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Our Happy 25th Anniversary Celebration — left to our own devices

By Paul Viau | Aug 24, 2016
Photo by: Mary Coker SWINGING INTO THE FUTURE — Who knows what lies ahead for the next 25 years together? We're hoping for good health and safe travels, and our bags are packed full of love. Pictured are Paul and Carol Viau, relaxing at Cataloochee Ranch.

Not every columnist shares the nitty-gritty details of his/her 25th anniversary, but no other columnist has such a friendly following and a life-partner as special as my Carol Viau.

Yes, I’m proud to say that she’s been at my side, by my side and on my side for more than one-quarter of a century.

But who’s counting — We try to make every day our own adventure. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Carol is the Ying to my Yang, the apple of my eye, and (Did you know?) a fast-blossoming writer.

That’s partly why our 25th Anniversary brought us a Mile High.

I am very comfortable at that altitude — I spent my first 30 years in “The Mile High City,” Denver, Colorado

Carol grew up in the flatlands of Indiana. But it turns out that Carol does altitude with an attitude.

After writing a story about ‘unplugging and unwinding’ at Haywood County’s breathtakingly beautiful Cataloochee Ranch, Carol booked our own anniversary getaway there.

She asked me if I wanted to celebrate 25 years together — just a stone’s throw from Great Smoky Mountains National Park — and I said, “I do.”

It’s easy to say yes to Carol. As I told you she is the apple of my eye, but I secretly wondered if I could go more than a few minutes without one my clever Apple Computer devices.

These days I have an iPhone 6-plus (the big beast) and an Apple Watch to give me ‘wrist radio’ access to its many programs. And I don’t ever go very far without my Apple MacBook Air — which I am using to write this weekly wheeze.

This isn’t a commercial for Apple’s Macintosh, but I have been hooked on this tremendous computer platform since its award-winning 1984 Super Bowl television commercial.

I was writing commercials of my own back then, but on a typewriter.

For my younger readers — both of you — a typewriter is a crude mechanical device that links a keyboard to miniature, swinging ‘branding irons’ for all the letters of the alphabet, so upon striking a key, the metal equivalent ‘hammers’ against a ribbon of ink and leaves an imprint of that letter.

Back in the day, I could write 60-70 wpm (words per minute) on the typewriter with just two fingers and a thumb.

Using a Macintosh computer, I am just as fast — gratefully, without all that heavy-metal chatter.

The best thing about a computer is when I make a mistake, I don’t need to start from scratch — I can just correct it, as I have several times during the writing of this column.

But enough of the writing minutia, FYI, there was very little keyboard hacking during our anniversary visit to Cataloochee Ranch, and much more time spent walking, talking, hiking, toasting and (dare I say) boasting about reaching our 25-year milestone.

Sadly, we didn’t do any horseback riding. We didn’t think our 60-plus-year-old backs would stand (or fall) for it. Instead of ‘horsing around,’ we just relaxed and enjoyed the mountain air — celebrating our lives together, hiking, pondering the wonders of nature and talking about ‘the next 25 years.’

We’re proudly still walking through life hand-in-hand, comfortable in our own, slightly wrinkled skin, and happy that you don’t need air conditioning a mile high in the mountains at Cataloochee Ranch.

The air is cool, clean and amazingly refreshing. You also don’t need i-Pads, i-Phones, MacBook’s or whatever clever electronic devices may come long in this new Millennium.

We believe, and we hope, the ‘Millennials’ will one day realize, the Beatles were right.

“Love is all you need.”

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