Odie has a terrible memory. It makes me sad for him when he tells me that he doesn’t have the sharp details of certain moments accessible the way I do. Our wedding four years ago was more of a week than it was a day. Every year around our anniversary, I savor the memories of the lead-up to our day, the day itself, and its aftermath. Yesterday, we enjoyed a rare lunch alone in our favorite expensive restaurant while V was at preschool. Technically, it was the day AFTER our anniversary we were celebrating, but there is plenty to remember from that day as well.
We had a “destination wedding,” so everyone who attended (about 28 people) was from out-of-town. The morning after our wedding, we had a farewell brunch with the leftover champagne as mimosas and the leftover potatoes au gratin as breakfast potatoes. My maid of honor (or honorable maiden as she prefers to be called) served up French toast for all. The round tables from the night before were still set up in the living room of the home we rented, table cloths stained with red wine and cake frosting. The morning was chilly and misty, so our decision to spend $200 on outdoor heaters paid off handsomely as we enjoyed coffee on the balcony and watched clouds snuggle around the red rocks.
Most of our guests departed for home right after brunch. Some were flying home to Washington and Maryland, others driving to California or Colorado. I was sad to see them go, but looking forward to the week ahead: champagne in the hot tub looking at stars, hiking along gorgeous trails, giggling about what my substitute was probably doing RIGHT NOW while I sipped a margarita over lunch.
We rented a stunning home with spectacular views for the four-day weekend, Thursday-Sunday, while we stayed in a different “honeymoon home.” Because the wedding house would otherwise go empty on Sunday night after everyone left, we persuaded some friends to stay on an extra night of free lodging in the five bedroom house. We hiked to watch the sunset, had a wonderful dinner out, and got to stretch out our “special day” for one more day and night.
Over lunch yesterday, I told this story to Odie as if he hadn’t been there. He remembers it, of course, but I remember details that he has lost. Together, we relive the day and grin at the memories. Maybe it’s a chick thing. Naturally I remember every detail of my wedding day. Okay, the reception is a little fuzzy. I do likeah the champagne. I remember coming out of the bathroom and seeing myself in the full length closet mirror and thinking, “I look so happy! I’m glowing! I look like a BRIDE.” I almost didn’t recognize myself. Odie remembers worrying that the guests were having fun.
And the nostalgia fun continues all week. Today, February 12, was our first full day on our own. Our honeymoon house had a hot tub recessed in the deck right off of our master bedroom, so we started every day (and finished every day) with a soak. The idea of soaking in a hot tub is so appealing to me right now, being pregnant and therefore forbidden. We went out to breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot in the area, then burned it off on a three-hour hike during which we paused to play a game of Frisbee. We’re outdoorsy like that. When we got back to our car, we found a note on the windshield. Our back window was still painted with “Just Married,” although the rain was making it look like morning-after walk-of-shame make-up. The note said, “We were fortunate enough to see your beautiful wedding yesterday at Cathedral Rock. It reminded us of our special day 25 years ago. We wish you the same happiness we have had.” So much nicer than the notes you find that say, “Sorry I hit your car while backing out.”
I love that I have my memories of that week. Even when I was there in beautiful Sedona, I looked around and forced myself to remember details. I knew I would require them at other times in my life when I needed to meditate and feel happy and at peace. The red mud on my hiking boots, the cold champagne on my tongue while my body soaked in toasty, bubbly water, the feeling and weight of my new wedding ring, admiring the shiny new ring on my husband’s hand.
And, of course, all of the, ahem, stereotypical honeymoon activities. Censored here for your comfort.
Work is stressful. Motherhood is demanding. Pregnancy is uncomfortable. Taxes are due. But sitting here and reminiscing about that wonderful week is a free indulgence I can luxuriate in, even while I pick scrambled egg bits out of the crayon box.