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A honeymoon story

Our first “I do” was on our wedding day. Today is our 15th anniversary, so thats 16 affirmations that I do, we do, let’s do.

The first hours of our married lives were comical and magical. It is one of my favorite days to recall. The honeymoon doesn’t begin when you dig your toes into a sandy beach or board an airplane. It begins when you are nibbling cake and smiling for photos. Mentally, you are already checked out, maybe proudly bewildered by what you have just done with your best friend and co-conspirator. In your head? You are totally on your honeymoon even as a garter is tossed and birdseed showers down.

And then you are finally alone. This is that story.


The honey. The moon.

Our little Honda pulled away from the curb and suddenly I was self-conscious.

It was late on a Saturday afternoon as we drove through town. Every time a red light halted our progress toward our new apartment I thought of the people in the cars next to us. If they glanced over, they would see a guy in a tux and a girl in a white gown and veiled crown. The brown specks covering us once composed a hefty bag of birdseed. They would know we were married. Just Married.

We arrived at the apartment (he had been living there for about a month, I was still living at my parents’ home). Hubby opened my car door and we walked up the sidewalk. I thought of our new neighbors watching us and grew more self-conscious, especially when my groom opened the front door, snatched me and my yards of silk and tulle up into his arms, and carried me across the threshold.

He put me down and I looked around. Covering every available piece of furniture and the floor was his laundry. His wet laundry. Everywhere. I walked into the bedroom. His wet clothes covered the bed. They hung in the bathroom.

We were supposed to be getting ready to leave for our honeymoon. I had my bags waiting at the apartment. The plan was to change into more mountain-friendly clothes and then leave for Ouray, in the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado. Instead, we shuffled wet laundry around to expedite air drying.

I’ve been married for three hours and I am already doing laundry…

To be fair to hubby, he wasn’t clinging to his bachelor past or being a jerk. The dryer at our apartment complex was no better than an off-brand discount store hair dryer. He started his laundry early in the morning, thinking it would be done. By the time he was supposed to leave for our photography session, the clothes were still very wet. He didn’t have a choice. He was so apologetic it was hard to get terribly mad. In fact, I knew sorting laundry in my wedding gown would be something I would laugh about someday.

Eventually we were able to change our clothes and leave for the bed and breakfast hubby booked for the night. clinging to each other
It was dark when we arrived in Ouray. The moon was high in the sky, illuminating the mountains around us with the quiet, powerful assistance of twinkling stars. Our room was tiny, but utterly charming. It was furnished exactly like a Victorian mountain cabin—picture a fine lady in a feathered hat from the East Coast, circa 1890, marrying a grubby wild-eyed gold miner. We were in their oft-used bedroom.

Our bed and breakfast had its own private hot springs pool, and we seemed to be the only guests. We took a moonlit swim in the hot waters. All around us were the earthy sounds and smells of the wild—waterfalls, wind and wood smoke, cold rocks, steamy waters, and sheer cliff faces. I didn’t cry at my own wedding. I cried at the awesome display of power and creation that surrounded my new husband and I that night. We were cradled by sublime beauty, a divine way to begin our lives together.

Before midnight on our wedding day, we worked together at an unpleasant task and we played together in a pool. We laughed and we cried. We were proud and we were shy. We were now husband and wife tasting the sweet and basic nature of honey, created by humble workers and the majesty and mystery of the far-off moon, the future, power bigger than both of us…Earth and Heaven meeting in two crazy kids in love.

The honeymoon is never over.

(originally published September 2005)

9 comments to A honeymoon story

  • Brian

    Happy Anniversary to you guys! I will always remember YOUR anniversary because it is one month to day after my first date with Liz. 🙂 We still celebrate August 7th every year. In my office this very day I still have a picture of Liz and I, dating for one month taken at your wedding. Me in my tux, young and thin!

  • Mom

    Could it really be 15 years. God has blessed you with a wonderful family. Happy anniversary.

  • Happy 15th, you love birds!

    Beautiful story about the juxtaposition of the mundane and the magical in a marriage — even on the same wedding day!

  • Shayne

    Happy anniversary!!

  • Robin Riley

    I love that picture of you two! Happy Anniversary!!

  • I’m slightly annoyed that I can’t make that picture of the two of you blow up bigger. Because I want to see your newlywed smiles.

    Happy anniversary! May the magic never grow old.

  • Oh sweet!!! That is just the darlingest story… I just love it!!! My hubs got a taste of life with a minimalist when he asked me for my baggage for honeymoon and I said: “My what?” I never thought to pack I was just so excited about the wedding I never thought beyond it!!!… And the funny thing was how sore our faces were the next day from smiling for the camera so much!!! Blimey I sound so old – but those were the days!!! Happy Anniversary to you and your guy!!!

  • B

    Ahh, Happy Anniversary! This was the post that introduced me to your blog. Hope you have a wonderful day together!

  • Love this post— Happy Anniversary for this year… I am 8 months ahead not four months behind 🙂 ha Wonderful times and despite all the craziness, it is great to find time for each other… yah!

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