This coming weekend, Dr. H. and I are going away for our anniversary to a little cabin in the mountains. We could go someplace fancier. We could fly somewhere or explore a new city or get a big room in a nice hotel. But that's just not us. We started this journey 21 years ago in a cabin in the mountains, and we're suckers for tradition.
A lot has changed since the day I snapped that picture of Dr. H. at Roan Mountain, TN, on our honeymoon 21 years ago. We look different. We think differently. We have kids, pets, furniture that isn't from the Salvation Army, a real dining room table. Two computers. Our own house. Shelves of books. A bunch of degrees. Twenty-one years ago we thought we had all the friends we'd ever need or want. We never imagined a world with new people who have added tremendous dimensions to our lives, who have filled in hollow places and smoothed out rough spots along the way.
Twenty-one years ago we thought about how we could buy groceries on $25/week and what band we would be going to see play in the upcoming week. We dreamed about having a family and picked out names. We took long, barefoot walks on the cracked sidewalks of the Tree Streets. We waited for our friends to pop in the front door of our big old house, which we rented for $175/month. When it rained, we pulled back the braided rug and put buckets under the drips.
A lot has changed. We loved each other a little then, in the whole scheme of things, although we thought it was a lot. How could we possibly have known how immeasurably, wildly strong our love would grow in 21 years?
We are here, in the place we always wanted to be. And returning to the simplicity of a quiet cabin in the mountains is the perfect way to remember, appreciate, and celebrate.
(But I sure do miss Dr. H's mullet.)