Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Hard to believe that 26 years ago today we were eating cake in Abilene, TX. :-)
I put together this anniversary post as a surprise for BW, and also to record some favorite photos and memories from that day. If you'd care to follow along, there will be cake at the end. (Yeah, that's what they promised me, too. LOL)
This photo of me with my mom is one of my favorites. I don't know what made us laugh, but it was a nice moment captured by our wedding photographer, Tom Miller...
Poor mom was going through an ugly divorce (my father wasn't welcome, nor would he have attended if he had been - life wasn't all sunbeams and glitter back then), but she flew to TX from Maine and put up a brave front. And I think she looked very pretty in her blue dress!
Our wedding colors were blue and apricot - those are Texas Bluebonnets in my bouquet (I still have most of them, now in an arrangement beneath a painting of bluebonnets).
And in this corner, wearing the apricot dress :-) my sweet mother-in-law to be, Marilyn…
Members of the wedding party are asked to do such silly things sometimes. My matron of honor (oh how she hated that title, but she was married so "maid of honor" was out!), Anne Worster, was a great sport with a fun sense of humor, which were both big reasons I enjoyed her friendship AND wanted her for the job! Here she degrades herself by having to pretend to adjust my garter, all the while having to listen to me warn her through gritted teeth that if she so much as snagged my expensive, glimmery panty hose, I'd kill her graveyard dead and bury her in her MATRON of honor dress along with her stupid bouquet. Okay, I wasn't really a bridezilla, but I was admonishing her through clenched teeth not to snag my high-dollar hose (which she didn't - proving I chose my matron of honor well!)…
Some other cool things about Anne were that she was a USAF Academy grad and a KC-135 tanker pilot (we met during Inservice when we were stationed at Dyess AFB at the same time in 1987). Also, she was 6' tall, another descriptor she hated, preferring to tell people she was 5'12". (Told you she had a great sense of humor!) At 5'8" myself, it was refreshing to have a female friend taller than I!
The "something new" item a bride is supposed to wear lest awful things befall her (or whatever) was covered by the dress, shoes, earrings, flowery hair comb, and those shimmery ho$e. My dress, btw, I bought on sale from JC Penney following their annual spring wedding extravaganza at the local mall, where it had been worn in the wedding attire fashion show and hence was marked down to $120. I loved its look and didn't have to have it altered, but did have to get the makeup dry cleaned off it before and after the wedding, and then I sold it for $100. I was not, as you may have guessed, a sentimental, starry-eyed bride who had dreamed of her wedding since she was a little girl and subscribed to Extravagant Weddings magazine. And don't let the traditional June wedding fool you - I preferred the idea of an outdoor October wedding - my favorite month - conducted by a JP, but acquiesced for the sake of BW's large family, heavily populated as it was by church-going school teachers whose summer vacations made it easier for them to attend June nuptials. BW and I paid for our wedding and never bought into the subliminal message from the wedding industry that the more money you spend on the wedding, the happier/longer the marriage will be/last (the funeral industry has a corollary one that we also don't buy into, reckoning we'll be just as dead for just as long if we spend a minimal amount on disposal of our earthly remains, and our sendoff will be better appreciated if the bulk of the money goes toward liquoring up our mourners). We wanted our wedding to be low-key and simple, saving the big bucks for things that would last longest - our rings, these photos, and our honeymoon trip (more on that in a bit!) Anyway, my practical nature expressed itself again when I covered the somethings "old," "borrowed," and "blue" all in one item - that snag-happy garter, which my mother had worn in her wedding (and we all know how THAT turned out! Good thing I'm not very superstitious)…
Which left the "penny inside the shoe" business, deftly handled for photographic posterity by my soon-to-be father-in-law, Jack...
Meanwhile, BW wasn't off the hook when it came to having to stage silly pre-wedding photos like this one (co-starring his best man Mike), feigning worried jitters over the fast approaching end of freedom as he knew it (lol - definitely feigned. RIGHT, HONEY?)… :-)
Capt. BW looked so handsome in his AF Mess Dress, but was every bit as handsome
in the flight suit he was wearing the day we met.
After the procession up the aisle, the vows, the rings, and the kissy-face stuff, Tom photographed me checking our marriage license for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors (I wouldn't be surprised). No, actually, with our delightful presiding Methodist minister, Rev. Ed Lang looking on, we were just making sure our documentation was legal and proper, knowing we'd need it to obtain passports someday. :-)
Rev Lang was great fun, able to put even a heathen like me at ease! :-)
So after the main event, here we were with our small-in-number but high-in-quality attendants ~ L-R: Groomsman Steve "Bull" Durham, usher SRA Rob Peterson, bridesmaid Leslie Fahrner (BW's sister), us, matron of honor 1st Lt. Anne Worster, usher MSgt Al Dostal, best man Mike McRoberts...
(I'd wager that not many wedding parties this small contain both a Bull Durham and a 6' tall female tanker pilot!) :-)
After our photographer insisted on taking a gazillion more photos of us with various permutations of our attendants and family members, we finally got to attend our own reception! Where, it turned out, there was more work to be done - like throwing stuff. NOW we're talkin'! :-)
My new sister-in-law Leslie, with her willingness to pull hair, rip dresses, and tackle her very own cousins or my boss to catch that bouquet, did just that. Beware of syrupy sweet sounding single southern belles, they can turn into savage fiends when wedding bouquets are airborne!
