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I feel like I’ve spent the better part of 2011 complaining about the weather. First, it was the endless snow, waking up every Friday morning to an additional twelve inches of white stuff covering our world. Then it was the endless rain, day upon day of spring spent running from one destination to another, head down and umbrella up, puddles of mud blocking your way. And now, inevitably, it’s July in Cleveland, with its requisite 90 degrees and humidity so thick you start sweating the second you get out of the shower.
I’ve wondered if maybe I’m just getting old, like now I’m grumpy and can’t tolerate what we once thought normal. But then I listen to the local meteorologists and am strangely comforted by the fact that we do indeed keep breaking new records. We all know this past winter was an extreme case, as evidenced by the five snow days. I think I had five snow days in my entire young life. They were so rare I can remember them still: One in second or third grade spent in the yard of our Swiss neighbors, the Zuberbeulers (could that really have been their name?) building snow forts and having epic snowball fights. Another (which might have been a cold day, not an actual snow day) in eleventh grade the day before winter vacation that surely wrecked havoc on the teachers’ gradebooks since many papers were due and many tests were scheduled that could hardly be repeated two weeks later. And this year … five. The state legislature actually changed the law in January to increase the allotted days from three to five. So you don’t need me to tell you that this winter was unusually awful.
And then on the first day of May, all the news contained the delightful little fact that we had accumulated more inches of rain in April than in any previous month on record. And then yesterday was the hottest day in sixteen years, since another 98-degree day in July of 1995 (which I spent in the even hotter city of Houston, Texas).
I’m relieved when I hear these reports because I feel vindicated, like at least it’s not me. At least the weather really is as bad as it feels. And I’m not the guy climbing up ladders to install windows or paint the exterior of houses, working six or seven days a week to make up for the lost jobs of springtime. Nor am I the child (i.e. Braedan) off at camp with the distinct privilege of horseback riding for an hour each day, which requires wearing jeans and a helmet. So I really shouldn’t complain. But I still do.
But now the storm has come through and cooled things down a good twenty degrees, so it’s out to sit on the front porch swings with my sweetie(s) to enjoy a cool summer evening.
And so another year goes by.
On this date, August 3, 2002, Mark and I got married underneath perfectly blue skies on Lake Chautauqua. I remember that I had worried for months about the weather since the ceremony was completely out in the open and, while we had a tent for the dinner, the event could have been pretty miserable if the weather hadn’t cooperated (people would have had to walk through mud and rain just to get to a bathroom!). I was willing to accept anything short of a dark stormy day– 95 and humid or 60 and cloudy would have been preferrable to that. But not only did it not rain, it was positively glorious. I mean, as perfect as they come. Sort of like today, but not even this hot: blue sunny skies, warm in the sun but with a steady breeze, an orange sun blazing into the lake at sunset, followed by a purple and pink sky before we danced to “The Luckiest” under the stars. Really perfect.
And not just the weather, but the whole she-bang. I was big into planning my wedding. I had a blast with it, dreaming up all the tiny details and excitedly poring over Martha Stewart’s magazines. And it actually went off without a hitch.
And of course, as everyone knows, it’s not the wedding that is most important but the marriage that follows it. And that too has been as close to perfect as they come. Not that it’s gone according to plan — no, not quite that — but I could not have asked for a better husband, a more steadfast partner, a more trusted friend, than my Mark. As we were cleaning furiously this past weekend (more on that in next post), I put away a card that I gave him right before we headed back into the hospital for Austin’s last surgery and inside I’d written, “I could not imagine going through something more horrible and I could not imagine going through it with someone more wonderful.”
So tonight, we will toast once again . . . so far, so good.