Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm so glad I'm not on this honeymoon by myself!

Twenty-five years ago today I said those words to my new (all of one day) husband.  We had flown to Minneapolis from Denver the day after our wedding and were driving our rental car to the "North Woods" where we would spend our week-long honeymoon in a time-share condo my parents had gifted us for our wedding.  It was a beautiful drive down tree strewn back roads.  I was drinking in the lush green, as I was from the brown high-desert of Colorado.  My eyes could not feast enough on the vibrant colors!

Suddenly, there was a loud bang and our car started swerving crazily.  My "knight in shining armor" carefully guided our errant steed to the side of the road and got out to check the problem.  Yep, we had a flat tire.  This new bride watched as Jim deftly jacked up the car and changed the tire.  As I stood there observing, that's when I uttered those loving words for the first time, "I'm sure glad I'm not on this honeymoon by myself, or I'd be changing that tire!"

That phrase has become our battle cry as we enter into hard situations, new adventures and uncertainty together, "I'm sure glad I'm not on this honeymoon by myself!"

A couple of days ago, as I was going through a drawer to get it ready for moving, I found this card that I had given Jim on one of our first anniversaries.

Notice, the little old lady even has red hair!!

So yesterday, on our 25th wedding anniversary, I gave it to him again!  I think we laughed even harder than the first time I gave it to him! Actually, without knowing it, I had set the theme for the anniversary evening Jim had planned.  As we sat in the restaurant at a romantic table by the fireplace, Jim handed me a gift bag.  Inside was this:

 Yes!  He had gone through every letter of the alphabet and written one or two memories!  What an incredible time we had laughing and reading through each page as we ate the delicious dinner Nate and Raine had given us for just such an occasion!  (Aren't Groupons great!!)

So, let me share some of those memories with you through pictures.

The happy couple 25 years ago!
Tired, but happy, on the way to our honeymoon!

The happy couple 25 years later, a bit older, but still happy neither of us are on this honeymoon by ourselves!
As we head on this new adventure to Leizig, I am extremely glad that I am not on this honeymoon by myself!  Jim is my calming presence when I get overwhelmed. He puts the "add" in "adventure", without the addition of him, it would just be a venture.  He laughs at all my silly jokes and air-headed ways!  His insight and wisdom keeps me grounded.  He is the best anniversary gift I could have!

So, here I am again, telling Jim, "I am so glad I am not on this honeymoon by myself!"

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fouth of July Cultures, Communities and Quirks!

Being from a small town in Colorado, Fourth of July was always a day to look forward to.  We would get on our bikes and head to downtown Loveland to watch the parade.  I loved scrambling after the candy thrown from the floats!  I would excitedly jump up and down and wave my flag back and forth as the Larimer County Queen would ride by in her glittery chaps and dazzling cowgirl hat, wishing I could be her!
In Loveland, you may very likely see the Budweiser Clydesdale coming up the street,
while in nearby Greeley, it would be Longhorns,
and there's nothing quite like watching the marching band in Steamboat Springs ski down the street!
Yet I experienced something this Independence day that I had never experienced before...the Anderson, Indiana Fourth of July Speedway Race!
There was the ear shocking cacophony of engine clamor, cars spinning out of control, a driver jumping out of his car to try to smash his fist through the window of the driver who caused him to crash, trailers with things such as a toilet or a couch strapped to them fishtailing behind pickups!  I never could have even imagined an afternoon like this, then follow it up with an incredible fireworks display and much laughter as we headed back to our friends' house to fall exhausted into bed and I think we had about the most perfect Fourth of July ever!  I love small-town America with all her various cultures, communities and quirks!  What a way to celebrate our independence!

I know they have the fourth day of July every year in Leipzig, but I have my doubts that it will look anything like Fourth of July in Indiana or Colorado.  I'll have to get used to fireworks on January 1 and "autobahns" (highways) that look like speedways, as they have no speed limit!  I know I'll miss much about living here in America, but I also am looking forward to experiencing the culture, community and quirks of living in Leipzig.

I would love to hear some of your Fourth of July traditions and memories!  I'm sure they're as quirky as mine!!