My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#26! Whoot!

To us!

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


  1. Ah.....congratulations,guys!
    Jane x

  2. Happy anniversary to you both!

    I really loved reading this post and seeing your pictures. You were a gorgeous bride! BW was looking quite dapper, as well. :)

    I spotted the blue bonnets in your bouquet immediately. So pretty! That's awesome that you still have them.

    We wanted to elope to Hawaii to get married & almost did, but then I made the mistake of telling my parents. Like you, I never wanted a fancy wedding & didn't dream of it when I was a kid. My first marriage was at the courthouse, so we ended up having an actual wedding with family when Mike & I married. Perhaps I'll post about it some day....

    Too funny about Lalu of the Jungle! I certainly would have clapped if I saw someone do that to those bratty kids!

    I hope you're able to visit Glacier again soon. It looks like such beautiful place & what a perfect spot for a honeymoon! We went to Zion for ours & loved it (and got to visit Best Friends as well!).

    The Fiat looks like so much fun, especially being able to drive it around New Mexico!

    Here's to another 26 years of wedded bliss!

    1. Thank you, Molly! For your happy wishes, your compliments to our young bride & groom selves, and for taking the time to read this post and leave your delightful comment! :-)

      I always loved the bluebonnets, and knew I had to have those in my wedding. I like apricot roses too, but that choice was more a matter of coming up with a color that went well with the blue! The bluebonnets were in the driver's seat. :-)

      Too bad your Hawaii elopement plans didn't work out (at least Mike still wanted to marry you after you spilled the beans to your parents and RUINED EVERYTHING! lol) I do hope you'll post about your wedding someday! Every year since I started blogging (7 years ago June 4th, can you believe it?) I've wanted to post some of our wedding pictures on our anniversary and, obviously, never manage it. It felt really great to get this post done and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      I doubt you'd have been content to merely applaud my efforts to impose some justice at Wet & Wild, I can easily picture you getting out of line to come assist me! LOL

      Zion (and all those other Utah parks like Bryce, Arches, etc) is on my Bucket List and sounds like a great place for a honeymoon too - but how did you manage to make it home without a car full of dogs and cats from Best Friends? Or DID you? ;-)

      The Fiat WAS fun, and that was a great climate for a convertible (except for the hailstorms, one of which put a whole in the soft top while the car was parked outside my office on one of my very last days in the AF! I was so mad! But I got off lucky, because there was also a tornado with that storm, but it missed our part of town!) I'd love another convertible someday, assuming we were living in a climate that permits enjoying it more than 3 months of the year! :-)

    2. You're right, I definitely would have joined in to impose some justice! Mike has stood by & watched me do that very kind of thing a few times. :)

      It was really hard to leave Best Friends without a carload of animals. My favorite was Molly the pig. Pigs are one of my favorite animals and to share a name with her was such an honor! I feel the same way whenever I meet a dog named Molly (still to meet someone in person with my name, though, how weird is that?). When you go to that area you have to do the tour there. It's such beautiful sanctuary.

      I hear you on the convertible. I really enjoyed my VW beetle for the few years I had it but it was so hard to put the top down here. Same with motorcycles. We both live in climates that don't favor them!

      I hope you both enjoyed a blissful, perfect day together. Once BW is officially done with work, you'll be able to enjoy a very extended honeymoon for the rest of your lives! :)

    3. I really should invest some time in proof-reading, I just hate having that cramped little text box they give us for reviewing a comment. A "whole" in my roof? Not hardly. Sure wish there were an edit feature for comments, I love that on your site! Willow had a bad tummy last night so I spent most of last night on the sofa, in case she needed to go outside in a hurry (which she did). So I'm sleep deprived this morning, but the show must go on..

      I don't doubt that you've meted out some justice of your own! We'd make a great team (while our men "stand by!" The pansies. LOL)

      Molly is such a fun and friendly name to me, it's perfect for a pig as well as a dog or anyone who is fun and friendly! I've known a lot of dogs named Molly, but can only think of two or three people with that name, you included. I would think it would be more popular, it's a name I'd have loved to have had!

      We know some people around here who ride their motorcycle even in the winter, unless the roads and/or weather are really bad. Not appealing to me! Though I'm sure you've seen us ogling scooters lately - would love to ride my bike to run errands, but we live at the top of a long and brutal hill, there is no way I could climb it, especially with groceries or library books on board! So I'd love a small scooter, but need one that can do 45mph or more for the hills and speed limits I'd need to negotiate. I'd say if you cobble them together, half the days of the year here are conducive to riding a scooter or motorcycle in relative comfort. And given the battle for parking spaces all over Sheridan, a scooter would be a great advantage!

