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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Best Laid Plans -or- Happy 25th

Well, it has been an interesting week, actually an interesting couple of weeks.

Friday, a week ago, ended with the Sons of Jubal Annual Retreat which this year involved an intense 2-day recording session. It was good, actually better than I thought it would be, but that's not the point of this story.

However, it, in part, helped lead up to an emotionally draining start to this past week. And this week ended, shall we say, very interestingly. Remember those best laid plans.

Ten years ago, Donna and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary with a small ceremony. I guess I should mention that Donna loves weddings. However, I asked if she could hold off on the big ceremony until our 25th. Well, she started them with the planning and preparations. She dreamed and planned and dreamed and planned and then dreamed some more. Along the way, the dreams changed or grew or whatever.

But, this past week, it caught up with us - the time arrived.

We had scheduled the big event for this past Friday, January 18th, at 7:00 p.m. A couple of years ago, while members at First Baptist Church, Toccoa, she had planned on having the ceremony in the new chapel, but with the new position at First Baptist Church, Jefferson, GA, one of those changes of plans happened and we scheduled it for that sanctuary with help and participation from members of our "new" church.

Then the week arrived and all was not done. Those last minute details got to be longer and out of hand. There was the rush to get it all done, but Donna was not physically or emotionally up to the task. She was simply worn out. Oh, she worked hard for the last two days with her friend Wanda helping out, but it was simply impossible to get it all done. Then there was the mad rush to get out of the house and on to Jefferson and the church. And, of course, in the rush, items - special items with a special place in the ceremony - were left at home (and with a 45 minute drive, were impossible to retrieve). We did remember some things like the plates and cups for the reception and we arranged for Wanda's husband to go by the house and pick up them up, but there were those other things that were not remembered until it was too late.

Donna was greatly saddened that all was not as she had dreamed it would be. Ten years of dreams altered by the last minute rush and the slipping of time.

For my part, small as it was, I thought it turned out well and Donna, well, she was more gourgeous than I remembered having seen her. Did I mention that she had gotten the wedding dress of her dreams (actually several years ago and at I price that even I thought was a bargain)?

Then after the ceremony, the reception, the photographs, and the clean-up, we were able to get away for our special weekend. We had planned a weekend in Atlanta visiting a few places that Donna wanted to go but for that first night, we rested. It was good, then we awoke to the promise of snow.

Now, you have to understand that Donna (and I) love snow, but now with the snow, more of Donna's carefully crafted plans were slipping (literally/figuratively??) away. So, with regrets we canceled our Saturday night stay, packed up, and headed home. Of course, this morning we learned that the snow was not nearly as bad as had been predicted and we probably could have continued with most of our plans (the zoo may not have worked out as the temperatures were very cold and it closes under those circumstances).

So ... what can we learn from this?

1. Life doesn't always go as we expect or plan. Sometimes we actually do have to just go with the flow and make the best of what we are handed.

2. The sweet is not in the details, but in the relationships. The details didn't match the dreams, but Donna and I did, in fact, before witnesses re-affirm our love for and commitment to each other. And, those who attended didn't seem to mind (or notice) that the topper for the groom's cake was missing - the one with the bride fishing for the groom - if you haven't heard that story yet, just ask me sometime when you see me.

3. God is still good. I can't pass up this opportunity. If you haven't guessed, this is a recurring theme.

So, now what are my plans?

Well, now I plan to try to take my bride to the zoo, the aquarium, and the world of Coke, but it probably won't be tomorrow and probably not all in one trip. I also plan to make up that second night away at some point, but probably not next weekend. And, my original plan is still in place - I plan to take my bride, on our anniversary, January 21 out to eat her favorite meal - sushi.

Who knows, even my plans may get changed, but love and commitment remain, not affected by changes in plans or dreams.

Donna, I love you! Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary!