It was twenty years ago today… Well, that’s how the Beatles song goes. I’m not sure if it was today exactly, but it was twenty years ago, in the first weeks of August, that Carl and I met. I’m pretty sure the date was August 10, but it might have been the Sunday before. When people ask me, “How did you meet your husband?” I like to tell them “We ran into each other skating.” Their reaction is usually “Really? Did you really run into him?” No, I didn’t collide with him, but we did meet at a skating rink. My parents also met at a skating rink. Therefore, my daughters are never going rollerskating, ever. Well, at least not until they’ve graduated from college.
Twenty years together, and there are alot of memories: a few bad, but the vast majority are good. Let me share some with you:
Right after we met, my Mom called me to tell me that Dad and his brothers were having a little get-together at Lake Odessa on the Mississippi River, and since Uncle Hep lived in the same town as me, would I like to come along? Of course, I said, being at that time a college student constantly in search of home-cooked food. Then Mom asked if I would want her to invite a guy-friend of mine, so I’d have someone my own age to talk to. I said, “Actually, Mom, I have someone I’d like to bring.” She was surprised, but pleased, so Sunday afternoon (probably the 24th) my aunt and uncle picked up Carl and me from my dorm and off we went. When we got there, I introduced Carl to my parents, and immediately the guys asked Carl if he’d like to go out on the boat with them. So, off went the guys in the boat, and us gals sat around talking. Mom later told me that the minute Carl opened his mouth to talk to her, she knew he was “The One”. She knew alot sooner than I did. I didn’t figure it out until October.
Sometime during the winter of 1986 -1987, I needed to have the struts replaced on my car, Bucky the Incredible Flying Escort. Carl and I took the car to my parent’s, and Dad and Carl set to work on the repairs. They finished one strut, then Dad needed to run an errand in town, so he told Carl they’d finish the second one when he got back. Carl said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. I can do the other one.” Dad said, “Are you sure?” and Carl said, “Oh, yeah. You showed me how to do the first one, the second one will be easy.” I had to go with Dad on his errand, and by the time we got back Carl had finished, and done a dang good job. This pretty much sealed it for my Dad. He was already impressed with Carl – the fact that Carl was an electrical engineer (Dad was a mechanical engineer) and a farm boy helped – but Carl’s ability to fix things really struck home with Dad. After we were married, Carl and Dad worked together on several projects. Carl always learned something new from Dad, and Dad always had someone to work with who understood how he thought. (Engineers speak their own language.) And they seemed to appreciate each other’s sense of humor. For instance, shortly after we got The Tractors CD (this was years ago) we took it to Mom and Dad’s to play for them. The Tractors did a remake of Hank Williams’ Settin’ The Woods On Fire, and when they sang they lyrics I don’t care who thinks we’re silly/ You be daffy and I’ll be dilly/ We’ll order up two bowls of chili Carl said to Dad, “Yeah, if I ate two bowls of chili I’d be setting the woods on fire, too.” Dad about fell over in his chair laughing. Mom and I just groaned.
I can’t, of course, write about all the memories accumulated over twenty years. I chose the ones above because I’ve been thinking about them recently. But hey, it’s been a good twenty years, and I’m hoping for at least twenty more. But I’m going to mention one more memory, and I know that only Carl will understand this.
I love you, honey.