Chalk and Cheese!

…that is Mike and I…we couldn’t be anymore different.

It’s a wonder how we ever got together in the first place, but that’s a whole other story!  Suffice to say, I was pushing 30, living in a rural village in Tanzania, and along came Mike! 😉

Mike loves anything to do with sport…the more extreme, the better.  He’s not happy with just running, he needs to do an ironman.  He can’t just ski on normal skis, he has to telemark ski on the most dangerous, remote mountain tops in the world.  And what’s the point in biking unless you are on a mountain bike, navigating a sheer cliff drop, and are lost in the middle of nowhere?!  He lives life on the edge, always ready for the next adventure, which is why, in part, we are living in Kijabe.  His five sisters will testify to the fact that he’s not the easiest to live with and loses his keys / glasses / wallet, at least five times a day, and generally leaves a trail of destruction behind him in each room that he enters.

I, on the other hand, am quite happy sitting by the fire with a book, love living in a city, am a neat-freak, and compulsively organized.  You can see why we are so well suited!

Despite the extremes, both have tempered each other and the balance is still working well after almost 11 years of marriage!

My “Chalk” turned 50 this past week.  We share the same birthday (let it be known that I am much younger than Mike!), which means that each year generally finds us looking at one another, wondering who is going to make a cake, who should organize the celebration, and so on.  It took us a long time this year to decide upon something we would both enjoy and this is how the day went…

Kenya is extraordinarily beautiful.  We live on the edge of the Great Rift Valley where we can look out and see the towering Mount Longonot.  Longonot is a dormant volcano estimated to have last erupted in the mid 1800s, and stands at 2780m above sea level.  Its circular caldera is over a kilometer in diameter, and it is home to many wild animals.


We dropped the kids off at school, safe in the knowledge that our friends, The Steere’s, would take great care of them over the weekend.  Mardi is a pediatrician and is one of the very few people I would trust on this earth to manage Michael’s diabetes…as well as being one of my very best friends (she is Australian, and also married a guy from Michigan)!  We reached the bottom of Longonot early in the morning and started our hike.  Giraffe, zebra, antelope and buffalo waved us off – It took us an hour to get to the top, and then another three hours to circumvent the rim, plus another hour down.  It was absolutely incredible!  The hike was strenuous, and don’t tell Mike, but I loved every minute of it!!


photo 1

photo 2rainAfter the hike was over, we drove to a small lodge on the shore of Lake Naivasha, and proceeded to be pampered for the rest of the weekend, surrounded by the very best of Kenyan wildlife!


…not a bad compromise at all…

Plus!  My 50-year old husband held up quite well!!

Categories: Uncategorized | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Chalk and Cheese!

  1. Love it! And the hat…so distinguished…

  2. Shannon Mara

    Great to hear about your trip, and that you’re happy and healthy!
    xoxoxox Shannon

  3. Well, Happy B’day to you both!! What a beautiful place; Mt Longonot looks enchanting. It’s wonderful to imagine the two of you taking some R&R together to celebrate a mutual birthday. And with a safe and fun place to leave Michael and Jane. And I especially enjoy hearing from you, Anne. I’d never heard the ‘chalk and cheese’ juxtaposition. It’s very apt!

  4. Ann, I totally understand the disastrous wake that Mike can leave. After working with him and Dave Fogarty at Desert Ortho, I began to affectionately refer to them as Drs. Mayhem and Chaos. You can certainly guess why. When they shared an office in the old building, there was stuff everywhere! I just told them that they needed to leave a path for me to get to each of their desks so they could avoid a worker’s comp claim if I broke my ankle. We always laughed about that. I’m glad that you were able to spend some quality time together for your birthdays and I wish you both many more to come. Hugs and kisses! Lorie

  5. Mardi

    Love you guys xxx

  6. Janet

    Happy Birthday, Ann!
    Happy Birthday, Mike!
    Thanks for letting us be a part of it, & thanks for the wonderful travel log!

  7. Janet Wood

    Yep! Totally get the chalk and cheese thing. Love that chalk in my life! Thanks for the fun tour of Kenya – so beautiful!

  8. cdkuba

    How many people can say they celebrated their birthday hiking the beauty of a high altitude Kenyan crater?
    My guess is very few.
    You both are very well suited for one another.
    Happiest of Birthdays to you both!

  9. Happy Birthday to both of you! and Happy 50th, Mike! The hike sounds like it was AMAZING ~ love the pictures!

  10. Mark backus

    Hi guys: great to see it’s going so well! I miss you guys and wave at the tumulo
    House when I drive by….

  11. Hildy George

    Hi Mike and Ann, It’s Hildy. Boyd, the postman left a package from Land’s End addressed to you with me today. I don’t have any other contact info for you. Would you e-mail me instructions of what to do with the package?

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