Well, FINALLY! The cake I was promised! (Hey, I was lured to this brouhaha by the promise of three things - the groom, the ring, and the apricot-filled cake!) :-)
Of course, even this (and that first photo on this post) was staged. We only got the bite we had to shove into each other's mouths (what IS that? We don't do that at meals in married life!) before we were dragged off for yet more photos. By the time we really WERE permitted to get some cake, we were horrified to find that the woman who'd volunteered to cut it had sliced it in big wedges like a birthday cake, and so the wedding cake that was supposed to feed everyone did no such thing (plus we're pretty sure we saw Bull take seconds and possibly thirds!) We sprinted for the chocolate single layer Bachelor's Cake but it was long-gone, as we knew in our hearts it would be. So we had to feed our famished selves with nuts and mints. At least our cake server had known to save the top so we could do that other odd tradition of putting it in the freezer to enjoy on our first anniversary. (Hopefully it didn't knock any galaxies out of alignment when we cheated and secretly ate half of it as soon as we could, putting only the other half in the freezer for the next year - desperate times call for desperate measures!)
Meanwhile, while we were busy trying to shake the photographer and procure food, vandals were defiling our getaway car! :-) Fortunately, someone with a Kodak Instamatic (from the look of it - this digital age has spoiled us so!) caught them in the act...
That is Mario (as in Andretti), a 1975 Fiat Spyder convertible that BW surprised me with that Easter! Mario was a manual with no 3rd gear, but we drove him with the top down to Alamogordo, NM and back that summer and it was a blast, bugs in our teeth and all. I loved that car. One of our wedding ushers, Al, bought it for his teenage son when we had to lighten our load to move to WY, and that rotten boy blew up the engine not two months later. Poor Mario.
Well, we can't go out on that tragic note. So, as promised, I'll leave you with some honeymoon anecdotes. BW's house was filled with visiting family and my mom was consoling herself in my apartment, so we stayed that night in a fancy-ish hotel across from the mall, where we attended the movie "The Seventh Sign." I love scary movies, BW doesn't, but he got his June church wedding so I got to pick the movie! Too bad it sucked, but the hillbillies sitting right behind us, who loudly pointed out every obvious revelation (pun intended) in the film were plenty entertaining ~ we still imitate them whenever someone points out something painfully obvious. I'd forgotten to pack my sneakers so I had to wear my white satin wedding flats with my shorts and tank top. I also left the baby's breath in my French braid and was still wearing my jewelry. The ticket seller asked if we'd been in a wedding that day. Forgetting about my getup, I said, "Yes, ours! How did you know?" If only the hillbillies had been there to point out the obvious to me then. LOL
A couple of days later, we drove to Dallas where BW's folks lived, and stayed with them for a mini-honeymoon at Six Flags Over Texas and Wet & Wild Water World. While at Wet & Wild, we were in a looooong line for one of the more popular slides, which required grabbing an inner tube from a water-filled trough to ride down the twisty slide. We must have stood in line in that TX heat for half an hour before we even got to the inner tube trough, when three soaking wet boys of about 10 who had just completed their slide down the ride for which the rest of us patiently, sweatily waited, ran up and cut in front of the couple in front of us. The first boy grabbed the woman's inner tube just as she was lifting it from the trough and then started to dart away to cut in again at the head of the line! Oh no you dih-int! It was a purely reptilian reflex when I wrested the inner tube from his thieving hands and used it to bop him on the head. As he and his friends stood there agape, I handed it to the woman from whom it had wrongly been swiped and told them to get their delinquent, pilfering selves to the back of the line. I'm not certain, but I think there was applause from the line behind us. I do remember that BW said to the couple in front of us, "That's my new bride, Lalu of the Jungle!" with pride and affection. :-)
BW took three weeks of leave later that summer and we drove up the western slope of the Rockies to Glacier National Park, where we rendezvoused with Mom and some of her old friends who lived in Whitefish. One of her friends took us water skiing on the icy cold water of Whitefish Lake. Well, everyone else skied ON the icy water (BW and Mom being skilled water skiers), but it was my first (and so far, at least, last) time on water skis so I spent most of my time IN the icy water. But it was fun! Mom's friend had just taken Kiefer Sutherland and Emilio Estevez (then aged 22 and 26, respectively) water skiing the day before. They were staying in a nearby cabin on the lake and apparently lacked for a ski boat. I was glad they weren't there to witness my pratfalls that day! After our stay in Whitefish, we returned with Mom to Havre and enjoyed a visit with my grandparents before heading back to Texas via the eastern slope of the Rockies - which brought us right through Sheridan on the Interstate, though neither of us recalled anything about it later! It was that trip, however, that convinced BW that relocating to the Rocky Mountains was a good idea, and a year later we sold
his our house and moved to Wyoming. And the rest, as they say, is history - in the making!
Sure is! We're looking forward to the next 26 years, which are bound to be at least as interesting and fun as the first 26! Happy Anniversary, BW, you're the BEST!!! xoxo
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"