The Object of My Affection

It will be thirty-one years next month since Thom and I sent out this wedding invitation.

(designed by my sister Constance, poem by Langdon Smith).

In his wedding vows Thom borrowed this passage from Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”   I thought they were sweet words, but I was slender and pretty, with my whole life ahead of me; I could hardly imagine growing old, let alone growing old in concert.   Now I understand their import, and cannot believe my good fortune in having found such a wise old soul in such a young man.

Thom gave me the world.   With him I made my very first trip overseas, back in 1987.  We spent five weeks exploring Britain and Ireland.

We loved traveling so much we went back to Europe the next year.  That was to be the trip of a lifetime, so we hit all the must-sees:  Rome, Florence, Venice,  Paris, The Swiss Alps, Munich, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona.

But instead of the trip of a lifetime, it became a way of life.

Travel is still a vital part of our life journey together.  I now see myself as a global citizen.  I wonder at the similarities between cultures, and celebrate the diversity.

We have shared this gift with our children.  We took them back to all the hotspots of Europe.  But the kids were good travelers and, with their encouragement, Thom and I have gotten more adventurous.  We have taken them to the Australian Outback, the Amazon, and Turkey.

I’m not surprised that both kids have grown up to be writers, storytellers, artists, and travelers, who are bilingual and trilingual.

Should I ever question my choice in a mate, I need only look at my children.  Through their eyes I see a better world, and am a deeper participant in life.

Dear Thom…

…You have always been and will always be the object of my deepest affection.

All words and images copyright 2014 Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Object


  1. Oh, Naomi! Talk about “lump in the throat” 🙂 What a beautiful life you have made for each other and your children. Love the “scribbles”- the gladiator fight that was so cool! Long may you have each other.

    1. Dear Naomi,
      thanks so much for the visit, and your really sweet comments.
      Bea still keeps journals of all our trips, and is our trip historian.
      My brother works with people who travel abroad every year, and they always leave the kids at home with the grandparents. So much of my joy has been sharing the experience with them, and it has taught them to be good travelers both at home and abroad. The nature of our travels have changed–we spend less time at parks and can linger more at museums. In Britain it was a huge sacrifice to choose Legoland over Windsor Castle, but the kids needed a fun day to just run around. By making it enjoyable for them while they were little, we were making it a positive experience for them. Now Thom and I have to work to keep up with the kids!

  2. I knew as soon as I saw this post title that it was going to be a goodie – as always, Naomi. Your fortune and happiness abounds and makes me realise I should have travelled the world instead of the psyche – seemingly I took neither road!

    1. Dear Laura,
      It’s never too late! And with your talent as a photographer, you can capture it all. I do think that photography helps you see the world through, well, a different lens, and even a venture down the block becomes a trip to another world.
      Thanks you so much for the visit and, as always, for your very kind encouragement.

  3. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful tribute. Love that you’ve kept the children’s notes and diaries. I tried each time we traveled to have the kids write diaries and it never worked. They too are travelers.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. We compiled journals each trip from the kids’ writing, from post cards of their favorite experiences, and photographs from our trips, but we couldn’t always keep up. Bea now keeps a detailed journal whenever we travel, and she is much better at it than I. Eli records his experience in his sketchbooks.
      It’s wonderful to hear of your kids’ adventures, isn’t it? (Although, I admit, I always worry until I know they are safe at home again.)

  4. *sniff* Well-matched: the theme, the text and photos, and obviously, you and Thom. Spreading your passion for the “job of life” is a great wedding gift to the rest of us. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you, Mary. It is not something I take for granted–every day I thank my lucky stars. SO good to hear from you. I hope you are well, and that the New Year is treating you right!

  5. A beautiful post! It made my heart sing, the outer corners of my lips turn up, my eyes water and my feet do a little jig. What a wonderful love to live a life with!

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Dear Carol,
      You are so sweet! Thom and I are very different, and we both have our quirks, but they seem to mesh well. Thanks so much for the visit, and for your very generous response!

  6. I l.o.v.e. your wedding invitations. Darn, I can’t find my Kleenex. I always find it heartwarming to hear of a wonderful love story. I love to hear of successful family lives. Many, many more to all of you.

