Marking Time

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The second  weekend in January is a big weekend for us.

Christmas and New Years are over.  We have rushed for a month.  Rushed to get ready for Christmas.  Rushed through Christmas (I know that isn't good but sometimes it just happens). We then take down the two (sometimes four) Christmas trees, decorations in every room in the house, outside decorations...sweeping up dried up Frasier fir needles for weeks afterwards.  (You know what I mean by "we" right?)

And just when we get back to work after New Year's, we begin to get ready to celebrate our anniversary and our youngest daughter's birthday.

Our anniversary is on January 9th.  Our daughter's birthday is on January 10th. (Different years of course.)  Sometimes we have separate celebrations but most recently we find ourselves having joint celebrations.  We went with a joint celebration this year. We actually started with a joint celebration.

When these two days roll around each year I find myself looking back.  Our anniversary and Lyndsay's birthday is a way of marking time for me.  How old was I when I got married?  How old was I when I had Lyndsay?  What has happened in the last # years?

There are some memorable January 9ths and 10ths that stick out for me.

27 years ago we were married in a blizzard.  Yep a blizzard.  A blizzard in a town that never gets snow.  When the wedding day rolled around the town was hamstrung with snowy roads and no snow removal equipment.  We may have been the only ones in town with a four wheel drive.  Which meant my soon to be husband had to drive around to pick up the bridesmaids so they could make it to the wedding.  A lot of folks couldn't get there at all.  But there was no cancelling at that point.  27 years later we are still hearing the horror stories recounted by our Florida family members and offering up our apologies with a little laugh and "wasn't that funny?".  Good thing I don't believe in omens.

Twenty two years ago I was VERY pregnant with Lyndsay on our anniversary.  At 5'2'' and "blessed" with a very short waist my pregnant belly had no where to go but out.  Straight out.  On January 9th they were calling for very bad weather, sleet, ice, maybe snow.  We lived an hour from the hospital...down a mountain.  My father-in-law put some cash in an envelope with a note that basically said..."Go celebrate your anniversary and have that baby." In otherwords get off this mountain before we have to birth that baby ourselves.

So we packed up, left our 2 1/2 year old with the grandparents and headed down the mountain.  Our first stop was at a beautiful quaint bed and breakfast.   Why I was thinking of a romantic beautiful place to stay on THAT anniversary night I have no idea.  I could hardly walk or breathe. And the "Inn Keeper" must have thought the same thing.  We arrived at the front door of the Inn and she took one look at me and said "There is no room in the Inn".  So funny!

We made our way to a nice hotel and settled in for our anniversary night.  That entailed trying to eat in a booth at the restaurant downstairs...I couldn't even sit up straight....not a great meal.  Then watching MTV as my contractions began.  I held out until midnight when we made our way a mile down the road to the hospital and five hours later had our sweet baby girl.  That series of events continues a couple of days later when we are making our way back up the mountain (in the ice) with our little bundle of joy and our car breaks down.  There we sit on the side of the road waiting for my brother in law to come pick us up.  Classic. Memorable.

Fast forward to four years later.  Our tenth anniversary.  I think the symbol for the 10th anniversary gift is tin.  Not sure we would have come up with a good idea for tin gifts, but no need.  We were in a hospital room in Seattle Washington nine days post bone marrow transplant for Jack.  Jack struggled to keep food down during those first weeks, so our tenth anniversary was celebrated with a meal of matching orange popsicles. We were thankful
and grateful to see year 10 together.  The next day Lyndsay celebrated her 5th birthday opening her birthday presents in the hospital room so her dad could be at her "party".  See what I mean by marking time?

Marking time.  January always stops me and causes me to mark the time of our lives.  The big and the little things that have happened the second weekend in January through the years. Some good.  Some scary. But always together.  Whether we celebrate our special days in a beautiful bed and breakfast or the nice chain hotel. Whether we celebrate our special days in a birthday party venue or a hospital long as we are together that's really all that matters.  It really brings home the meaning of gratitude for me.  Gratitude turns what we have, or where we are, into enough.

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