25 years ago today, in Waynesboro, Tennessee, it was a Saturday. But they had school that day throughout Wayne County, because they had a snow day to make up. This was unfortunate, because it was also the wedding day of a Special Education teacher at Waynesboro Elementary School. The county Superintendent of Schools was to be an honoured guest at the wedding, but it was his duty to hold school that day regardless. The musicians for the wedding were a math teacher and his wife, also a teacher. Most of the local guests worked in the school system. (The out of town guests were from northern Ohio, and were at a loss what to do in a dry county. Fortunately for them, they had brought considerable stores of alcoholic beverages with them.) The mother of the groom was the county's Director of Gifted Programs, and the father of the groom was a high school guidance counsellor.
The wedding went ahead that day, with a two hour delay so that there could be some guests present. The bride took a personal day of leave. Fortunately, the minister did not work for the school system; he was a real estate auctioneer and so not otherwise committed.
This morning, my wife (for I was the groom, and Lee Ann the bride, as I'm sure you have already surmised) packed her suitcases and left. Fortunately, she only left to attend a conference in Waynesboro, Virginia (another coincidence). It is ironic, because through most of our marriage it has been my job in the Navy that has caused us to be apart for important celebrations. But this weekend, we will be able to celebrate.
These days, 25 years of marriage is a significant accomplishment. Perhaps the Navy helped, by taking me away often enough that I didn't drive her crazy. When she told my mother 26 years ago that we were considering getting married, my mother commented "well, you know it might not last". One of the few things mum got wrong, thank goodness!
Thank you to Lee Ann, who has given me a reason to go home each evening, and to all our friends, who have made this journey through half our lives so enjoyable.