honeymoon

20100623_4_editedLike all good things…our Anniversary Weekend has come to an end. That’s that bad thing about long weekends, holidays, and vacations…they end way too soon. It doesn’t matter how much you like your job, we all hate to see the weekend come to an end. It’s no different for me, and I find myself a little sad that the annual trip Bob and I take to Thermopolis to celebrate our anniversary is over. When we go to Thermopolis, we don’t go to the pools in town, but rather just enjoy the hot tub at the motel. We don’t go there to be around a lot of people, but rather just to be with each other.
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This year’s trip was extra nice, because the temperatures were in the sixties. The early Spring was evident everywhere. The geese don’t really leave…at least I don’t think they do…because with all the warm water, staying warm is easy. Nevertheless, the birds were all everywhere, twittering and being all lovey…sure signs of impending Spring. The fishermen were out in force, and enjoying the warm weather to get back out there and enjoy a favorite sport.

Since we don’t fish, Bob and I were able to get out and do our favorite sport too. There is such a lovely river trail at the edge of the motel property, and it runs all the way up to the hot springs and pools, making for the perfect walk. For us though, this was the Chasing geesecelebration of 41 years of marriage, and that makes it an amazing trip for us. It’s our time to disconnect from everyday life, and just enjoy each other’s company…almost like a second honeymoon that you take year after year.

Sadly, this weekend trip like all other good things must come to an end, but as we head home, it is with a renewed relationship. That’s one of the beautiful things about these mini honeymoons, we come home more in love than when we left, if that is even possible. Bob has been such a blessing in my life, and of all the good things that have to come to an end, I’m thankful that we have not, because he is the love of my life, my soulmate, and my one and only. I had a wonderful weekend, Honey. I love you!!

Grandpa & Grandma Byer as a young coupleEvery year, as Christmas approaches, people head out in search of the perfect gift for those they love. Sometimes the hunt can be brutal. You have asked for a list, but they can’t come up with anything, or you don’t ask for a list, and simply hope you know them well enough to know what they would like. Either way, there are times that you just can’t find something you are satisfied with. Other years you are a shopping guru. You fly through your list with ease, and before you know it you are done.

That is kind of how things were for my grandparents, when they were courting. They seriously found the best Christmas gift for each other…a honeymoon. Now, I don’t know if they got to got on any kind of a trip, but getting married on Christmas Eve meant that they got to start their life together for Christmas. Their first full day as husband and wife was Christmas Day. Not everyone would consider Christmas Eve to be the best day for a wedding, and I can understand that, with everything else that is going on during the Christmas season. My grandparents were of a different mind on that. For them, as for many people in those days, weddings tended to take place when the family was all gathered together. Christmas was a perfect time for that. So, since they wanted to get married anyway, they set it for Christmas Eve, so it didn’t interfere with Christmas Day.

It all seemed very practical I’m sure, but for my grandparents, I’m sure it felt quite different. Excitement over starting their new life together must have completely overshadowed the traditional Christmas celebrations. Waking up next to each other on that first Christmas morning, must have been like being a little kid rushing downstairs to see what Santa Clause brought them for Christmas…except you already knew. They gave each other a honeymoon for Christmas, as well as a whole new life. in that way, I can understand their decision to marry on Christmas Eve. And they aren’t alone in that choice either. My cousin Raylynn Richards Williams and Grandpa and Grandma her husband Doug felt the same way about a Christmas Eve wedding as our grandparents did so many years ago.

Maybe Raylynn and Doug chose Christmas Eve because Grandma and Grandpa did, or maybe they chose Christmas Eve because they liked that time of year. I’m not sure, but I’m sure that no matter the reason, if you choose to marry on Christmas Eve, you will have, as part of your honeymoon, the Christmas Day celebration, and that has to be special. I’m so thankful for my grandparents, who found each other, and started this wonderful family, of which I am a part. And for Raylynn and Doug, Happy Anniversary, and Merry Christmas, both Eve and Day.

Corrie and Kevin Petersen Wedding Day July 17, 1993Kevin 1Kevin, my son-in-law has always loved working on cars. Shortly after their marriage…in fact, on their honeymoon a kid ran into Corrie and Kevin in a parking lot. They were devastated. They had a very nice car and Kevin really loved that car. The kid’s insurance paid to fix it, of course, but Kevin just couldn’t let someone else work on his car. That car was his baby…or at least his second baby. Corrie would tell you that she was his first baby, and that is just the way it is.

When my oldest grandson hit driving age, he wanted a great car…of course, what 16 year old boy doesn’t. Still, most kids don’t really have the money for a new car. So they started looking and found several…and in fact, Chris owned several before he was 16, but when he turned 16, he had his Camaro. It started out white…and pretty rough, but true to form, Kevin set himself to the task of helping his son have the great car he wanted.

Last year on Labor Day weekend, which just happened to include Kevin’s birthday, he was busy painting his son’s Camaro orange…even though he told Chris that the orange he wanted was too expensive and it would have to be yellow. I’m quite sure Chris dreaded that thought. Kevin is such a teaser. Nevertheless, Chris got his orange Camaro, and his dad did the work. It is beautiful.

Then, Chris wanted a bigger engine, and once again, Kevin took on the task of helping his son achieve his dreams. They have spent countless hours in the garage working on that car. It isn’t done yet and I have no doubt that they will be working on it today, once again on Kevin’s birthday, unless Chris is working that is.
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My grandson, Josh will be 15 in a few days, so I know Kevin will finish up with one son, and start working on cars with his other son. It is a never ending story, and Kevin wouldn’t want it any other way…except maybe to add a little fishing with his boys to it. Today is Kevin’s birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a wonderful day…and try not to work too hard!! We love you!!

