Time Travel Tuesday: Accidents or illness

My Life as Annie’s weekly Time Travel Tuesday question for today is:

What’s the most serious accident or illness you have ever had?

When my oldest son was about nine months old, I had to have gallbladder surgery; when my second son was two years old, I had to have half my thyroid gland removed due to a marble-sized (and thankfully benign) nodule. So when my third son was born, my doctor joked, “What body part would you like for me to remove now?” I assured him I’d like to keep the rest. But when Jesse was almost two, one morning I was going about my normal routine when my left hand started to feel a little funny, like I had slept on it wrong. I kept shaking and flexing it while making my husband’s lunch for him to take with him to work, but the numbish feeling was increasing and climbing up my arm. Then the same sensation began in my feet and climbed up my legs. Within a few hours I could not walk on my own and was having trouble using the restroom. One eyelid began to droop. I thought I was having a stroke. A trip to two ERs on the longest day of my life, eight days of hospitalization, and multitudes of all sorts of tests later (told in more detail here), the diagnosis came back: transverse myelitis.

My first reaction was, “What?! Who has ever heard of that?”

Thankfully my doctor had. I learned much later that this can often be missed or misdiagnosed. Teens who get it, in particular, are often accused of it all being “in their head.” The problem is that there is not one definitive test for it. They have to test for and rule out multiple sclerosis, lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome and multitudes of other ailments before making the diagnosis.

Transverse myelitis basically involves a virus making its way to your spine. It can often occur after a viral illness or a vaccination, though in my case and many others it comes seemingly out of nowhere. There are some similarities of symptoms but there are some differences depending on where along the spine it hits. The higher up the inflammation, the worse the damage. Some people recover completely or very nearly completely, some don’t recover much at all, and many of us have some recovery with some long lasting nerve damage. The last scenario is my situation.

I had a three-day course of iv steroids in the hospital and then began three months of physical therapy at home. Gradually I began to walk with a walker, then a cane, then somewhat unsteadily on my own. The first two weeks were exhausting: cleaning up with a little “sponge bath” in the hospital and sitting up in the chair for the nurses to change my bed sheets left me drenched with sweat and crawling back into bed to sleep for hours. Gradually energy levels improved, but I still don’t have a lot of stamina. My balance is still sometimes a problem, more so when I am standing still than when I am walking (my physical therapist gave me a name for that, but I can’t remember what it was). My right leg doesn’t feel pain or cold; my left hand has a delayed reaction to pain. There are still numbish feelings (not totally asleep and without feeling, but not normal sensation) in both legs and my left arm — thankfully my right arm was never affected. I get muscle spasms in my back and wear an Icy Hot or Absorpine Jr. pain patch almost daily. There are still a few “bathroom issues,” but I’ll spare you the details. 🙂 It’s much better than it was, however.

But I am thankful it was no worse and that I recovered enough to basically be able to function as a wife and mom. I am thankful for the prayers and support and practical help of friends and church members. I am thankful that God is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). I am thankful for God’s Word and the strength it imparts and the promises it gives, such as in II Corinthians 12:8-10:

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

One of my reasons for starting a blog was to be a help to others with TM, and my “pages” in the upper right-hand corner list several more posts concerning dealing with TM.

The other part of Annie’s question had to do with accidents. Thankfully I’ve never had a serious one, but the only one in which I was in the car (one other occurred when I accidentally left the car in Drive at the top of a hill while I got something from it to return to a friend, but it rolled down and hit a tree with no occupants) occurred in college when Jim and I were engaged and I was driving his car with a bunch of girls home to the dorms from church. An oncoming car swerved into my lane, hit me, and then swerved back into his lane and went on, never stopping. The car was totaled, but no one was hurt, thankfully. And, thankfully, a faculty couple was behind us and saw the whole thing and was able to give a statement to the police and help us get back to school. And my fiance was in a car with a bunch of guys coming home from church also: they normally didn’t take the street we were on, but did that night and came upon the accident, so he was able to give the police the car registration and insurance information. So, though it shook us all up at the time, it was relatively minor, as accidents go, and we were able to get that first “Honey, I put a dent in the car…” hurdle out of the way before we got married. 🙂

Time Travel Tuesday: Most adventurous act

My Life as Annie’s weekly Time Travel Tuesday question for today is:

Tell us the most adventurous thing you have ever done! What gave you the courage to do it or try it and how did you feel afterwards?

