Happy 2nd Earth Day Birthday, Giant Office Plant Monster

Earth Day Plant!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On Earth Day 2015 as a fun perk, my employer marked the occasion by giving out free tiny potted palms to every home office employee. They were three inches tall, probably the kind that professional greenhouses give out to kids visiting on field trips. Most of them were probably dead within a week.

Just for kicks, I decided to conduct an experiment by seeing what would happen if I actually tried to take care of it.

Two years later, what was once a cheap greenhouse keepsake is nearly ready to audition for Little Shop of Horrors. Lucky for me it’s not empowered enough to escape my workplace or hitch a ride. Yet.

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My Diet Year: Our 2005 Road Trip Prelude

Me Before and After.

July 2004 at Lake Ontario vs. July 2005 at an Oklahoma overlook.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in recent weeks we’ve been sharing the stories of our annual road trips that we undertook before I launched MCC in April 2012. Starting from the beginning and working our way forward, so far we’ve covered 1999 to 2004. Before we make the leap to 2005, a digression is in order regarding some personal development that affected, among other things, some of my vacation photos.

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Raggedy Anne and Randy: Our 2004 Road Trip Wedding Prologue

Goldens!

Hi! We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we did this one time.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in recent weeks we’ve been sharing the stories of our annual road trips that we undertook before I launched MCC in April 2012. Starting from the beginning and working our way forward, so far we’ve covered 1999 to 2003. Making the leap to 2004 first requires a digression for an important milestone.

A while back we reprinted the he-said-she-said tale of our relationship in Part One and Part Two of a special two-part miniseries. After seventeen years of knowing each other as classmates, coworkers, neighbors, best friends, and eventually an official Dating Couple, in July 2004 Anne and I became husband and wife and our world was never the same, except for the part where we still did road trips every year.

The following is a retelling of our blessed, frequently awkward wedding day, a time of joy and music and accidents, two weeks before we embarked on that year’s fun, frequently awkward journey. The following essay was previously shared with a small circle of friends but has been given the “special edition” treatment for archiving here on MCC.

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Sorry Your Gift Came from a School Fundraiser

glassware!

Looks dandy. Fails spectacularly.

It’s never too late to regret a Christmas gift whose inherent flaws were kept hidden at the time of unwrapping only to manifest weeks later like a time-delayed disappointment bomb.

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If We Were Having a Coke and a Smile But You Stole My Name…

Randy v. Randi.

…I would try very kindly not to make a big deal because you’re one of the only six people on Planet Earth named “Randi”. Despite your rarity, whenever someone writes my name down on a form, application, sign-in sheet, Starbucks cup, or speeding ticket, your kind is the reason I’m too frequently asked, “Is that with a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?” I try to keep an open mind here in the 21st century, but I’ve been fielding that largely nonexistent dichotomy since the 20th.

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Lord, Grant Me the Resilience of a 91-Year-Old Great-Grandmother

Mamaw!

Photo by loyal wife and granddaughter Anne Golden, taken at the 2016 Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show.

Pictured above is my wife’s Mamaw, one of the most resilient people we know. When she was born, Calvin Coolidge reigned as the 30th President of the United States of America. Her husband, who served as an ambulance driver in WWII and refused to discuss the experience with the grandkids, passed away in 1996. To this day she lives in the two-story house he built for them decades ago, with assistance from family as needed for transportation, errands, groundskeeping, major repairs, and her biennial special outings — the Indiana Flower & Patio Show and the Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show. Each year they’re her World Series and Super Bowl.

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