Weekend trip marks five years and counting

My wife and I have reached a milestone in our married life’our five year anniversary. Seems difficult to imagine that we have been married that long but compared to others, it is just a drop in the bucket. Heck, I know several couples here in Brady who have been together for 50 years or more. I guess that gives me something to shoot for. As is normally the case with my wife and special occasions, we made plans to head out of town for a little R&R and celebration. Larry and Mary Ann, (mostly Mary Ann) took kiddie patrol and agreed to take care of them Saturday and keep them overnight until we returned Sunday. Plans were made several weeks ago with brother-in-law Zack and his girlfriend, Sarah, to meet up in New Braunfels for a evening concert at Gruene Hall. A talented singer named Roger Creager and his band were scheduled to appear. Holly and I were introduced to the group via Zack who had become a faithful follower in recent months. More on the band in a moment. Our anniversary was actually on Friday, but our outing plans were to take place Saturday. We had a nice dinner at the Caf’ at the Depot and a quiet evening with the family, still not believing all of the things we have experienced in a mere five years of wedded bliss. I personally was still recovering from the previous weekend when my sneaky wife surprised me with a belated birthday party. It seems as if Holly had been keeping more than a few secrets from me over the past several months as she planned a shindig of which I will never forget. More on that adventure next time. So here I am not expecting much of a surprise in the way of anniversary trinkets or surprises due to the mental exhaustion Holly suffered after the b-day celebration. I covered my bases and got her the obligatory card and piece of jewelry. I seem to have lost some of my creativity of late. From her, I expected a card and a small token of appreciation for all of my exemplary help as a father and husband. 🙂 What I got, was a two hour trip down memory lane which I enjoyed more than any present she could have purchased. It seems as if my wife was up to her old tricks of outdoing herself once again. She spent hours over the past few weeks compiling a list of songs that had particular meaning to us as a couple. Along with the songs, she made a photo album of snapshots taken over the past five years that coincided with the songs’all in sequential order synchronized with a self-made CD. How she came up with those photos and got the whole deal organized without me knowing is a prime example of why I married her. She handed me my gift as we were pulling out of the driveway on Saturday morning. Out flopped the CD and away we went. For the next two hours as we headed to Gruene, we listened and talked about all of the memories that were contained in the little book and CD. We relived all of the fun times and wondered what is in store in the years to come. We had a great afternoon shopping and visiting. We met up with Zack and Sarah later on and went to dinner at the Gristmill restaurant overlooking the Guadalupe River. For those of you looking for a picturesque place to eat that serves great food, I highly recommend it. We enjoyed dinner and then went outside to Gruene Hall where we proceeded to wait two-and-a-half hours to get into the concert. It seems as if ol’ Roger Creager is a little more popular than we expected. We should have known it with him being a good Aggie and all. There were so many people crowded into Gruene Hall that we happily sat on a picnic table on the patio and listened from outside. Truthfully, the lack of air conditioning coupled with the sheer number of inebriated fans on the dance floor made the patio a preferable location. The show, what little we were actually able to see, was highly entertaining and I am now a full-fledged fan. The concert ended at straight up midnight and we headed to the hotel where we proceeded to sleep uninterrupted by little ones until 9 a.m. Wow! I had forgotten what that was like. We got up, ate breakfast and then did a bit of shopping at the slew of outlet malls located just south of San Marcos. It is amazing how quickly you can get from place to place when you don’t have to worry about getting two children in and out of car seats. We got on the road and took the nice scenic drive home where little ones were ready and waiting for our return. (I think Larry and Mary Ann were ready as well.) All in all, I can definitely say that the past five years have been terrific. This weekend was a great way to remember just how fortunate I am to live in a small town with a wonderful family. Thanks, God. ‘JS

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