Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twenty Years

Twenty years ago today, Mike and I got married.  How can you distill all that time together into one page?

You can't. 

That day, we had a sweet wedding, one that reflected our tastes and still does.  We had hired a guitarist and a bluegrass band.  Three Pigs Barbecue catered, my mother made pie, my brother made hand-cranked ice cream, and a friend made sangria.  My brother dug up sword ferns and a neighbor brought all the flowers from her patio to decorate everything.  It was lovely. 

Our ceremony was simple, with a justice of the peace saying words that we couldn't have written better ourselves.  We stood in front of an Eagle Scout altar about two hundred feet from the Snoqualmie River, our home river.  As I was trying to say my vows, a fly landed on my nose and it made Mike and the justice of the peace laugh.  I noticed that Mike had tears in his eyes at the same time, making it hard for me to say the words I was trying to repeat. 

After the ceremony, we ate, or tried to.  Even with only forty people there, we were distracted from our plates and they were gone when we got back.  I found out that picnic tables are hard to negotiate in a full length wedding dress.  My grandma danced with my littlest nephew in her arms.  People ate cake and fed some to our dog Indiana.  After that, it was like any picnic at an old shelter.  Some people milled about and talked.  Some played volleyball.  Bluegrass music wafted about us as if our lives were scored this way every day. 

When it was time to go, I changed out of my wedding dress in a tent that Mike had set up.  Then Mike and I walked down the steep embankment with our green Old Town canoe and put in just upstream of the suspension bridge.  We paddled away as our friends and family cheered and threw sunflower seeds at us. 

The only day I was ever happier than that day was when Nick was born.  Remember Nick?  He and I had a better day today.  He'll have to make some mistakes on his own so that he can figure out how the world works.  It'll be hard to stand by and watch, but I'm going to get used to it sooner or later.  Mike likes that idea.  

Mike told me today that he's happy with the lives we're leading.  I needed to hear that.  So much has changed, our friends, our little family, our jobs, but we're still pulling together.  Is it any coincidence that we're planning a canoe trip for our vacation this year?  Probably not.  We honeymooned on the Allagash River in Maine with our dog Indiana.  It was a long and lovely trip.  The past twenty years has been a long and lovely trip as well.

Thank you for listening, jb


  1. Happy Anniversary to both of you.I am sure you two are going to have a long and happy journey together....I enjoyed reading about your wedding day, as it was so different than the weddings that we have in India!My own wedding day was simpler than some other weddings here, but still it lasted for about 18 hours -from start to end.After that I spent three more days at my in-law's, meeting relatives(and neighbors!); before we could head-off to our little honeymoon in the hills!....I am sure you will find that hilarious....

    1. I'd bet a lot happened in those eighteen hours, not to mention that you must have been exhausted by the end. I'd love to hear that story.