Ten Years (edited)

Ten years ago today, we said our vows under a basketball hoop.*  Like today, daffodils were blooming and Easter was on its way.  When I think about the past decade together, I think of the dozen or so countries we traveled to together, all the new experiences I had that I never would have dared to undertake without him – long hikes in New Zealand, England, South Africa, and Lesotho, Peru; long drives in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica; snorkeling in Belize; wine tasting in Chile, South Africa, upstate New York.  Buying a house together, raising a daughter, looking forward to a son.

When we were dating, we both read a book titled “Two Years Before the Mast,” about a young man who dropped out of Harvard in 1834 and took a job on a sailing ship.  It’s a fascinating first-hand account of life on a sailing ship, back in the days when now major cities in California were collections of huts and goats.  Anyway, one of the things that struck us about the story was how much time was spent maintaining the ship.  The author kept mentioning the annoying task of scraping rust off chains for hours on end.  From a distance, he said, a sailing ship appears to make its way merrily and effortlessly along, but up close you see all the work – the jib-tightening – that goes on.

This story became a metaphor to us for our relationship.  We occasionally set aside time for “jib-tightening” talks, when we try to deal with the little things that are bugging us about each other or our relationship, trying to get to them before they become big problems.  It hasn’t always worked but it does help.  About three years into our marriage I did a counted cross stitch of a sailing ship that now hangs in our bathroom (because it matches the wallpaper) as a reminder to scrape the rust off our chains.

Ten years before the mast, and going strong.  I love you.

*****

*Oh, right, the basketball hoop – well, we were married in a church fellowship hall that had basketball hoops at either end, so it could double as a gym.  My mom snagged miles of tulle from a friend of hers who had used it to disguise exposed pipes in a church under renovation during her own son’s wedding, and my cousin who is a visual artist did a great job of draping the tulle in long streamers from the basketball hoop at one end to make a sort of canopy.  He used Bolivian textiles as accents on the walls and one over the hoop itself, and we brought in some potted plants as well.  So it turned out really pretty.  We arranged the folding chairs in a circle and skipped the procession thingy (we didn’t have a bridal party either), just had our parents and siblings sit next to us up front.  It was kind of an unconventional ceremony, but fun.  Afterward we had the reception dinner in the same room, a potato bar (super cheap!).**

T. did say it would have been fun to have the two families square off in a game of pick-up but nobody on my side is particularly into sports!

**Actually, we did the whole thing for about $2,000.  T’s family helped with renting the space, and used it for a family reunion the same weekend.  My mom made my dress, her dress, T’s shirt, my sister’s dress, the cake, and did all the flowers which we picked up for cheap from a local florist – mainly irises.  T and I were both in grad school and recently returned from volunteer service overseas so we had like no money at all.  Short of eloping it was about as economical as we could get!

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3 Responses to “Ten Years (edited)”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Awww, happy anniversary!

    I don’t picture you a sports person, I’d love to hear why you got married under a basketball hoop.

  2. Laine Says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!! I am always so warmed to hear ongoing love stories. It is SOOO important to fix little problems early to maintain a happy marriage. I love your beautiful metaphor of the ship. In so many other ways it applies to marriage as well (no one can sail a ship alone, you have to plan ahead, chart a course, batten down the hatches in a storm, head into the waves…).

    Funny about the hoop… our reception was in a church multi-room w/ hoops as well!. We did our food and flowers, sis made my dress… frugality creates such great memories!

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. Hugs.
    ~Laine

  3. tireegal Says:

    Lovely story!
    We are getting married at our church and having the reception in the social hall which doubles as a daycare in the week! Glad we are in good company!

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