Tuesday, December 23, 2014

21 Years Ago Today

Happy Anniversary to The Runner!!!!!

I created this mini album and gifted him several years ago on our anniversary.  Just like the cover says "I followed my heart and found you" - it just took many years to finally get together.  Our wedding was our fourth date.  True story!

As the little "JOURNEY" key on the spine says ... here is our journey.  This little album showcases those dates.  Our first date was to our ninth grade prom.  I wish the picture was better just so you could see the look on my face.  Priceless.  Back then being boyfriend and girlfriend was so much different than it is today.  Gosh - we never even kissed each other.  We used to jitterbug at lunchtime in the auditorium and it was only right that we go to the prom together.  We didn't have a fight and break up.  It's just that school was over for the year and since we lived a couple of miles away from each other, we just didn't bump into each other.  Life goes on.

Fast forward to our second date which was 32 years later.  Yep - 32 years.  Long story short, even though we went to the same high school, we didn't hang out together.  He went his way and I went my way after high school.  We saw each other at our 20-year reunion (I didn't recognize him!) and then again at the 25-year reunion (and this time I recognized him!)

A few years after that, I was in a very dark place and called his mom to find out where he was living (he moved often with his job.)  I called him.  About a year later, he called me.  I told him it was surprising that he reached me because I was supposed to be in San Francisco with a friend but the trip fell through.  Told him I was disappointed because I'd never been there and my friend was going to show me around the city.

He laughed and said "I used to live there - I could show you all the nooks and crannies."  I laughed back and said "Okay!"  And then we changed the subject.  The next morning I was telling my neighbor all about the phone call while we were walking.  She said to me "Why don't you go?  You have known him forever and you have vacation time."

I mulled that around in my mind for several hours and then called him at work later that morning.  I asked him if he was serious about San Francisco.  He laughed again and said "No, were you?"  I told him "No, but the more I think about it, I am thinking 'yes'."  Less than an hour later, we had our tickets!

We spent a week together just taking in the sights in Orange County.  I say this was our second date even though it lasted a week.  The picture of The Runner was taken on part of the 17-mile drive in Carmel.  We had the best time that afternoon.  It was like hanging out with my best friend.  We had to much to talk about and catch up on and we talked non-stop.

The picture of the two of us (top) was taken at Hog's Breath Saloon (owned by Clint Eastwood - but he wasn't there) in Carmel.  We spent many hours there that day!

Approximately a week after we returned home - him to Texas, me to Ohio - we got engaged.  On the telephone.  Crazy!

We decided perhaps it would be a good idea that we spend some time together before the wedding.  Our third date was spent with me in Texas Thanksgiving weekend.  One of the things we did while I visited was write our vows, buy our wedding rings, slip and slide during an ice storm and he wanted me to meet his friend (bottom picture taken at his home.)

Date #4 was our wedding.  We married at The Inn of Chagrin Falls (Ohio) 21 years ago today.  The coolest part was that the judge (pictured between us) that married us was nine months pregnant - maybe even past that.  There were only a handful of our family and closest friends there to share our happy day.  We were very fortunate that our guests were able to make it as the temperatures were in the teens and the snow just kept falling.

By the way - that cake was THE BEST chocolate cake we have ever tasted!

We married in The Gathering Room, walked down the hall and had dinner at Gamekeeper's Tavern and then walked up these stairs to our room.

The next morning we bundled up and braved the snow and frigid temperature (it was only 11 degrees!!!!!)  We walked a couple of blocks, had breakfast and did some shopping.  Everything was so festive with all the Christmas decorations and snow.

We walked back to our room, packed up, checked out and loaded up the car.  Except it wouldn't start.  Oh my goodness.  We called AAA, but so did the rest of the people in the city.  AND it was Christmas Eve.  So we just stayed in the Gathering Room, kept warm in front of the fireplace and waited.  For hours!

By now several hours had passed and it's just about dark.  We hadn't eaten since breakfast, the restaurant at The Inn was closed and we were afraid if we left The Inn, the tow truck would show up.  What a riot when he did show up.  We had to ride in the cab with him.  After he threw some oil cans onto the floor.  Our first stop was a block away to put more oil in the truck because he had a leak.  We drove about 35/40 miles to the dealer where I bought the car, which was still another 20 minutes to my home.  We had the best time in that dirty truck.  We were (parade) waving to the people on the freeway while singing Christmas carols to the tunes on the radio.  We told the driver that we married yesterday.  He looked at The Runner and told him that if he would have rented a limo we wouldn't be in this predicament.

The plan was that my neighbor was going to walk across the street and plug in the Christmas tree so it could be the first thing we saw when we walked in.  Instead of the phone call that we were leaving, she received a phone call asking for a ride.  Their family was gathered for their Christmas Eve celebrations and bless her heart, they broke away and two of them came to get us.

When we got out of the tow truck, the back of my white coat was covered in oil.  I wish it showed up better in this picture, but trust me, it was soiled from collar to hem.  To this day, I don't know what kind of magic powers the dry cleaner had because every speck came out and I was able to wear that coat again.

We've had quite a ride in the past 21 years.  After our 11-day honeymoon, The Runner flew back to Texas and I stayed in Ohio.  We lived apart for nearly three months before he joined me in frigid Ohio.  When I say "frigid" I really do mean it.  The coldest temperature I had ever experienced was -22 degrees!!!

We've been able to do a little traveling.  We spent our one-year anniversary in Florida visiting my parents and then his parents.

We moved from Ohio to Texas.  Then to Kentucky.  Then back to Ohio.  After Ohio, we moved to New Mexico and then back to Texas.  I hope we stay here forever!

We enjoyed being back in Ohio.  Snow and all.  The Metro Parks in that area are just magnificent.  The Runner spent hours on the same trails running (and sometimes I biked next to him) when we weren't cross-country skiing.

The Runner lived in California for 11 years and always wanted to take me there to show me all of his old haunts.  One of the many things we did was take a ferry ride over to Catalina Island.  We spent the day just walking around, eating and we took a bus/truck tour up to the airport.

Our eighth anniversary was spent in Florida visiting with our folks.  Marrying two days before Christmas has its benefits and works out perfectly to travel and be with family.

One of our trips was to Connecticut to visit with my aunt and uncle and cousins.  I don't remember ever laughing so hard or so much.  Every minute spent there was like this.

One of our trips was to San Diego for my daughter's retirement from the Navy.  We were able to see and do so many things and visit with her and her husband as well as her aunt and several of their friends.  We need to take more pictures of the two of us - except this book has certainly outgrown itself.  Time to create another!

Happy Anniversary to The Runner.  We've got 21 years on the books.  Do we have enough life in us to celebrate another 21?  Gosh, I sure hope so.


  1. Oh, Sue, how heart warming. I love it. Sentimental, funnyu and so interesting. I feel so happy for both of you.

  2. Happy anniversary to you both. Hope your day is filled with love and laughter and celebrating

  3. What a wonderful story. Happy anniversary and Merry Christmas!

  4. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! What fun to read the whole history with pictures!

  5. Very cool! Glad you have kept those. Everything in a scheduled day is essential in keeping the moment right, even the method of transportation. I've always been a fan of limos, as they are a good tradition to keep in that respect. Anyway, thanks for sharing that! Enjoy the rest of your years and all the best!

    Evan Blake @ Antique Limo of Indy

  6. I wanted to comment on this earlier and time just got away from me----
    What an incredible story of love and fate:)
    Happy Anniversary to you both-- carry on-- you guys are the greatest!!