The morning dawned with a dewy mist of splendor. The sun’s brilliant rays matched the beaming smiles of the bride and groom. Could it really be true that today they were saying “I Do”?!! A perfect dream come true! Well, not perfect but pretty close.
Eleven years later and we’re still a perfect pair- perfectly imperfect. But how love grows and changes along the way! It certainly does change and at times, quite rapidly. Only a week before this, I was feeling irritated at Jerald and full of despair. Weeping with tears and discombobulated thoughts, I meditated seriously how we probably need marriage counseling. How I prayed! And also prayed I would feel better by the next week. Sure enough, God answered my prayer! When I was feeling emotionally stable again and mentioned all this the next week, Jerald laughed at me and shared his wisdom.
Last year when we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, we enjoyed a few days in Gulf Shores which you can read about here. We took the children along. While we thoroughly enjoyed the beach, I actually enjoyed this year much more since it was only us two and the travel was minimal- I’m not a traveler!
This year we celebrated a few weeks post anniversary. On June 10, we woke the children, finished up a few things and headed south to drop off the children with Steve and Karla. What a blessing to have such trusty caregivers! The children were too excited about staying there to be sad they weren’t going with us.
Then we were off to Kansas City with no younguns in the back seats. A delightful drive indeed. No squabbles and none of this “he hit me” “It’s my turn” type of talk. No deadlines or appointments to meet. And what pleasure to chatter uninterrupted to the one I love most! (Uninterrupted being the key word here.) We discussed a wide variety of ideas and possibilities. I saw a jet low in the sky and nearly burst out with “look at the airplane”! But caught myself just in time.
Now we’re simple country folk not up with city life. We got into downtown looking for a place to park. Spending money on something as simple as parking wasn’t what we were here for. Seeing nearly vacant lots, I piped up “There’s a spot”! “Or there”! I kept yelping out suggestions to my knowledgeable husband. Advice freely given, you know. Every answer came back the same. “You can’t get in there”. “You can’t get in there”. Finally we tried one but had no clue what to do to lift the parking bar. So we hit the ‘help’ button. “Can I help you”? the lady answered. “Yeah how do we get in here” Jerald asked. “That’s for employees”. “Oh”. The wife should have kept her mouth closed, because I think, under such noisy influence, the husband gave in to trying out a lot. “But we’re not in a hurry, we have nothing planned,” we assured ourselves. We put it in reverse, drive back up the way we had just come and resigned to the parking garages.
I hate parking garages. They give me claustrophobia. Scene 1- All I can think of is the concrete floors crashing down beneath thousands of tons of vehicles. Of course this would happen while I’m looking for a parking space or walking out to find my vehicle. I can imagine myself instantly crushed to bits. Or partially crushed but yet alive, yelling in tortureous pain to be delivered. Scene 2- Just by looking at those dingy low ceilings reminds me of being stuck in prison or in some vacant dungeon, by kidnappers. I have no experience in either but my brain is creative in imaginary scenarios. I take deep breaths when I’m out from underneath the despairing possibilities.
After the uneventful walk out from the parking garage and some deep breathing of fresh air, we amble hand in hand, to Panara Bread, which is located inside a massive building of some sort. Eating lunch outside gave such a touristy feel.
We walked up the streets to visit the Federal Reserve Bank to learn about Federal reserve notes. These are the kind of notes everyone loves because they’re worth so much! Watching the inspection of bills was informative and super interesting. The machine is hand loaded with bills. The machine checks each bill for counterfeits, graffiti, or tears. When one is discovered, it automatically shreds it and a brand new bill gets put into place. This way the exact dollar amount stays the same. The robots moving pallets of cash was intriguing. The realization of the billions of dollars so close to you and yet so far, was fascinating! One full pallet of $100 dollar bills is worth 64 million!!! If the vault is full of 100 dollar bills it would equal more than 138 billion!!!! And we were right outside the window of these millions of dollars!! The thought was enriching.
After touring that rich place, we trotted back to that parking garage, climbed in our vehicle and drove out completely unscathed. We headed over to Crossroads Hotel and checked in….at the grand hour of 3:00 pm. But we didn’t have any schedules except relax and enjoy each other! I kept exclaiming how relaxing it is without the care of the children. Normally when we’re at a motel, we’ve been traveling. Often it’s nigh bedtime and I keep trying to collect my brain, figuring out who should use the bathroom and get cleaned up first, how to keep noise levels to a minimum, cut out the bed jumping or how exactly to occupy the ones who aren’t getting ready for bed.
But there was none of this since my hubby is not in the habit of bed jumping or hollering. We could simply lounge around in the unique, old fashioned hotel. The room was completely adorable and the glass, walk in shower luxurious. We headed out around 5 to eat supper and do some shopping.
To be sure, we are not in the habit of patronizing such luxurious hotels. This was a splurge! But we had points on our credit card that could only be used for travel. And besides, Anniversaries are special to celebrate! Every year together is truly a gift from God!!
We shopped a variety of stores that evening looking for decorative bed pillows. It’s something I’ve never spent money for. But recently we redid our bedframe which resulted in a large open space on the wall. Just what we wanted- because minimalism is so peaceful. We had agreed to get some large pillows to add color. Indecisive me, could never conclude on this alone. Thus it was the perfect time to shop together. And we did. I was unsure of the ones I found. After he gave his opinion, I put those back and we headed over to Target. We found some we both liked but I was still reluctant. I didn’t want to spend so much just for pillows! We made the purchase but concluded to stop at an At Home the next day just to make sure we weren’t missing something better. I was convicted I nearly exhausted my long-suffering hubby’s forbearance levels. It was a good thing we had no deadlines. Or maybe not?!
After our leisurely morning we headed towards home, stopping along the way at a couple stores and then also ran into town wide yard sales. But it was past bargain time since it was Saturday afternoon. We made a purchase at the first sale. Otherwise we got a good walk in and that’s it.
And sure enough At Home was worth the stop. They have aisles and aisles of pillows! We found the perfect 3rd pillow to add color to go along with the one pale green wall in our room. I have plants in clay pots which go along with this terra cotta color. I’ve learned to love my houseplants! The ‘throw’ you see under the pillows were cheapies- two beach towels.
The only thing that disappointed me about our trip was that I started feeling ill Friday evening. Sore throat and slightly achey. I didn’t sleep well at all which was a shame in such comfortable conditions with no children to wake us. Unfortunately I felt sick on Saturday but managed to drag myself around. We picked up the children and arrived home about 4 pm. It was wonderful to be home again- all together ❤️ Our trip wasn’t perfect, but pretty close.