TRAVEL THERE: BIG PLANS FOR A BIG DAY
A few years back a friend of mine was getting married and finding a venue stumped her. I suggested she use my backyard. She never really took my suggestion seriously, but I began to see how my favorite view would be the perfect spot for a celebration. Her wedding came and went, but I was never able to eradicate the idea of a celebration in my backyard. I began to float an idea with my husband – what if we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony by our pond?
Anniversaries We Have and Yet, Have Not, Celebrated
Our wedding anniversary is a special day to us. Bill doesn’t get very excited about Christmas, birthdays or Valentines, but our anniversary is something he likes to mark. In our early years, we used to say we were going to spend our 10th wedding anniversary at the Phoenician in Arizona. We’d visited the resort on some previous trips to the area and we loved fantasizing about splurging on a special celebration there, but it never happened.
When our 10th Anniversary rolled around, our nephew was graduating from Wharton (along with Ivanka Trump). Bill’s brother had passed away not long before and we felt helping our nephew celebrate his important milestone took precedence over the Phoenician. Believe me, it was no sacrifice. We used Philadelphia as the starting point for an amazing tour. I saw the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, Mohonk Mountain House, Springwood, Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, 1000 Islands and Niagara Falls. The whole trip was filled with moments I will never forget.
For our 20th Anniversary I started making noise about replacing the diamond in my engagement ring. Bill had surprised me with his proposal – like really surprised me. He’d never so much as asked me my favorite shape of diamond! At the time, he’d said the ring was just a placeholder and I could pick out what I wanted, but what I wanted was what he picked out for me. After twenty years, though, I thought I might be due an upgrade – such as a carat for each decade.
To Bill’s credit, he took me shopping and he was willing to spend the obscene amount of money necessary to put a two carat rock into my wedding set. Only my practical little soul could not countenance it. I got my ring polished and we built our home on the pond instead. Of course, the house cost a whole lot more than the new diamond would have, but look at what we got. Our 20th wedding present was ourselves was the architectural plans for Falcons View Pass. We moved in not long before our 21st.
Looking to Twenty-Five
Though we always mark our anniversary in a special way, we don’t always do it on the special day. Take the Danube Waltz in 2016. It marked Anniversary 22, but it was about a month early. Oregon marked number 18, but it several weeks later. For number 23, we went to Egypt, but about a month before. That’s when I started thinking about number 25.
Floating an idea with Bill is a bit of a challenge. He’s always listens to me, but that doesn’t always mean he hears me. I’d venture to say I’d been talking about a backyard vow renewal for six months before he figured out I was seriously considering it. I had the whole thing sketched out in my mind. When he finally asked me to explain it to him in full, I was on the edge of tears. Only my vision didn’t resonate with him.
“How about a cruise,” he suggested. Well, we love cruising and we’ve been on several, but the fact we’d already been on several was what caused my hesitation. I wanted something very special to mark this milestone. What’s more, I didn’t want to mark it alone. Part of what had propelled my vision of the backyard ceremony had been the loss of so many of my loved ones. So many of the important people who had celebrated our wedding were no longer here to testify to our commitment. Some people who loomed large in the video of the day are either no longer a part of our lives at all or they have moved to the peripheral edges of our existence. What’s more, there are those who are very, very special now, that I didn’t even know back then.
What did we decide to do? Come back next week and find out.