I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day. I am not a very adventurous soul. I like my well-defined comfort zones. I don’t know that I have ever really done anything adventurous on purpose just for the adventure. But the Lord has pushed me out of my comfort zone at times.

Probably one “push” was going to college when none of my immediate family had ever gone and when I didn’t really have the money to. I wrote more about that here (fourth paragraph).

Another time was when I, who usually was very quiet and reserved, especially where guys were concerned, took the initiative to introduce myself to my husband-to-be.

But probably one of the most adventurous areas of my life has been in the realm of serving the Lord. My preference is to operate behind the scenes. But when one of my first adult opportunities for a small leadership position came up in our ladies’ ministry, and my first instinct was to decline, our ladies’ ministry president encouraged those of us who were nominees not to say no until we had prayed about it. And as I did, I just didn’t feel the freedom to say no. Though in a sense I felt “hemmed in” — not by the people asking me to serve, but by the Lord — when no one else accepted the nomination and I was ‘it,” that experience stretched me and grew my faith and dependence on the Lord in amazing ways. In the years since with other leadership positions, it has been scary yet marvelous to be in a position that seems too big, that it seems any number of other people would be better gifted for, and learn and grow and even make mistakes and find the Lord faithful to provide wisdom, grace, ideas, supplies, time, helpers, and everything else as I give it all over to Him (sometimes several times) and depend on Him to work in and through me and the ministry at hand. And then when He uses it, all the glory goes to Him because I know it wasn’t any strength or wisdom or skill of my own involved. I wrote more about this in a post titled “You can’t say no until you pray about it.” Often these days we hear the other side of it, that it is fine to say no and, in fact, we need to so we’re not overrun and burdened down with responsibilities we were never meant to take on. And that’s very true. There have been many things I have felt perfectly free to say no to over the years. Yet for far too long and for all the wrong reasons, “No” was usually my initial response to a new opportunity of ministry. So I encourage you, the next time someone asks you to consider participating in a ministry, pray about it before saying no right off the bat. The answer may indeed be no — it may not be the right time or you may already have too many responsibilities. But if the answer is yes, the Lord may be about to take you on an adventure you would never otherwise have known.

Then, though I studiously avoid roller coasters, one of the biggest roller coaster rides of my life has been dealing with transverse myelitis.  Posts dealing with that are in the upper right hand corner under “Pages,” so I won’t reiterate much of that here. But learning to walk again and to drive with numb feet and to operate with a quirky nervous system has been quite an adventure! It has been a path I would not have chosen to go down, but, again, sometimes the Lord just puts you in positions where there is nothing you can do but depend on Him, and you either have to go forward or vegetate. I am so thankful for the lessons learned and for the experience of leaning on Him and finding “the everlasting arms” underneath, of wrestling with the hard questions and finding Him faithful, true, good, and loving.

Time Travel Tuesday: First Home

My Life as Annie’s weekly Time Travel Tuesday asks us this week about our first home:

This week we will travel back to our first home… was it your very own apartment, or a home with your new spouse? What memories do you have from that first home? How did you make that first house (or apartment) a home?

We were still in college when we got married: I had one semester left and Jim had two. So our first home wasn’t too far from the college. The semester before we got engaged, we were looking for housing and heard about one of the professors who had a few mobile homes that he rented out to students. When we contacted him, all of his available housing was already occupied, but he was considering buying another. When we left for Christmas break (and our wedding!) we weren’t sure if that would all work out, but thankfully by the time we were married and came back to Greenville, he had purchased the home and made it available to us.

Our very first day in our new home, though, which happened to be Christmas Day, we heard loud banging on the door early in the morning. It was the man who owned the trailer park. Somehow no one had told him we were coming, and he didn’t allow renters! We contacted our landlord and they got together and worked things out.

The trailer park landlord was a small elderly man, but he ran a tight ship and drove through the trailer park several times a day to check on things. He didn’t allow for loudness and partying and junkiness, so it was a pretty quiet, pleasant place. So many trailer parks are treeless and sterile looking, but this one had an abundance of trees and felt more like a cabin in the woods.