  7. Beautiful. Thank you, Naomi, for sharing this gift of heart. Continued joy to you both in this light of love.

  8. Happy anniversary, Naomi. Thanks for sharing the lovely story of your (ongoing) life with us. You and your family have been very blessed and may those blessings keep on coming.


    1. Hi Janet,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for your very sweet comment. I know we are lucky, and it’s not something we take for granted. Every day I count my blessings. Blessings and joy to you, and may the New Year bring you all good things!

  9. Beautiful post – but that is to be expected because it springs from a beautiful relationship. Congratulations on making your long-term relationship work through all the changes and trials of life. It isn’t always easy but it sure is worth it.

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments. We are a good fit–I pull him off his beaten path, and he is my anchor. Sometimes we are definitely working against the force of nature, but it’s always an interesting ride and you’re absolutely right–it’s well worth it.
      Best wishes,

      1. When I read “I pull him off his beaten path, and he is my anchor” I smiled big. What a wonderful way to describe what I know so well. It describes my relationship with J.

    1. Thank you, Jo! You are really sweet. I am lucky to have such great material to work with, so fortunate that we all love the same things. And while I love my writing and storytelling, nothing is more important to me than my family.

  10. What an amazing life you have, the world is truly your oyster. I am quite content to experience it through your lens, so keep on! Congratulations, happy anniversary.

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thanks so much for the visit and for your good wishes–it’s always good to hear from you, and this morning you started my day off with a smile.
      Best wishes,

  11. Inspiring, beautiful and the lump in my throat has caused the tears to flow from the beauty of your life. Continue with happiness in abundance.

    1. HI Tina
      Thanks so much. My husband is a sweet quiet guy who I think is tickled to read about himself in my posts. I believe he accepts and appreciates the posts about him as love letters, which they are.
      Thanks so much for the really lovely comment!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. We’re almost ready to start planning for the next adventure. Now that the kids are grown up, it gets trickier and trickier to incorporate all their plans into the family trip, but so far we have managed. As long as they want to travel with us, we are delighted to do anything we can to make it happen.
      Thanks so much for the lovely comment and good wishes. I wish the same for you and your sweetheart!

  12. When I was a kid I used to write a diary when I went on holiday for the first day or two and then I’d forget until I arrived back home. The boyfriend never keeps a diary apart from religiously whenever we are on holiday. It’s then really strange that I’m the one having to wait for him to stop writing not the other way round. He never lets me read them so I’ve no idea what they say.

    Congrats on finding a perfect love. 🙂

    1. Dear Kate,
      Thank you for the visit, and for your sweet comment. I think it’s interesting about your boyfriend being the one to keep a journal. I have to admit that since Bea started keeping a journal on our trips, I tend to taper off until I am so far behind that I never do quite catch up before the trip ends. I always love her journals, and keeps track of details that I couldn’t keep in my head long enough to write down each evening.

  13. 1987 doesn’t seem so long ago to me… not long ago at all… But to see what you’ve done with the years, I am giddy with happiness. May you have many more years together. And may many of us continue to find those great riches in what you have to share with us. It is always such a pleasure reading your posts. Your stories are like blessings.

      1. Yes, Valentine’s Day was OK — although we were too busy to do anything particularly celebratory. We saved a bottle of champagne until the next day, as my son visited for the weekend.

  14. Objects that warms and inspires the heart. Love everything about your post. The words of the wedding vows truly beautiful. Wishing you and your family loads of love, joy and laughter everyday.

    1. So good to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words and, as always, your encouragement. I know that you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your beautiful family, because at your house every day is Valentine’s Day.
      Blessings upon your home and everyone in it!

    1. Dear Madhu,
      Thank you so much. That is the nicest thing someone can say to a storyteller. I appreciate your visit and your taking the time to share your response. Best wishes to you and your family!

  15. Your hearts began with overflowing love. Transcending and creating more love called children. Thank you for including me in your trip down memory lane.
    May your hearts continue to flourish with love.
    Happy Anniversary!!!

  16. A dear homage to a dear family. I totally enjoy the diary entries. I saved all those sorts of things from my son too. So fun to go back and take a look. A lovely post, Naomi.

    1. Thank you, Jamie! I love to rediscover these little reminders of a very sweet time. The other day I found a handwritten illustrated coupon on a scrap of paper that entitled me to one game of Skip-bo with Beatrice Lily Garrard and an unlimited number of additional participants. I might just cash it in on her next visit home!

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