Just over ten years ago… in the spring of 2010… it hit me like a ton of feathers that I needed to ask Kateri for her hand in marriage… after being together for nine years before that… and friends (sometimes with benefits) for two/three years before that! I used to say that I wish I had asked earlier. I mean… our first anniversary was our tenth year together!… but those are just numbers. Nowadays, I simply view her as my wife and like to remember the twenty years I was fortunate enough to spend with my best friend… my Dearest Kateri… and not just the time we were married.
I’ll be honest… I don’t really know what to say. My Anniversary makes me think about those twenty years together, filled with the good and not so good times taking place in Wyoming, Colorado… and Vermont… our home… Kateri’s home. There were plenty of other places with good and not so good times all over this country… and in the Dominican… and that other tropical paradise… Canada, but that’s a lot of shit to write down! So, I decided to focus on our wedding, think about why I loved it so much (It was pretty awesome… you should’ve been there!), and simply make a list throughout the morning… and maybe into afternoon… of things that I kinda hold on to about that day.
Kateri and Darren’s Wednesday Wedding
September 28th, 2011
- The fact that it was on a Wednesday… and the invitation said “4…ish”!
- A huge portion of our friends are in the food industry… Wednesday would make it easier for them to come and party with us!
- We smoked a pig… at a vegetarian summer camp… there was pig juice and fat everywhere!
- Ya… the smoker went up in flames when we first started it… that was fun, too.
- We didn’t have Bridesmaids or Groomsmen… only Men of Honor.
- There wasn’t a person there we didn’t want to be there… right down to the people helping “work” it… they were all friends.
- We did everything ourselves… with the help of friends. Luminaries with Dom while watching Glee, smoked pig, steamed buns, pickles, hanging lights, terrariums, flowers that Keith and Michelle picked at the farm down the road, Kateri brewed our wedding beer, her sisters helped with photo booth decorations, invitations, guest books… and we even made our own “Church” by gathering old windows, attaching stakes to them, and sticking them in a field in the shape of rectangle… Insta-Church!
- We had friends from different parts of the country sitting in Luke and Braedy’s dining room peeling apples and baking off crisps… while watching football.
- I love that it was beautiful weather the days leading up to our wedding… and then was rainy the day after. The clouds and coolness provided the perfect, somewhat lazy atmosphere to soak in the experience we just went through.
- I like that we rented a summer camp… before summer camps in Vermont realized they could charge happy couples a shitload of money to get hitched in a tick infested field.
- Mike puked in the path… yup.
- We had a wonderful evening a few nights before with our Men of Honor and their significant others, talking about friendship and life, on top of Jake’s building down by the train tracks overlooking Lake Champlain.
- I smile when I remember how we referred to Nina as a Golden Bowling Ball… she was pretty pregnant.
- John made Kateri’s wedding dress… he had never done something like that before… it was gorgeous.
- We bought the fabric by cashing in the coins we had saved in mason jars!
- I love that MPH wrote a song and played it for us… he’s so dreamy.
- Watching Scottie in our shacky little cabin roll joint after joint for the festivities… he doesn’t smoke weed.
- We danced. Kateri loved to dance. I loved to dance… with Kateri.
- Our “Song” was Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond. Of course, I got married in Carhartt’s.
- Side note-I also proposed to Kateri under a HUGE pair of Carhartt’s in a hardware store! She loved hardware stores… and that hardware store in particular.
- We didn’t have plans for a honeymoon. We figured the day after our wedding we would go through the cards, see how much money was there, and then determine where we could go! We went to Maine… where I ate bad clams… not on purpose.
- I love that we wrote our vows two hours before the ceremony… and this morning, I found the scratch paper that Kateri wrote hers on.
- We took time right after the ceremony to be alone… together… as husband and wife.
- Wow… I could just keep going on and on! Basically, our wedding was… perfect… for us.
Yup, my third Wedding Anniversary without Kateri is an emotional roller coaster type of day. Today is the anniversary of the best day of my life, but it’s also a pretty big reminder of the worst day of my life… and that’s one of the challenges I face as a widower. When you live a life where you can pin point, right down to the date and time, the best day of your life and the worst… your world gets a little muddled and muted. For example, I know the colors of Autumn surrounding the Schoolhouse and blanketing the hills of Vermont are currently absolutely stunning, vibrant, and beautiful… but it’s just not the same. Although… this year they seem to be a bit more… colorful.