Monday, September 9, 2013

Fifteen Years with Kansas Dad, the Early Years

This week, Kansas Dad and I will celebrate our fifteenth anniversary. Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about our time together and have enjoyed reminiscing about the experiences we’ve had so far. In the next three posts, I’m going to share fifteen memories (with some flexibility). These are not necessarily the most important moments of our life together or the most meaningful. Rather, they are the moments I remember thinking, “This is my life and it is a good one. How blessed I am!”

Oh, our honeymoon! We needed a new one a few days before the wedding and ended up in California with a rental car but no place to stay. We wandered north and south of San Francisco, even staying with Kansas Dad’s aunt and uncle for a few nights, but it was wonderful I remember one day, leaning against the railing at a lighthouse. We had been hoping to spot some whales, but the drizzle and fog obscured everything. I remember the smell of the sea and the feel of the mist and raindrops on my face…and my husband at my side.

We got a cat shortly after we were married because I wanted one and was devastated when Kansas Dad turned out to be allergic. Then, being prepared for a pet, we felt bereft and decided impulsively to get a dog, a beagle. We drove three hours to pick him up. He was fat and dirty, but we’d driven so far we took him home. The very first day, he ate part of the entertainment center, chewed through the television’s cord, pulled down all of my dresses and rolled on them (requiring a hefty dry cleaning bill). It was only the first of many stories about “Things Sherlock Ate or Otherwise Destroyed,” but he was a good dog.

Just before our first anniversary, I started a new job and came home in the middle of the first day feeling ill. Eventually diagnosed with pneumonia, I missed the rest of the week and we debated canceling our anniversary trip to Maine, but drove up anyway. We stayed in one room of a huge house along the coast, sharing a bathroom. One day, we visited a near-by state park where I dozed on the beach while he walked the dunes. It was peaceful and calm and I felt like a convalescent on the coast of an English novel.

Was it our second anniversary when we stayed in Plymouth? Kansas Dad surprised me with a whale-watching cruise. The camera was broken, so we have only the memories of that amazing trip, when we saw every kind of marine wildlife possible. Remember how the humpback and her calf appeared so close to the side of the boat that we rocked a bit? The guide warned us any other whale-watching cruise would be a disappointment after that one, but I still hope to one day take the children on one.

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