      I love your description of BW's retirement! I'm sure not every day will be blissed out, but there's bound to be more that are than there were when he worked full time! :-)

  3. Fabulous post — I know BW will love it! The photos, commentary and sass were perfect. I especially loved the Disney princess bridesmaid dresses. :D Happy anniversary to you two. (As an aside, my first — and so far last — water skiing adventure took place on and in the disgusting, murky, filthy bay in Atlantic City. I was sure I was swallowing jellyfish, and damned if I know what else.)

    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! BW did indeed love it, though it wasn't as big a surprise as I'd hoped for when I showed it to him, given I'd spent nearly all of yesterday morning and the early afternoon working on it and by the end was hollering questions to him in the next room like, "Was Mario a '72?" and "What was the name of the lake we water-skiied on?" :-) But though he knew I was obviously working on a post about our wedding, he didn't know what it looked like or said until the Great Unveiling (pardon the pun!) And yes, he really enjoyed all the memories it brought back, laughed in all the right places, and agreed that he was indeed feigning the jitters. :-) Anyway, I was glad he enjoyed it and also glad that you did, as well! I really didn't think anyone else would be interested in reading it, so thank you! I LOL'ed at your "Disney princess bridesmaid dresses" line - I thought they were pretty horrifying even at the time (I felt the same way about the Big Hair back then, which was, of course, even more ginormous in Texas!), and still regret that anyone had to wear anything so embarrassing in order for me to get married. (eye roll). But that's what all the bridesmaid dresses looked like back then… that and worse!

      Speaking of worse - your water skiing experience, good gawd woman! BW and I both groaned at the vivid vision of it. How sad that the jellyfish and other critters have to LIVE in that! I am sure that both of us were highly motivated to do our very best to stay on our skis, given the frigid temps or toxic gunk laying in wait beneath them!

  4. Big, big congratulations - and many more years filled with love and laughter ahead of you.

    1. Big, big thanks, Ellie Sue! That's what we're planning for, hoping for, and working on! :-)

  5. Congratulations for your 26th wedding anniversary. How sweet this piece of thecake! Thanks foe sharing.

    1. Thank you, Minoru! The cake was sweet, but my groom was (and is) even sweeter! :-) I love that photo and it was fun to share it ~ thank you for stopping by!

  6. Congrats Ms. Laloofah! I hope another 26 (and more) good years comes for the both of you. And I agree totally with your take on how to do a funeral. :-)

    You honored your 26 good years well with your writing. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Mr. Elder! :-) We hope the same, though I was a bit shocked when BW informed me that when when our anniversary rolls around after the passage of another 26 years, he'll have just turned 81!! And that made me do some calculations of my own, leading us to realize that since I was 26 when we got married, and we've now been married 26 years, as of today I've been married for more than half my life. Tempus fugit, man!

      Happy to hear when others see eye to eye with me on the funeral front. I always liked this Edward Abbey quote (I'm sure you're well familiar with it): "If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture - that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves." Well, that wandered off the wedding topic a bit, didn't it? LOL

      Your last sentence especially made me smile. Thank YOU! :-)

  7. I had (for me) a pretty reasonable lunch period and didn't finish reading all of this wonderful post. I promise I shall come back, finish reading it and leave a proper comment!! In the meantime, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

    1. Thanks, Jo! :-) (And yeah, I know - you may have to take some leave to have enough time to read and comment on this one. lol)

  8. Hey kids! Congratulations on your 26th! What fun to travel down memory lane with you two. Gosh, neither of you have aged a bit ;-)......I mean that! xoxo

    1. Thanks Spud! It looks like you had a hiccup with the comments feature, but I'm leaving this one up because I love that you called us "kids" and said neither of us has aged a bit. ;-) Thank you! (It appears that my cunning strategy of rarely posting contemporary photos of myself has worked, mmmmwwwwahahahahaha!) :-D

  9. Happy Anniversary!! I knew it was coming up soon, too....I really did! What fun traveling down memory lane with you two. And all those great pics! I don't think I've ever seen any of them before. You've accomplished something only about half of all married couples do.....staying together! It does help if you're best friends, too ;-). xoxo

    1. Thank you muchly, Spudly Do-Right! I'm glad you enjoyed trippin' with us down our Marriage Memory Lane! Nope, you'd have never seen any of these photos before, this is the first time I've ever scanned any of them and "unveiled" (snork) them on the Interwebz. :-) As for staying together, I give most of the credit to BW's abundant patience and good-naturedness, though I'll take a bit for myself for choosing so well! :-) Obviously, we are in very good company, since you and CG have managed it quite nicely as well - being best buds definitely helps a lot, and makes it much more fun! xoxo to you, too!

