Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A real anniversary

It's about 4 am local time, and 19 years ago today, Christi and I were just about to tie the knot. We had no idea what we were doing, and of course had no clue where that night's actions would lead us. We've had our ups and downs over the years, but it's been the greatest time of my life. I cherish my wonderful wife and our 16 children. Of the many directions my life could have taken, I wouldn't have it any other way.


With that, I present to you all...

The story of us, part 4

The last time I had gone to Vegas had been with my roommate and another good buddy. That trip, by comparison, would prove to have been very uneventful. As Christi and I travelled along, we didn’t speak about what we were going to do. I think we sort of discussed the fact that neither of us was dressed for anything fancy and we pondered where we might go for our wedding, but for the most part, we didn’t really talk about what we were getting into. The road to Vegas was a long one, especially as it was getting pretty late into the night. Much of the trip is a blur, blotted out by the overpowering memory of the more important events of that weekend, but one memory that will never go away is of the World’s Tallest Thermometer. More precisely, I remember the parking lot of the Bun Boy restaurant which is located right next to the World’s Tallest Thermometer. We didn’t eat there, and we didn’t really stop to see the World’s Tallest Thermometer. None the less, it was the most memorable part of the long drive through the California desert. We arrived in Las Vegas sometime in the 3 o’clock hour and drove around looking for a motel room. We secured a room at the Gateway motel and spent an hour or so freshening up and then we ventured back out to see about this marriage thing. The first step in the process was to obtain our marriage license. We went into the Las Vegas marriage commission building which, true to Vegas form, is open 24 hours. We filled out the required paperwork, paid our fee, and then, since we hadn’t made our minds up about where to get married, we chose to be officiated by this guy:

Ok, so it wasn't really Scatman Crothers who married us, because he'd been dead for something like 5 years by then, but the guy, Owen, looked a hell of a lot like him. Owen was the Deputy Marriage Commissioner of Clark County, Nevada. He was really nice and we had a very simple, quiet ceremony. We went back to our motel room in a daze...already Christi was wondering what she had just done as she began to say, "I can't believe I'm married", again and again throughout the day in kind of a stunned whisper. She continued to say that, from time to time for the first 4 years or so that we were married.

Sometime later that day, we found ourselves at a pawn shop somewhere in town and we bought a couple of plain, cheap gold rings and those were our wedding bands for a couple years until we could afford something a little better. We then began to ponder what we might do in the way of a honeymoon. After a bit of thinking, we came up with the brilliant plan of going out to Hoover Dam. We headed out that direction, but our enthusiasm for seeing the dam began to wane and several Indian turquoise jewelry stores later, Christi began to feel the need to get back to Chad and Jessica who were staying with her folks for the weekend. So we turned around and headed back West, our heads reeling with thoughts of the future.

We still had to face Christi's folks when we got home.