Our 30th Ana(versary)gram!

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I can’t let 2016 escape without noting that this was the year Cheri and I celebrated our 30th anniversary.

Three adventure-filled decades ago, we committed ourselves to making our union “as a fortress for well-being and salvation”. That’s how Baha’u’llah describes it in the Prayer for Marriage. That, for us, has been the way it felt and functioned.

Someday I’ll write the eventful story of our increasingly joyful – and unfinished – journey. For now, let me honor the milestone as I so often do – with anagrams:

The letters in

“Cheri and Gary Matthews”

rearrange to spell

“Steady reaching warmth”
“Dreamy watching hearts”
“Swarthy teaching dream”

Just in case you think I’m making this up – you’re right! I am making it up. But it’s true anyway. Here’s a video image to prove it. See for yourself how the letters reshuffle, right before your eyes. (Then read or scroll to the end, where I’ve posted an alternate animated image.)

Anagrams of usIf you don’t see the letters arranging themselves into the anagram phrases, simply click the image. It should animate fine if you’re viewing this on the web, but a few email clients may not yet support GIF images.

Our actual anniversary is July 12. (We were married in 1986.) Why didn’t we make a big deal of it at that time?

Well, we did make a big deal of it five years ago, on our 25th anniversary. At least 80 people joined the festivities in our home. We renewed our vows. We partied, reminisced, commemorated a quarter-century of growth and happiness.

This year, we decided to turn inward, marking the milestone privately.

The point became moot when, on July 7 (five days ahead of the big day), Cheri fell and broke her left shoulder. (Please don’t worry: The break healed cleanly, and at least as rapidly as her doctors could have hoped – maybe faster. She commands impressive bounce-back powers.)

Events thus left us to celebrate by ourselves on our anniversary. For us, “by ourselves” is the polar opposite of “all alone”. Being with one another is just about the least alone we can imagine.

It’s sobering to realize that some of the folks reading this were there, 30 years ago, at our wedding. If you were, thanks for being there. If not, thanks for joining us along the way.

It’s been glorious fun. Looking ahead, we plan on making life even more fun! Stay tuned.


EDIT: In a congratulatory Twitter response, Christopher Davis (@TweakYourPC) commented:

“They flex new theist jingle, unity”.

Huh? I figured this was another anagram. But manifestly, it wasn’t an anagram of our names: The “j” and the “x” (among other clues) were dead giveaways.  Knowing that Chris likes to pose anagram puzzles, I tried to figure out what it was an anagram of.

With no luck! When I cried “Uncle!” Chris revealed that the phrase is a rearrangement of our anniversary date:

“July twelfth, nineteen eighty six.”

Anagrams on us-2


Our 30th Ana(versary)gram! — 30 Comments

    • Thanks, France! Yes, Cheri and I also like the first photo better. (That’s why we used it at the top!) It’s also more timely, since it’s an outdoor summer shot, and the actual anniversary was in July. The bottom one is indoors and in winter, so I guess it would be timely for the post’s December publication date.

  1. this anniversary message is lovely. Thanks for sharing it.
    I tried my hand at anti-anagram the other day and here’s the result. hatred – dearth.
    My witty husband caught the sense of it immediately. Most people would need help with dearth, a seldomly -used word nowadays.

    • Great start, Loree! Other anagrams of “hatred” include “thread” and “red hat”. (I didn’t spot these on my own. My lazy shortcut was simply to google “anagrams of hatred”. Doing that will also reveal that there are others, such as “Eh, drat!”)

      There are lots of websites, and several standalone computer programs, that will generate anagrams automatically. (Plus, as noted, merely googling them often will provide help.) Their recurring limitation is that these tend to generate too much information. Aside from the most obvious answers, the really great permutations get lost among thousands upon thousands of useless ones. There’s no anagram software yet that can dispense with human artistry. Not yet. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if artificial intelligence someday far surpasses human ingenuity even at something so fundamentally human as anagrams!

      Dearth (meaning lack or scarcity) is indeed a great anagram of hatred, which is a dearth of love or compassion. I’m not sure it’s literally an “antigram” or reverse anagram. But dearth and hatred both have pretty strong “anti” associations in themselves, no?

  2. Hello Gary and Cheri I do miss you both. News of your 30th wedding anniversary gladdened my heart and lent brighter confide​​nce that true fortresses of well-being are possible and increasing on the planet. I have gained more well-being from yours ! Blessings my friends. Loren

  3. How wonderful and romantic! Thanks for sharing!

    May God continue keeping you two safe, healthy for a log time from now!



  4. Congratulations, Cheri and Gary! Very sorry about the injury, Cheri, and glad you are better. We love you both. Jackie and Graeme

  5. Thanks so dear Gary for your so magic sharing 🌟🌟🌟… so beautiful story with Cheri.
    So beautiful & moving picture of you two … 💥💥💥
    Lovely Christmas time for you two dear Gary & so beautiful Chéri …🎄🎄🎄🌟🌟🌟

  6. You two epitomize a loving and devoted couple. Here is wishing you many more years of gratitude. I so appreciate your newsletters.

    • Thanks and thanks again, Linda. “Years of gratitude” is an apt description of our feelings for you. Two things come to mind:

      (a) You may not have known it, but you were the very first subscriber to the new-and-revived Notes from Stonehaven newsletter. Dating back to 2012. (There had been an earlier, original version back in the Nineties, but it lapsed. This one, God willing, won’t ever do that! (b) If memory serves, Cheri and I enjoyed a wonderful visit as guests in your Florida home, during one of our road trips. Subject again to the memory disclaimer, you generously gifted us a gorgeous Caribbean-style painting. It hangs today in the main place of honor over our fireplace.

      The first-subscriber point I know for sure, since MailChimp tells me so. I’m almost sure about the painting, but that was considerably further back in time. Please feel free to correct me or fill in any blanks. The gratitude, in any case, endures.

    • Thanks and thanks again, Priyanka Sharma. Word on the street is, you’ve got a novel and maybe some nonfiction coming out soon. Here’s hoping we see these in 2017.

    • Late? You call that late? I’ll show you late: Just look at the late-December date of my post, announcing an early-July anniversary that’s already six months old!

      I knew late; I worked with late; late was a good friend of mine. (Actually, still is!) You, sir, are no late!

      Be that as it may, thanks, dear friend. Many more sun-circles to you, too.

  7. Yes, indeed, Gary. Twitter wasn’t as prolific in responding (probably because you have fewer connections there than on Facebook). But great feedback anyway:

    Twitter Comments

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