Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anniversary Weekend

Memorial Day is about remembering the dead -- those who have sacrificed life for our freedom. Wedding anniversaries are about remembering the living -- celebrating the time that has passed and the sacrificing of life for each other over the years in small and large ways.

Thirty seven years ago tomorrow, Melinda and I drove my sister’s 1974 maroon Malibu with the white vinyl roof from our honeymoon suite at the Ramada Inn in Houston to my grandmother’s house in Floresville to spend our first week of marriage exploring San Antonio, New Braunfels, and just being alone at the farm. Now that place is ours. We were there again this weekend, but did not have much time alone. None, in fact. But that’s ok.

We were joined by Alan and Kat, celebrating their seventh anniversary (rookies, still). Alan and Kat brought the next generation, Madison and Austin, with them, and the aging grand-dogs, Porter and Presley. Jenna drove up on Saturday. And Saturday evening, the Farmers, friends of Alan and Kat, arrived with their two daughters, Zoe and Ava. And their dog.

I had responsibilities in McKinney on Sunday morning, and so made the now familiar flight from San Antonio to Dallas on Saturday night and returned on Sunday afternoon. In my absence, the entire entourage drove to Leakey, Texas to swim in the Frio River at Neal’s. About the time I landed at SAT, they were done swimming. We agreed to rendezvous at La Gloria, a Mexican street food restaurant on the San Antonio River that we’d enjoyed once before. The celebration of our thirty-seven years and Alan and Kat’s seven (rookies) involved the eleven of us (dogs were still at the farm) dining for a couple of hours on likes of tlayudas, tortas, potosinos, and molcajetes. We walked down to the river and enjoyed the evening that was quickly cooling down from the hundred degrees we’d endured most of the day.

We spent Monday, Memorial Day, exploring the farm, finding and identifying a variety of wild flowers, and making a road trip to Rhew Orchard , a couple of miles down County Road 401 from our place. The peaches were ripe and peach cobblers were still warm in the Rhew’s store when we drove up. We took one of those back with us. Some amazing vegetarian tacos awaited us for lunch back at the farm. Then cobbler and coffee. Then a lawn sprinker aimed at the trampoline in the backyard kept the kids occupied and drained off some of their energy (not all of it) in preparation for their three hour trip back to Houston.

By 4:30, the Farmers and Alan Creeches had left. I forgot how quiet my life normally is. Melinda, Jenna, and I cleaned up the house and spent the remainder of the evening watching 8 mm films Melinda’s dad had made of their family in the early 1960s. We’d dug out the 50 year old films and Sears projector while moving in the past week. Amazingly, the machine worked perfectly and the old films entertained us for several hours. We saw brief footage of Hurricane Carla and a short appearance of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans astride Trigger and Buttermilk making their way through downtown Houston in the Fat Stock Show and Rodeo Parade. We watched ten year old Melinda playing, attending Vacation Bible School at Shady Acres Baptist Church, and performing in the “May Fete” at Helms Elementary. We saw her mom and dad, who have been on the other side for many years now, walking about, laughing and enjoying life as much younger people. We saw Missy Momma, Melinda’s grandmother, in most of the short films. It made me wish my folks had made some movies along the way.

We returned to Waco today, ready to start the summer school work tomorrow. Melinda will be taking Latin all summer. I teach one Doctor of Ministry Seminar. Jenna will be an intern at KWTX in Waco, while taking nine semester hours of government and economics online.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to celebrate and a lot to remember.

1 comment:

Kat Creech said...

Happy Anniversary. Gosh, you look so dapper. And, what a lovely bride. Indeed a novice and a rookie in this game. At least we have you guys to look up to. That is at least something.