Twenty years ago, I woke up early in the morning and crawled into bed with my mother. I was going to be married later that day in an outdoor ceremony and I had been fretting all week over the iffy-looking weather forecast. We flipped back and forth from one TV channel to another to compare the different local weather reports, which were all slightly different. My mother humored me by agreeing that the most believable forecast was the one with the most favorable prediction.
Even if it did rain, my mother reassured me, it would mean good luck for our marriage. She soothed me by repeating: “Showers of blessings” like a mantra. It eventually did rain that day, though not until we moved indoors after the ceremony.
Our twentieth anniversary was on Wednesday, but my husband and I decided to celebrate the occasion on Friday. Leading up to the day, we were both privately scrambling to figure out a way to mark such a momentous milestone. In desperation I turned to my 11 year old daughter for advice:
“What do you think I should get Dad for our twentieth anniversary?”
She didn’t have an answer for me, but she laughed out loud and said, “Daddy asked me the very same thing!”
My husband finally took matters into his own hands and announced that he was going to pick me up from work and whisk me off to a secret destination. On Friday, the weather was not just iffy – it was downright dismal. The rain was coming down in sheets. My husband kept sighing and saying, “Too bad the weather’s going to be so awful for our rugged hike in the mountains…”We drove through the rain for a little more than an hour, past the neighborhood where we bought our first house together, through little hamlets, and past fields of cows and horses. The whole way there, he kept tutting about how our picnic on the mountainside would be ruined, while I gave him serious side eye and badgered him to tell me where we were really going.
The secret was finally revealed when we pulled into Washington, Virginia and to the Inn at Little Washington. We were first ushered to a beautiful foyer with a crackling fire…
and then to “Anniversary Row.”
Everybody sitting to the left and right of us was celebrating an anniversary. The waiter asked each couple how many years they had been married, and as we overheard the answers from the other tables, we were very proud to have been married the longest!
From the violin recital…
…to the soccer field:
We went to a party later that evening. Our hosts had devised an ingenious adult scavenger hunt with stops along the way for wine and sake tastings complete with paired hors d’oeuvres. As we hiked through the woods and up to the top of the mountainside to find the grand prize, I remarked to my husband: “We’re having our anniversary hike, after all!”:
Our last day of choir:
This boy’s Confirmation:
I rejoined my family for dinner and then got dropped off at another friend’s to head to the Downtown Mall…
Mother’s Day Photo Op…
You may have seen the news about a group of torch-bearing, knuckle-dragging Neo-Nazis who marched in Lee Park in Charlottesville on Saturday. On Sunday night, a much larger group of people gathered at the park and vowed to love and protect each other.
This is the Charlottesville I know and love.
Some days the rain will fall. Some days a band of retrograde half-wit Nazis will try to spew their hatred in your beautiful little town. In the end, love conquers all and showers us with blessings. That’s the forecast I want to believe.