestones. I won’t tell you which one it was, but it put her in the same decade where I now reside and is the biggest one you reach before officially hitting senior citizen status. You do the math.
Of course, she continues to look decades younger than I do. I say that because it is true, and in hopes it earns me a point or two to make up for whatever I do wrong in the next few days. Because you know there will be something.
In addition to her birthday, later this month we will mark our 40th wedding anniversary. That is a remarkable achievement for her, managing to stay married to yours truly over four complete decades. It is a testament to her patience, her endurance, and of course – her intelligence. I think I just used up another point.
We celebrated her birthday last weekend, joined by a lot of family including our two sons with their wives, and all five of our precious and beautiful grandchildren. To have our kids and grandkids come together like that – some from a good distance – is a testament to my wife’s role as the glue that holds us all together.
To further celebrate these two great events, we are leaving next week on a cruise to Alaska, someplace Cynthia has always wanted to visit. If you are thinking of robbing our house while we’re gone – forget it. We have people staying there, and we’ve hidden all the good stuff.
Now, those who read this space regularly and are aware of the Gouveia Travel Curse are probably wondering why I would subject myself to this once again. I promise you, my lovely wife is the only reason to take the chance and see what disaster awaits me on this journey. After all – we are going to be visiting glaciers and places with wild animals. What could possibly go wrong?
But so as not to disappoint you, be advised that before we even leave – our first flight was canceled. We now depart at some awful time early in the morning, causing me to rise at 3 am. I’m sure it will all get better going forward.
For the rest of this space however, let me thank the most important person in my life for all she has done for me. All I am, all I have, anything I may have accomplished or achieved in this life – I owe to her.
I first noticed her in the 6th grade. She was the bossy little girl sitting near me in Mrs. Nickerson’s class at the L G Nourse School. I was immediately smitten and made no secret of the fact to everyone but her. She had no idea, and would not for about five more years. But I confidently told friends at the time that I was going to marry her someday. That sounds trite and made up, but it’s true.
In our junior year of high school I shamed her into being more than just “friends”, and we started going “steady” in January 1973. We’ve been together ever since, and it’s been a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Through times good and bad, we have stood by each other. Through raising two amazing boys, seven years of kid(s) in college, tough financial times, and various highs and lows – she has been the greatest partner I could have ever hoped to have. That she settled for me is something I will never understand, but always appreciate.
I love her, and that love grows stronger with the years. That beautiful sunny Saturday – May 28th, 1977 - that saw us get married in the same church we still belong to today was one of the highlights of my life.
So this trip is a small way of saying thank you for all she has given me. And you good readers can thank her also, because you are free of my opinions for the next couple weeks.
Sounds like a vacation for everyone.
 Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime local official. He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.