Yesterday the hubs and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. *throws confetti* Every marriage has seasons where you’re not sure you’ll make it to the next milestone and seasons where you’re not sure how you could ever doubt you’d get there. I think that’s one of the things about getting married that no one tells you. Or else, people do try and tell you but engaged couples just can’t or won’t hear that wisdom.
Some years we haven’t celebrated much at all. Our fifth anniversary came and went with a squall because we had a 2 week old newborn. We went to the UP in Michigan for our tenth anniversary which was fabulous. The last nine years… Well, we could definitely have put a bit more effort into the celebrations. Some years we went out for dinner and a movie. Some years all we could afford was a donut at Tim Hortons. One year we took a day trip to Rossport (a small community on the north shore of Lake Superior) and people teased us about that. But we had a lot of fun and perhaps we both had that memory in mind when trying to decide what to do this year.
A Tank Of Gas And $50
This year we found $50 (yay for freelancing!). We wondered what we could do with $50 and a tank of gas. We could go out for a nice dinner which would last about an hour. Done that. We could go to a movie (and get the popcorn combo – woot!) but there wasn’t anything playing that really caught our eye. And, really, movies are not great dates because you sit in the dark and don’t talk. You can’t even do…the sorts of things that married couples enjoy doing in the dark. At least, you shouldn’t.
A few weeks ago an article popped up on Facebook about some hidden destinations less than two hours from our house. Hubs suggested Port Dover so we set off. Neither of us had been there so it counted as an adventure and off we went. Port Dover is a small fishing community (from what I saw) on Lake Erie’s north shore. We took the kids to school, climbed in the mini-van, and headed off to the lake. It was a gorgeous day. A nice breeze and minimal crowds meant my people-avoiding but crowd-loving self AND the hubs’ people-loving but crowd-hating preferences were happy. We considered eating at one of those fancy-pants restaurants foodies are always raving about. But we’re not really foodies.
Marriage Tip: Don’t worry about what other people say you “should” do to celebrate. Find something you both enjoy that’s inside your budget instead.
Instead, we chose this walk-up beach restaurant and ordered fresh fish and fries, and ate lunch on the beach. We strolled down the beach and then decided instead of heading home we’d extend our road trip. We drove across a good stretch of Lake Erie’s north shore. We saw fields of tobacco and dill weed and ginseng and lots of other crops. We saw a farmer driving a vintage tractor followed by a teenager videotaping the whole thing – still wonder what that was about. We got lost. We dipped our feet in the lake in Turkey Point, Long Point, skipped a few places (Normandale is a real place apparently), and then landed in Port Stanley.
By the end we were starving, sunburned, exhausted and a little sweaty, but we had a lot of fun. There wasn’t anything “special” about our day together, but we spent it together. We had an adventure.
Gandalf: The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.
Bilbo: I can’t just go running off into the blue! I am a Baggins of Bag End!
Gandalf: You’ll have a tale or two to tell of your own when you come back.
Bilbo: …Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalff: No. And if you do… you will not be the same.
When I was younger, I used to think an adventure had to be this grand expedition. If it included passports so much the better. But we never had money for that. We never had babysitters for that. My children taught me that wonder can be found in your own back yard if you’re open to it. Resting in the company of the one who loves you unconditionally is always a good way to spend a day, and a necessary adventure when married. Instead, the last nineteen years have taught me that adventure is more like the quote above from The Hobbit movie.
And, if you’re willing, an adventure can change you (or a relationship) so that when you return it’s not quite the same — it’s better.
Our anniversary went by with little fanfare, traditionally speaking, but we did have an adventure. We got our feet wet. We laughed a lot and at the end of the day had enough change to buy a tub of ice cream. This will be hard to beat next year.
Have you been on an adventure recently? Where did you go?