The home itself was a typical mobile home: pretty nondescript on the outside — white with green trim — and inside all the typical (for that time) dark wood paneling. The kitchen area had a cute bay window where I could display a few knicknacks and hang potted plants. The sink overlooked the living room, so we could be together even if I was working in the kitchen. There were two bedrooms, one of which we used for storage, and one bathroom.  The kitchen was yellow and brown: yellow is not my favorite color, but our dishes had yellow flowers, so it all went together. It was furnished except for the spare bedroom. Over time we added to it in newlywed style with a lamp here, end tables there, a bookcase my husband made, a rocking chair he bought and put together, a few wall decorations we had received as wedding presents, adding a few more things we purchased or I made over the years.

We had thought we would be moving out of the area after graduation, but the Lord kept us in town for 14 years. Our first son was born almost five years after we were married, and we transformed the storage room into a baby’s room. We then bought our first home (a fixer-upper, which is all we could afford, but that’s another story) when Jeremy was about fifteen months old. So we had six years all together in the little mobile home. Though far from a “dream house,” it was cozy and safely nurtured a beginning little family.

Time Travel Tuesday: Yesterday

My Life as Annie‘s weekly Time Travel Tuesday takes us this time to…yesterday! That shouldn’t be too hard on the ol’ memory banks. 🙂

We don’t really “celebrate” Labor Day per se beyond just enjoying the day off. My college student, however, did not have the day off. I told him the night before to be sure and set his alarm, because I couldn’t guarantee when I’d be up. I went ahead and set mine for 6:20, and he was already up and in the shower (yay!), but I decided to get up anyway and see him off. I got to sleep in an hour longer than usual, though, so that was nice.

I went downstairs and had devotions, then breakfasted while reading blogs. I took a break for a bit and was pondering whether to begin a post I was thinking about or wait until later when — the power blinked off. We don’t know what happened (it may be in this morning’s paper, but I haven’t looked yet), but we did read later on the power company’s web site that over 800 people were without power. Ours was off for about 5 hours.

I hadn’t taken my shower yet, though, and our bathroom has no windows or outside lighting at all. Jeremy said, “Well, as long as you can find the soap, you don’t really need light to see what you’re doing.” True, but it’s a little disorienting to try to take a shower without light, plus my balance problem is worse when I can’t see well. I remembered we had a little battery-operated camp lantern in a closet, so I got that just as Jim remembered a little battery-operated push-button light in anther closet. He put that one up over the shower and I put the lantern on the counter, and it was a very workable arrangement.

After it was already too late I remembered I wouldn’t be able to curl my hair and I probably shouldn’t have washed it. My hair doesn’t really curl, but it’s very fly-away and messy-looking when it dries and I usually curl it just under enough to make it look a little more put-together. But I had already washed it, so I put some mousse on it: that helped a little, though it makes my hair look dark.

My original plan for the day had been to start on the family room curtains I’ve been wanting/needing to make. But…there was no power for the sewing machine. I did get the pattern out and read through the instructions to get some idea of where I’d be going. One problem I have with many projects is the multiple decisions that have to be made. I had already agonized over pattern and fabric choice and still wasn’t decided about whether to go to a town 40 minutes away to look for trim (after not finding any here) or to just skip it, when reading through the pattern presented a new wrinkle: it’s a quick-sew pattern and recommended fusible bonding for several of the steps. But the fabric is dry clean only, and I had read something a while back about some men’s dress shirts getting messed up after being taken to the dry cleaners because they had fusible bonding in the seams, and it left a discolored line when it was dry cleaned. I think I will probably sew everything rather than fusing it just to be safe.

We went out for lunch to the food court at the mall. I have a few favorite things there and had my taste buds all set for a ham sandwich from one shop, only to discover the shop had closed! I was so dismayed. I wasn’t in the mood for the teriyaki chicken from the Japanese place that I often get, so I decided on S’barro’s. Honestly I think their pizza looks a lot better than it tastes, usually, but this time I got something like a pizza pie — it had two layers of crust with pepperoni and sausage inside and bacon on the top. It was really good. Jesse got a slice of cheese pizza at S’barro’s; Jeremy got a Cool Wrap at Chick-Fil-A, and Jim got the teriyaki chicken. We had hit the mall at just the right time — scores of teens came in and lined up at several of the eateries just after we started eating. We thought maybe it was just people off for the day hitting the mall, but we saw several similar t-shirts and decided maybe it was a group of some kind traveling. Sure enough, when we left, we saw a couple of buses, but they were marked, so I don’t know what kind of group they were or where they were headed.