When my mom married my dad, on July 18, 1953, her life was about to change dramatically. Their honeymoon would be spent sightseeing along the route from Casper, Wyoming to their new home in Superior, Wisconsin, which is where they would live for the next 5 years. Being a young wife and soon mother, and living far away from your own family, and especially your parents can be hard, especially on holidays and your birthday, which for my mom, coincided with the New Year’s Day holiday. Mom was a New Year’s Baby, and that had always made her birthday extra special. As a young wife, you never know if your husband will remember your birthday, much less do something to celebrate it, But with my dad, Mom need not have worried. Of course, the day that was her birthday made remembering it easy, but the rest was all dad…well, with a little help from Mom and later the kids and grandkids. You can’t really plan a party like that every year, all by yourself.

As the years and their family grew, they would move back to Casper, Wyoming, where the younger 3 of their 5 daughters were born. Mom’s birthday would always be celebrated with a New Years Eve party, and the house would be filled joy and laughter, music and dancing, and of course, good food. Dad never forgot her birthday and made each one special. There was never a doubt as to where we would celebrate New Years Eve, because we loved having the big party at our house. Most of our friends didn’t get to do anything, but the Spencer house was always rockin’ on New Year’s Eve.

Since their wedding day, more than 59 years have come and gone. Dad left us and went home to be with the Lord, 5 years ago December 12th, and the torch has now been passed on to Mom’s daughters. Mom knows that her birthday will be celebrated in the usual style that is the Spencer tradition. The party was held, although it was, as always a little bit lonely, because Dad was once again celebrating with Jesus this year. Still, I know that if he was here he would have been proud of the way it turned out, because this year…like every year was better than the one before, and Mom’s birthday will be a beautiful celebration for our beautiful mom. She is one in a million, and each year starts out reminding us just how blessed we are that she is our mom. Happy birthday Mom!! We love you!!

Right after my parents were married, they headed out for their honeymoon, like most couples do. Their honeymoon would also include the move from Casper, Wyoming to Superior, Wisconsin, and would take in many places my mom had never seen before. Mom’s family didn’t do much traveling, and I don’t think they had ever taken the kids very far East. I’m sure the trip brought many feeling out in my mom, from homesickness to excitement. And just as sure as I am that she was homesick, I’m also sure that my dad’s gentleman’s ways, soothed her sadness, and made everything alright again.

The honeymoon part of the trip would take them to the Black Hills of South Dakota…a vacation spot that they loved from that time forward, and one that our whole family loves to this day. Few places aside from Washington D.C. have the kind of Patriotic feel to them that The Black Hills has, not to mention the particular ties to history and the West that The Black Hills has. One of the big gold draws that brought the white man to the West, The Black Hills inspired much unrest and many battles between the Indian nation and the white man. You can still feel some of that history when you are there. It is a very historic place to visit, and one I highly recommend.

The honeymoon trip would take my parents on to Superior, Wisconsin, where my mom got her first glimpse of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. If you have never been there, Lake Superior is another place I highly recommend. The sheer majesty of this lake is amazing. Even in her homesickness, my mom would fall in love with the beauty of Lake Superior and the surrounding area. It would be impossible not to.

Mom and Dad would live in Superior, Wisconsin for almost 6 years before moving back to Casper, Wyoming where they would live for the rest of their lives. Mom’s family would make several trips up to visit, and Mom got a chance to show them all the sights that she had grown to love. Still none of it was as amazing as the first time Mom laid eyes on it. The entire area was so different from Casper, Wyoming, where she grew up. And I’m quite sure that my dad’s love of traveling, and his keen ability to point out the very best sites made their honeymoon and the rest of their time in Superior and the surrounding area, one of the best times in their lives.

I met Bob while I was a senior in high school, and we were married a little over a year after graduation. After the wedding, we took honeymoon trip to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Bob and I had a wonderful honeymoon, and while we were gone, my parents took care of our cat.

When we came home, we opened the front door to find that a few things had changed around our house. Our first clue was when we turned on the light and there was something on the switch…shaving cream. Stepping into the living room, we saw that there were torn newspapers all over the floor…and our cat had been having a great time shredding them. So we cleaned things up, laughing about the trick my parents had pulled off. Both our families are teasers and pranksters, so this was nothing new to us.

Then, I started to make dinner. We were going to have fried chicken…one of my favorite dishes, and as it cooked it smelled wonderful. As I was preparing the side dishes, a found that we had another surprise in store for us. All of the labels on our canned goods had been removed, so the side dishes were going to be a bit of a surprise too. In the end, we had fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, and peaches. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, until you add that fact that I like salt, so I used a generous amount on the chicken, and as we bit into it, we discovered that the salt and sugar had been switched. Bob was such a good sport. He told me it wasn’t so bad, and ate at least two pieces of chicken. Thankfully we had used a packaged gravy, so it was good…of course the potatoes were a little sweet. All in all, it wasn’t too bad, and nothing went to waste. Again, we laughed about the whole thing.

The final prank was discovered when we went to bed that night. There was a cup of rice over our door, so my parents got to throw the final handful of rice to commemorate our marriage. They had also short sheeted the bed…which I’m sure you can figure out, and there were a few crackers in there that needed to be vacuumed out, but the funniest thing was the fact that there were a selection of bells, including a cow bell tied to the bed springs…so I’m sure you get the picture on that one. We were too tired to remove those until the next day, so it wasn’t a quiet night, but we did get…some sleep.

I suppose some people might think our homecoming was a mean trick, but we thought it was totally funny, and it has been a funny memory that we have had for the last 36 years. I wonder how many other people can tell you all of the details of that first day home from their honeymoon.

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