I can't remember how I felt 21 years ago when I married Earl. I was nervous, excited, happy. I think I jabbered nervously and forgot to apply lipstick when my Dad came to that upstairs room to escort me down to the wooden porch, down a few steps to stand in front of a tinkling waterfall, tiger lilies blooming thick along the bank.
I can't remember how I felt, but this expression on my face explains it.
We drove my convertible from my parents' log cabin in Kentucky to the reception. That's a barn in the background, not the house! My best friend from high school, Tracey, was my matron of honor and Earl's brother Art was the best man. They rode in the front seat. It didn't matter because Earl and I had eyes for no one else.
Today, we went to Trattoria Roma and sat on the patio. We drank wine. We laughed. Earl said I looked beautiful, and I'm kind of amazed that 21 years passed so quickly. I don't mean to make it sound easy. We've had our share of days slogging through deep sand in the desert (I mean that metaphorically) and sometimes it feels like we're on opposite sides instead of the same side. Every time though, we return to each other with that loving look in our eyes.
As we left the restaurant, Earl took my hand in his and said, "Do you think we can have 21 more?"
I try to imagine us 21 years from now. My mind reels. But 21 years ago, I couldn't have imagined the life we created, the people we've become.
Happy Anniversary, Earl.
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