So we headed for home — and the power still was off. We don’t realize how much of what we do depends on electricity until we’re without it! I got out a new book on my reading list, The Princess Bride, curled up on the couch in front of a window to get enough light, and read for the better part of the afternoon dozing off just a little here and there. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon off. 🙂

The power came back on around 3, so I hit the computer for a while.

Jim grilled hamburgers and chicken for dinner. Luscious!

After dinner Jeremy and Jesse played Starships of Cataan and I put some laundry in and read my book a little more. We all watched a rerun of “Heroes” (can’t wait til the new episodes start!)

So it was a pretty laid-back and enjoyable day, even with the power being off. I’m glad it came back on before evening.

Time Travel Tuesday: 21 years old edition

My Life as Annie hosts the weekly Time Travel Tuesday and her topic this week is:

You’re 21.
What’s going on in your life?
Who are you spending most of your time with?
What’s favorite things to do? eat? hobby?

I actually had to do the math — 29 years ago today I turned 21. 🙂

Right at the first of that year Jim and I had been seeing each other but I wasn’t sure about making a commitment. We did talk and write through the summer (he was in Idaho; I was in Texas). We went back to college in SC in the fall and were engaged that next spring. 🙂 So I was spending most of my time with him.

I was 21 during my first senior year of college (I crammed four years into five, as the saying goes, and had two senior years). I don’t remember many other specifics — college life was very busy with little time for hobbies. I worked in the library during the school year. The summer I turned 21 I was baby-sitting my siblings; the following summer that finished out my 21st year I was working with my mom in the bookkeeping department of the bank where she worked and planning my wedding.

I don’t remember what my favorite things to eat were: probably pizza and ice cream. 🙂

Time Travel Tuesday: Birthing edition

My Life as Annie hosts the weekly Time Travel Tuesday and asks us this week about birthing stories.

With my first pregnancy, we had been married four years and had been wanting to get pregnant for about two. We were beginning to wonder if we should go to the doctor and check things out when I finally got pregnant. My first sign was

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Time Travel Tuesday: Spousal Encounter

My Life as Annie hosts the weekly Time Travel Tuesday and asks us this week about the day we first met our future spouse.

Jim worked as an usher at college his freshman year, my sophomore year (he’s six months younger), and I would see him in the aisles seating people and thought he was a nice-looking guy. I knew that he also worked in the library, where I worked, but we never worked the same shift, so I didn’t meet him that year. The next year found us scheduled at the same time, though he worked in the Periodical Room and I worked at the circulation desk. But he had to pass by the circulation desk as he went to and from the Periodical Room to retrieve older copies of magazines that weren’t out on the shelves, so at some point I said Hi and introduced myself. That was very out of character for me — I was terribly shy and reticent growing up, but going to a smaller Christian school my last two years of high school and getting involved in things like yearbook and student council, which I never would have even attempted previously, then being in the dorm at a Christian college were some of the things the Lord used to draw me out of my shell.

So our first meeting was pretty much just meeting each other for a few minutes at work. Annie asks whether it was “love at first site” or whether it took longer. I mentioned in the “First Date Edition” of Time Travel Tuesday that it took a bit longer. I always enjoyed working when Jim was there and enjoyed getting to know him, but even after we went out the first time or two, I was still thinking of him as just a good friend. But, as I mentioned in that post, I was very excited when he did ask me out that January. We continued to get to know each other and our relationship continued to grow, and I had to work through some issues — more details are in a post about our love story from a carnival Barb at A Chelsea Morning had on that topic last September. I like to think that we grew into love rather than falling in it. 🙂 We dated for a year and a half, were engaged for six months, and have been married for 27 1/2 years.

Time Travel Tuesday: Camp Memories

Our Time Travel Tuesday topic this week, hosted as always by My Life as Annie, is our favorite summer camp experiences.

