This is a re-post of the story i wrote last year. I've edited it some. A lot has happened in the past week, and i meant to write about it, but it is mostly mundane and complaining. Think i will skip it for now.
We spent our first Thanksgiving together with my sis Elsa, our parents, and some of sis's friends at Elsa's house. Afterward we drove to Big Bear (we were both living in Costa Mesa at the time) for post-Thanksgiving with Duane's family. While in Big Bear we saw a number of "alpine" trees and admired them.
When we got back to Orange County, Michaels was having a sale on their trees and one of them was a 5' Alpine tree. Because it reminded us of Big Bear, we bought it and put it up together at my house. I had some decorations i'd made the year before and some i made that year (2003). A roommate from when i was in college (1989-1993, had this roommate in '90) absconded with all the Christmas decorations i'd collected in the years prior to that. I didn't bother with Christmas for many years thereafter. I don't have a pic of the first tree Duane and i put up, but they are all pretty similar. This pic is from when we still lived in Costa Mesa.
On 10 December Duane and i had a date. By this time he was a frequent visitor at my house. When he came over he came on in while i was still upstairs. When i came down the stairs i immediately saw that i had a new decoration on my tree.
I asked what it was, i tried to tease him by pretending that i'd go to dinner with him without looking at the box. But i didn't get a rise out of him and we started to walk out the door. After a few seconds i said, "I can't believe you would let me walk away without checking this out!" We went back to the beautiful little box.
When we took the tree down i tied a small red ribbon to the branch where Duane had put the box.
Do you see the ribbon behind the pinecone? Every year when we put up the tree, we put the box back on the same branch. We add lights and granny's star, but the rest of the tree we leave plain for a week or so until we decorate it later. (In all practicality, this works well, too, because the cats have less time to tear apart all the toys on the tree they think we placed there just for them!)
We met on 17 May, we got engaged on 10 December. Duane wanted a wedding that would be either on the 10th of the month, or the 17th, because that way he'd have less numbers to remember! The way the calendar runs, the 17th of the month is always on the same day of the week as the 10th. (Go on, look it up!) Our church had limited days they allowed weddings, (Fridays and Saturdays). We looked at the calendar for 2004, the only months that allowed us those options were July and September. July all the clergy was away for some conference, so September it was. We chose the 10th. We've had six wedding anniversaries now, this is our 7th married Christmas, the 8th we've been together.
The plan is to put up the tree tomorrow, the 10th. But the poor tree, from what i remember, was becoming a little worn. I think the branches were coming loose, but they were put in with hot glue, i think, so a bit more should do the trick. We'll probably do some work on it tonight when we get home, repairing and strengthening it to go another year.