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40 Day Love Fest – Our Magical Mystery Marriage

40daylovefest1We’ve been talking about how to honor and celebrate our 40 year wedding anniversary (which we cannot even believe we are saying “forty”). We originally thought we would take 40 days off (one for each year), but that did not work out with our work schedules. So we grew that idea into creating the “40-Day LoveFest,” which will consist of doing something special each day for 40 days to celebrate these 40 magical years, including taking time each day to remember the years, the ups and downs, the memorable moments and more!
dhvmjuly10201640yearanniversaryHelene and Dave on July 10, 2016 in Wild Rivers National Monument in northern New Mexico.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”~ Annie Dillard

Looking back on those forty years, the statement by Annie Dillard, “We do not remember days, we remember moments,” rings true for us. We got married as kids in Queens, New York (Dave was 20, Helene 17) on July 10, 1976 – a bicentennial wedding. A few days later, we headed West in a Chevy van to find our place to live the life of our dreams. Our wealth is our shared lives, our family, our love for the natural world, our mountainside home, and the wonderful work we have been able to do. It all is centered on making our day-to-day actions reflect our shared value of “making a difference”.  Leaving NYC and settling somewhere in the West was a dream-come-true in and of itself; since then we have had many many other dreams come true.

Dave 0046

Journey with us these next 40 days as we share some of the moments we remember, along with thoughts about being married to the same person for all these years and what it feels like to wake up and have the calendar say, “Hey kids, it’s been 40 years!”



  1. What a beautiful way to honor your marriage. You are such an inspiration to many of us. My life is fuller because you are in it! May God bless you always. Love.

  2. Exploring your paths in life together and following your dreams as a couple is so exhilarating to me. Thank you both for sharing your life with so many of us. Wishing you much health and happiness in the next 40 years!

  3. Lalena Fischer says:

    You to are SO incredibly beautiful, my eyes swell.. Contemplating and witnessing all that you to have built and become together. Your love heals the people, the planet and all things aching for a remembrance of what it is to love and live simply and richly!!! Seth and I look up to you both, as true pioneers of the love that is so rare and yet absolutely possible. I love you both and Congratulations!!!!!🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎈🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

    • Dave Van Manen says:

      Thanks Lalena for your comment. Sharing one’s life with another makes for a beautiful life path. Especially when you have shared values and join forces to make a life of goodness.

  4. Jeanette Grant says:

    Absolutely wonderful! Congrats on being an example for us and we cannot wait to hear your story in the upcoming adventures in love!

    • Dave Van Manen says:

      Thanks Jeanette….it’s fun sharing what has worked for us knowing that every couple is different…creating their own way.

  5. Carol Rickman says:

    You two are so inspiring! One of the best things about your marriage that I can see is that you reflect your love for each other to all of those around you!! Thanks for sharing your positive energy, spirit and of course love with all of us!! Happy Anniversary!!

    • Dave Van Manen says:

      Thanks so much Carol….love your thoughts and we are lucky to be able to have shared interests, passions and values so that we can join forces to make a difference where we can. I know you two have that kind of marriage too loving Wolves and knowing the need to preserve them and there is much two people can do together. I celebrate you both too. Helene

  6. What a wonderful idea. It encourages me to start documenting some of the moments of our 40 years. Thanks for sharing

    • Dave Van Manen says:

      yes photos are great but the stories and nuances of what has unfolded and how you loved that are the precious gems.

  7. marjorie genova says:

    Happy Blissful 40 years together as true friends, lovers, companions, workmates, playmates, soulmates. Always joyful company and stimulating conversations in your company. Wishing you more extreme happiness as you move on together as one. Love you both very much, Marj

    • Dave Van Manen says:

      Thanks so much Marge. We feel lucky to have found each other. And it’s great having you in our inner circle of support and love through the many seasons.

Thoughts & Comments