Thursday, June 14, 2007

29 years and a wagon ride

(Story published with permission.)

My sister and her husband just celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary. I heard about the way they celebrated through the family grapevine and decided this was one of those poignant stories you may be expecting on my blog.

Rose and Rob have lived in a rural town of 2,000 since they were married. Rob's family has lived and farmed and ranched in the area for generations. It's a rich history and they cherish it deeply.

However, that's not to say that Rose and Rob live in a cocoon. He is a respected small-business owner in our state and she's an elementary school teacher. They've vacationed out of state and country, their first two children are college-educated (and #3 is well on her way), and shut-my- mouth they even drive cars.

So on the day of their 29th wedding anniversary, you might expect a traditional dinner at a fancy restaurant or some other event away from home. Well, according to Rose, they've been out plenty lately. The dinners out have been frequent, albeit anything but fancy. Life has been hectic with school ending and other events. So dressing up and driving to Major City for a restaurant meal sounded more laborious than special.

So, at Rob's prodding, they hooked up their team of mules ("Ruby" and "Pearl" and I did not make that up) and prepared take a wagon ride. The kids were otherwise occupied so it was just the two of them. Rose was admittedly reluctant with many irons in the fire at home but thought it would be a nice break and after all, it was their anniversary.

They hooked up "the girls" and off they went, pulling the covered wagon behind them, on a mild June 10, 29 years after they were married. And for three hours they meandered the country roads of their town, talking to each other and whomever they met along the way.

And then they celebrated their 29 years together by having a beer.

Beer? Yep, a beer. See, in Smalltown, Oklahoma, there's a bar. It's not really even in town. Really it's not even a bar. More like a tavern. Like when someone they don't know walks in, everyone shifts their toothpicks to the other side of their mouths and tips back the bill of their John Deere hat and says " ain't from around here, are ya..."

But they knew Rob and his bride. And when the covered wagon with the oldy-weds pulled up in the parking lot (which didn't specify it was for cars only), they were warmly greeted. And Rose and Rob convinced the bar-owner to fix their order to go.

So this is the part where you think, noooo! Surely this story must be about someone's elderly parents. No, I'm telling you, their anniversary was six days ago.

They got their beer and they climbed back in their wagon, and they headed back home, click-clacking down the sometimes-paved, sometimes-not roads. And they talked some more. And Rose told me she would more than likely remember that anniversary celebration more than any other.

Hmmm, I believe I will, too.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, that was sweet. I can picture that whole ride and it sounds better than some fancy restaurant. And you posted this on my 22nd anniversary so, of course, I'm tearing up.

The Major will be home tonight, has to leave again tomorrow, but we'll take what we can get!


Anonymous said...

That's great. I wonder if Rose could get Rob to read this so he'll know what a great brother-in-law we think he is!


Gumbo Lily said...

Great story!
Since we are ranchers ourselves, I can appreciate the story and I truly do believe it!
Happy 29 years together to them!

~Jody (sent by Monica)

Anonymous said...

Man Rob and Rose sound like a great couple. I bet they have some mighty fine offspring...


Debbie said...

~Wonderful story. It brought a smile to my face! Congratulations on your 29th wedding anniversary!
That is so awesome!!

Bunny McCoy said...

How creative and yet...simple. I love hearing of marriage successes like this one. It just goes to show that with a little imagination and an adventurous spirit one CAN live happily ever after. Wishing Rob and Rose many more happy years!

Michele (sent by Monica a.k.a. "Christine's favorite sister" or so she says *wink*)

Diana said...

Great Story and a perfect celebration. Better than any fancy restaurant or big city party! Speaks volumes that simplicity is best.

Anonymous said...

Love that story!Happy Anniversary to Rose and Rob, gives me something to strive for!


Rose said...

Boy we feel special! Today for Father's Day, we, meaning me and my kids, went with Rob all day on a 21 miles wagon trip. Only this time we packed a picnic lunch and DID NOT stop at the bar. It was great fun and another good memory.