Wow — I’ve been sitting here trying to remember summer camp (you have to remember my childhood was a long time ago. 🙂 ) I do remember going to Girl Scout camp in my elementary years, making “sit-upons” — carpet squares that were somehow encased in something plastic and had rope or something through one end so we could tie them around our waists but have something dry and clean whenever we wanted to sit down (doesn’t that sound just so classy? LOL!) I remember learning to make s’mores, swimming in a lake (well, splashing in a lake), walking around with flashlights from the main meeting area to the tents, ghost stories and giggling girls.

Then there was a gap in my camping years until I began going to a good church during my junior year of high school and then to a Christian camp that summer. There instead of tents we were in a building of some sort with several bunk beds. I remember our pastor’s wife was there, a very straight-laced and and no-nonsense proper lady, and another lady was determined to do something prankish to her, but out of respect never did. She sure had fun thinking about it, though. 🙂 I can’t remember a lot about the camp itself, but I do remember enjoying being saturated with preaching and devotional times. That was a new experience for me, being totally away from the distractions of normal life for a week and being influenced on every side by the Word. We had some of the ladies from church as our counselors, and it was neat to see them in a different role and hear them lead devotions at night.

The one camp experience I remember the most, though, was a winter camp that I went to while on a college Christmas break. Jim and I were dating and his parents flew me from Texas to Idaho to meet them. During part of that time several people from Jim’s church were going to a winter camp with a group from the church of the pastor’s oldest son, who was a youth pastor in California. The camp we went to was an old Girl Scout camp in southern Idaho. It was fairly primitive — no indoor heat except for a fireplace, no indoor toilets, no electricity except when someone ran the generator. I’m from southeast Texas where we had snow once that I remember growing up; in college in South Carolina it was colder and we had snow more often, but nothing like snow and cold in Idaho in December. Thankfully other folks in the church contributed boots and other such gear so that I could go. I remember stepping off the “trail” and sinking hip deep in snow and being afraid of losing the borrowed boot, not being thrilled about tramping out to the the frozen outhouse, and getting buried in new snow one morning when we went down a hill on inner tubes and being so cold I couldn’t move. Jim had to take my muffler off and shake the snow out of it for me. I do remember having a lot of fun times during those few days, though, and the best thing was that one young girl was saved, and later her whole family began coming to church there and were strong members of that church for many years.

Time Travel Tuesday: First Car Experience

Our Time Travel Tuesday topic this week, hosted as always by My Life as Annie, is our first car or first driving experiences.

The first time I ever drove anything at all, my dad had been washing the car — perhaps I had been helping him, I don’t remember — but it was getting close to time for me to take Driver’s Ed., so he told me to pull the car from where he had parked it to wash it back up to its usual parking space beside the fence. He got in the passenger seat, but he didn’t tell me anything about what all the different pedals and dials were. I guess he figured I had been in a car enough to know the basics. I started the car and he showed me how to put it in reverse so we could back it from where it was, then pull forward. I stepped on the gas pedal for the first time — way too hard — and we went zooming back. He said, “Step on the brake! Step on the brake!”

I said, “Where’s the brake?!!”

And I backed over the mailbox. I didn’t just run into it. I knocked it over.

I’ve written before about my dad’s temper, and I was waiting for the fireworks to start — but he burst out laughing. Thankfully!

I’ve never had my very own car. I always drove the family car. I don’t even know what most cars are unless I see it on the outside somewhere. One time the family car, the second one I drove, was some kind of big long thing. A guy at church asked me once what color it was supposed to be. I said I thought it was black, but it was a little faded. Then I remembered my mom always called it Ol’ Purple. That just hadn’t registered with me before, and I was horrified that I had been driving around a purple car!

I still drive the family car, but as all four drivers in the house have their own vehicles, for all practical purposes our champagne-colored (though we call it tan) mini-van, which I unashamedly love, is “my” car.

Feel free to join in on the car and driving edition of Time Travel Tuesday here.

Time Travel Tuesday: Wedding Edition

I forgot about Time Travel Tuesday this week until I saw someone’s post on their blog! I guess thinking and planning around the holiday this week threw me off.

My Life as Annie hosts Time Travel Tuesday in which we look back at some time in our lives in relation to the topic of the week. This week the topic is our wedding.

