He kept a secret from me.

I wanted to get married so badly, but I did NOT want to plan a wedding. Ed and I were engaged at the beginning of April, and we wanted to get married in October. Only six months to plan one of the biggest events of our lives, and I was not the least bit interested in getting it done.

As a Lutheran pastor’s family in a small town,  we were at every wedding that took place in that town. I watched the wedding ceremonies from the balcony as my father was up front officiating. I listened to my mother singing, most likely Malotte’s “The Lord’s Prayer.” Hearing it sung so many times unfortunately has me automatically rolling my eyes whenever someone else sings it. I know every note of that song by heart! After the service, everyone headed over to the Parish Hall, known as the school gymnasium during the week, for cold cuts and butter mints. The dance was at the American Legion Hut, where the adults stood around listening to the band and the kids ran around the Hut, the cool evening grass tickling our bare feet. My sister and I collected the wedding napkins. You know, the ones with the bride and groom’s names embossed on them. We had a large box full of just napkins from all the weddings we attended.

These memories are good memories, yes. However, after attending dozens and dozens of weddings as a child, I grew to dislike weddings. And so when it was my turn to get married, I wanted a church wedding and dancing at our reception, but I didn’t have any interest in actually planning the event. My parents had just moved to Colorado, so my mom was too far away to help me with the details. I missed her so much and wanted her to live close to me again. My sisters also lived out-of-town, and my mother-in-law to be was not in the best of health. It was up to Ed and me to plan our wedding together. Since I was teaching at the time, we figured I would have plenty of time to plan during my summer vacation.

We survived the whole planning process pretty well, although once we set the date, we discovered that October is the second most popular month for weddings. Finding a reception hall was more challenging than we thought it would be. There were a few panicky days as we tried to secure a location before our trip to Yellowstone. By the time school resumed, Ed and I felt like everything was under control.

At Yellowstone, relieved that we had a hall for our wedding reception!

There was one thing I had resigned myself to; I would not be getting a bridal shower or bachelorette party. My maids of honor, my sisters, were out of town. One of my bridesmaids had basically told me she wasn’t planning a shower for me, even though I had thrown a nice bachelorette party for her a couple of years before. I didn’t have the energy to organize my own party; plus, that felt just weird. I was feeling a lot of stress in planning the wedding in just six months as it was. So while I felt sorry for myself, I tried to focus on the big day itself instead of a shower.

One Sunday afternoon, Ed and I were driving to the northern suburbs to meet his family for dinner, which was a weekly event. I remember feeling particularly crabby that day. I don’t remember why. But when Ed’s sister called to ask us to stop by the grocery store on the way to the restaurant, I lost it. I ranted and raved. Why did we have to stop to get bread, of all things, for his sister?

I think I was still complaining about one thing or another to Ed as we walked into the restaurant and suddenly people yelled, “SURPRISE!” I would hate to see the look on my face if anyone took a picture! Ed and his sister had pulled together a surprise shower for me, and I hadn’t suspected a thing!

That surprise party was so sweet and thoughtful, and I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. It also makes me wonder…

…what others secrets has Ed been keeping?

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks.)





Standing in Line with Ed

Lily and Emmy earn free tickets to Six Flags Great America through their reading program during the school year. Six Flags is only about a 45 minute drive from us, and we try to go once a year. My in-laws live even closer to Six Flags so they buy a season pass. A couple of weeks ago, we all went together–and then split up once we walked into the gates. Ed and my nephew convinced me to go on the new coaster Goliath, supposedly the tallest and steepest wooden roller coaster in the world, while Lily and Emmy went with my niece and sister-in-law for some tamer rides.

After a 2 hour wait, it was finally our turn. It was a little nerve-wracking that Goliath didn’t have shoulder restraints, but a lap belt and lap bar instead. That first drop just about did me in! And then we went upside down twice and through a corkscrew, not necessarily in that order…my brain was a little scrambled. I may have screamed a little.

Roller Coaster
We rode Goliath!

Later that day, as we were walking past X-Flight (last summer’s new coaster), the wait sign said 45 minutes. Ed hadn’t been on it yet, so we decided to wait while the rest of the group went to a different ride. It soon became obvious that the wait was going to be twice as long as the sign said. Ed and I passed the time with some old-married-couple conversation.

“If I knew the wait was longer than 45 minutes, we wouldn’t have gotten in line.”

“Oh, look, someone lost their hat.”

And of course, the long companionable silences that comes from being married for almost 12 years.

About half way through our wait in the middle of a twisty-turny section of the line, Ed saw a couple that he knew years ago. After their hellos, the wife exclaimed, “We were just talking about you, Ed, and how fun it was to stand in line with you! You were so entertaining!” Turning to me she asked, “Is he still like that?”

“No. He’s actually very boring,” I said. And then they had to move in their direction and we moved in ours.

After our “flight,” (Ed said, “You know it’s a good ride when Ginny laughs the whole time!”) Ed and I joined the rest of the group. The girls wanted to go on the Demon, another roller coaster, so we waited in yet another line. As we were waiting, Ed started to joke around with our nephew, making everyone laugh. All I did was give him a look. “I know what you’re going to say,” he said. And I didn’t even need to say it. I just laughed instead.

At Yellowstone in the old days, when Ed made me laugh on a regular basis!