Despite our best efforts, our 15th wedding anniversary came off extremely well.
"Despite?" I hear you ask. Yes, we tried quite hard to screw it all up.
First, we didn't make any plans at all until oh, noon. We decided we'd get a good dinner at a nearby restaurant, take it to the new house, and eat there. That was the full extent of planning. No, I lie. On my way home from PT, I asked him if we had any of the sparkling juice left, and if so, could he stick it in the refrigerator. But that was the end of the planning.
Just before we were ready to go, we argued about which restaurant to go to. Once decided, Husband tried to find an on-line menu. *snort* Our great metropolis possesses a grand total of two (2) stop lights, within one block of each other. It prides itself on being ye olde quainte back to oh, 1880. The Internet is a word you hear around here every now and then. It gets you blank stares, above which you can see the dialog bubble: "you're not from around here, are you?" On-line menu was not to be found.
Without an online resource, Husband's ability to do just about anything is seriously impaired. Ok. I exaggerate. But not by much. So, while he was frantically scouring the Web for non-existent sites, I packed up our supplies. Two TV trays, check. Two candle sticks complete with candles., check. Plates and tableware, including a few for serving, check. Napkins, check. Two glasses, check. All of this went into one of the plethora of boxes scattered through Havoc House. Nothing matched, of course. Plates were our everyday black stuff. Bowls (for salad) were paper. Glasses were plastic. Tableware stainless steel. But hey, it's what I found first.
Into a cooler went the bottle of sparkling juice, butter and sour cream (since you never get enough when you take out from a restaurant.)
By now, Husband has given up on menus, and decided we'll wing it. This means we'll drive to our first choice, see if they have what we want. If so, order. If not, go on to the next place. Repeat until success. So, he starts to pack the car. The two TV trays go in first. The two camp stools go next. I move them off of the TV trays and put them farther back in the trunk, and cover the trays with our outdoor furniture cushions (to make the camp stools more comfortable.) The box goes in the trunk. My purse and jacket go in the car, as do I, to start the engine. Husband gets into car. Off we go.
Perhaps you, oh wise ones, have noticed what we did not. It was not until we were a within a few hundred feet of the new driveway that I mentioned I packed candles. (My intent was to model for Husband how romantic I wished this meal to be.) He asked me if I had remembered matches. I had not. But, he pointed out we would have the burners on the stove, assuming it's connected.
We arrive, and I prepare to back the car into the garage for easy unloading. Finn, who is doing the finishing carpentry work (specifically, the shoe molding) had other ideas, however. His saw horse, lengths of shoe molding and press board were between the garage door and the house door. So, we parked among the mosquitoes, and schlepped things into the house.
Husband fashioned our make-shift table, which I set. The stove is functional, so I light the candles. I use napkins as place mats (yes, I brought extra). The cushions work well on the camp stools. Before serving dinner, I take a picture for posterity. We then sit down. I unpack the food from the carry-out containers while Husband goes to the cooler ...
... which, as you have no doubt noticed, never made it into the car. No butter. Ok, I was the only one who wanted it for my baked potato, and there was enough for that. No sour cream. Ok, I wasn't going to finish the potato, anyway, so what I had would suffice for this meal. No fake champaign (let alone the real stuff.) We ended up using our new well water.
See. When you can simply be bumbling fools in front of one another, you know it's love.
The laughter at our own expense was delightful. The toast was heartfelt. The view magnificent. The atmosphere ... well, not exactly the Waldorf-Astoria, but the drop cloths and the sawdust and the loosely strewn tools and the paint rags did lend a certain atmosphere of hope and anticipation, so we were content with our restaurant.
And at dusk, right on cue, came the deer. A small herdlet (about 6) came from the private road right up to the house, and ambled their way across the property. Well, at least 5 of them ambled. One, obviously the kid of the crowd, bounded all over the place, running ahead, running back, skipping around the stragglers, running back up front and away ... At the end of the show, when all the deer had crossed over to the east side of the property out of sight, the kid came running back towards the west road. Mom, or at least a responsible adult, came trotting none-too-happily after. Kid was rounded up and taken, presumably, to bed.
Taking our own cues, we cleaned our mess, repacked the car, and went home, where we -- finally -- popped the sparkling juice and enjoyed the comforts of Havoc House.
We consider it one of our better celebrations.