  10. Happy anniversary! Wishing you many more happy days.

  11. I just typed a long comment! Where did it go! I don't have time to re-type another. Hopefully it's just a delay!!!

    1. I'm afraid it wasn't a delay, and have no idea where it went or why that happens. It's happened to me on blogs before, and it always seems to be the long, time-consuming comments it happens to! It's sadistic! I'm really sorry - REALLY sorry, because I was so looking forward to your comment - that this happened to you, since I know how limited your time is! I do hope you'll be able to re-create it as best you can at some point…

    2. So I'm going to take the time to retype it because this was a special one:

      I LOVED the Lalu of the Jungle story and can definitely picture you doing that and BW saying the perfect thing on cue.

      I loved the story about the movie especially since Jim and I watched a movie on our wedding night - who does that? We do! We saw “A Christmas Carol” – the really good one with George C Scott. But we saw it in our hotel room. This was after our first wedding on 23 Dec 86; therefore Christmastime.

      I loved the old 80's clothes. I can’t believe some of the things we wore back then. I’m speaking of course of some of the guests dresses. Your dress was much more of a classic style. Your dress (and you) were beautiful - what a bargain. You and my sister Linda know how to find a bargain that’s for sure!

      The cheesy staged photos were so common then. I don’t think they do that as much these days though they still do the eternal posed photos with this group and then that group!!

      I loved the photo of you and your mom. You both do look so natural! I’m sure that was a hard time for her. I can’t imagine going through that myself!!

      BW was so handsome in his mess dress. Aren't men in uniform the best!!! Jim also wore his mess dress to our wedding and I’m so glad he did that. I’m proud to say that it was that very same mess dress jacket that he wore to the Dining Out with Michelle in April this year! I bet BW could as well.

      I loved the post and really enjoyed the stories and details. It was not as good as being there (wish I had been) but it was a great post and it made me feel like I was there.

    3. Aww, you're a trooper! Thank you so much for taking the time to recreate your lost comment! I really do appreciate it, and it was a lot of fun to read.

      BW couldn't wait to tell his folks the Lalu of the Jungle story when we got home that evening. They probably thought, "Good Lord, what sort of daughter-in-law did we get saddled with, who beats small children on the head with inner tubes at water theme parks on her honeymoon!" Hey, that's just how this bride rolls, baby. LOL

      You DEFINITELY watched a far better wedding-night movie than we did!! I love that movie, and have been known to watch our DVD of it during the summer!

      It's funny, when I was scanning these I really didn't pay much attention to what anyone was wearing, except my poor bridesmaids. There wasn't much to choose from in the colors I needed, and even at that time I felt badly they had to dress like that. Especially Anne, who looked much more at home in her flight suit or blue jeans! Thank you for your wonderful compliments about my dress, I really did love that dress (just not enough to hang onto it!) :-) Funny how Linda can score a good bargain too, must be a Capricorn thing.

      I think graduation photos have taken over for cheesiness! But I agree about current wedding ones, at least the few I've seen. They're a lot more vegan (no cheese). LOL

      I really have to hand it to mom, she was very brave. Especially since she was all alone, really - I was busy with the wedding and the only other people there she knew (besides BW) were our former neighbors who came all the way from Norfolk, VA. They lived behind us when I was age 8-11!! I thought it was remarkable they made that trip, and it was wonderful for Mom that they were there. Not even my grandparents were able to come, since they were in the midst of their move from Maine back to Montana. And you, of course, were in Korea! (And Liz was in Germany). My side of the church was very sparsely populated, even with my office staff there. Mom did a really cute thing I have to tell you about - when BW and I returned to my apartment to start moving my stuff to his house after our trip to Dallas, we found my large stuffed bear that my mom had made me one Christmas (whose name was Holly, btw!) sitting on my sofa. Mom had put my wedding bouquet in Holly's paws and draped a lace doily over her face like a veil. It cracked us up (I have a photo, but haven't scanned it). She really was a good sport!

      That's great that Jim wore the same mess dress jacket from his wedding when he went to Michelle's Dining Out! Not too many men their age could do that.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Jo, and do wish you could have been there too - though thanks to the photographer hogging most of my time, I'd have gotten to see very little of you! (But at least I have all these photos to share!) :-)


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