December 19, 2012

20 Years and Counting

I think my favorite memory from that day 20 years ago, when I said I do to the young man standing across from me, actually happened in the wee hours that morning.

My bridesmaids and a few extra gals were spending the night and putting the final touches on decorations, stuffing rice into little bags, and finishing those little prizes we hand out to the guests.  They sent me for a long bath and straight to bed, after a few hours of giggling and goofing off.  

To assure myself of a good night's sleep, I opted for my brother's (empty) room and left them mine.  I awoke a few minutes later to tons of laughter.

It seems that my groom-to-be and his merry men had made their way from the urban metropolis of Moncks Corner, where they were all staying in a hotel, out to my house in Macedonia.  They snuck to my bedroom window, where Ken and those doo-wap boys serenaded me with a few rounds of "You Are My Sunshine"--at least, they thought they serenaded me.  The girls let them finish before pulling the curtain back enough to show them who was there.

I did get the leftovers, which were perfectly fine with me.  We like to say they were just warming up those vocal cords at the first window.

I was 20, so I have basically lived half of
my life as a married woman now.  Man,
time sure does fly!
The wedding went off practically without a hitch, if you don't count my cousin falling on the rice they'd thrown after we drove away, and injuring her arm.

It's been an adventure ever since.

See that little car to the side?  That was my beloved Honda CRX, a tiny two-seater that got better than 50 mpg most days.

That baby made it part of the way to our honeymoon destination, then died on the side of the road.  At the bottom of a hill. In a snowstorm. On Christmas Eve night.

We jumped out quickly (it was getting dark) and walked to the top of the hill, thinking we could call a tow truck and a taxi.  Since the gas station was in view, we didn't take the time to put on coats or gather our things, thinking we'd be right back anyway.

The gas station was closed, so we kept walking.  A couple of patrolling policemen finally took pity on us after about 5 miles, but they wouldn't take us back to our car.  So with the clothes on our backs and my purse, we accepted their ride to our hotel.

We could not get anyone to take us back that night, not a tow, not a taxi, not the manager of the hotel we tried to pay.  We thanked God that I had a tiny bit of money in that purse and then walked downhill to town.

The only place open to eat was a soup kitchen, where we ate our bowl of warm liquid in good company and began the trek uphill back to our hotel, where, thankfully, we'd paid that first night in advance.  As we started to walk, the snow became freezing rain, and we were pelted for that half-hour stroll.  It was a really romantic night.

My new father-in-law towed us to his house the next day (joking all the way to fend off my tears), where we spent our honeymoon in his basement and used the money we'd set aside for that week as a down payment on a car.

We had no clue what we were getting into that day 20 years ago, but we were sure that our love was like none other the world had known, and that it would be enough to pull us through whatever we faced.

We'd read a trillion books on marriage and being good spouses and God's plan for family and all that.  We'd gone through premarital counseling.  We'd talked and planned and had this whole thing figured out.  Well, we thought we did, anyway.

It's been a wild ride, but I can't imagine taking it with anyone else. Okay, I CAN imagine it--sometimes I do, and I laugh at the possibilities of what a disaster my life could have been.  Did I say that out loud?

Here's to the next 20!


  1. Congratulations and may the adventures continue!

  2. Congratulations again! Have a wonderful, romantic day that doesn't involve driving :-D.


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