My husband and I were still in college when we got married. I had one semester left — only 3 classes actually needed to graduate (it took me five years to complete a four year course 😳 ) and he had two. Actually his adviser advised us to marry — he told my husband his grades were dropping because he was dating too much and he needed to go ahead and get married. And we thought, well, ok then! 😀 (Interestingly, his grades did improve afterward!)

We got married in December. In all my wedding dreams, I had never wanted a Christmas wedding — but I had a choice between that December or the following August, so I took that December! I am one of those weird people who doesn’t like red, so we chose blue and silver for our colors.

I hadn’t been to that many weddings — there is so much I would do differently now. But the point is to join a man and wife, and we did accomplish that. 🙂

We got engaged in May just before saying good-bye from college in SC for the summer, then he went home to Idaho and I went home to Texas. I worked on wedding details through the summer, and we conferred on the phone a lot, then he came to Texas at the end of the summer to meet my family and finalize plans before we both left to go back to SC for school. We had never heard about wedding coordinators then (I am so glad someone invented them!), so we were planning everything ourselves. A lady in our church did a wonderful job with wedding cakes, so we asked her to do ours, and asked her for a recommendation for photographers. We each just had one attendant since most of our friends were from school and couldn’t come. My maid of honor’s mother made her dress in a blue floral fabric I loved — sort of like a jacquard, but not quite (I wish I had kept a swatch of the fabric!) The best man and ushers were in gray tuxes, and in looking back, I probably should have had the guys in blue and the maid of honor in a silvery fabric, because it ended up looking like the colors were blue and gray — which people had fun with since I’m from the south and he’s from the north (northwest, really, but that’s north enough for some people. 🙂 ) But we did have silver ribbons in the flowers and such.

I don’t remember whether we got a recommendation for the florist or just found someone in the phone book, but when Jim came, we made a trip to the florist I had picked out. We walked in that August day and told them we were planning a December wedding — and they promptly told us December was too busy and good luck finding a florist who would do a wedding in December! I was in tears, and as we drove home, Jim saw another florist shop. He parked the car and went in and asked if they would do a December wedding — and they said sure!

We had our first serious disagreement as a couple over wedding plans. 🙂 I had only been to weddings in my church, and they were all pretty much done a certain way. One element that was always included was that the bridal couple knelt on a little prayer bench during a part of the ceremony, and the pastor prayed for them. My husband-to-be had never been to our church, much less to a wedding there, and, not knowing that this was “always” done, said he didn’t want to kneel because his shoes weren’t in the best shape and he couldn’t afford to get new ones and he didn’t want to display the old soles of his old shoes to the congregation while he was kneeling. Of course, in my mind, we just couldn’t not kneel! It sounds so silly now — it would have been fine to stand or to angle the bench somehow so the soles of his shoes weren’t in people’s faces. Nice guy that he is, my husband conceded. I don’t remember if he got new shoes or just tried to spiff up his old ones.

So we had everything pretty much set before heading off for fall semester. I was actually student teaching that semester, and my supervisor was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep my mind on it while planning for a wedding, but I assured her everything was all planned, and everything was fine. I can’t imagine doing that now — but I was young then. 🙂

The semester finally ended and we headed back to Texas with a few days to spare before the wedding. We couldn’t afford a nice restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, so Jim and I made dinner and served it at the church fellowship hall. My pastor’s wife set some very nice tables for it. Everything was going fine until the night before the wedding — our best man was driving by himself from Idaho to Texas and wasn’t there in time for the rehearsal. Jim asked the father of my maid of honor (from the C family that I have mentioned a couple of times before) to stand in if the best man didn’t make it in time, and he agreed to. But thankfully the best man arrived in the wee hours of the morning bearing gifts from Idaho. Jim’s parents didn’t come. They didn’t have any problems with our getting married, but it was a combination of being too close to Christmas and too much out of their comfort zone, I think. They are very, very private people — very open with their family and circle of friends, but not at all prone to travel new places and meet new people. I will admit that was a sore spot for a long time. Even though I understood on one hand, on the other I thought — for one Christmas out of all the Christmases of your lives you couldn’t do something a little different? And you couldn’t extend yourself for your youngest son? But — what can you do? You can’t be bitter and hold it against them ever after, so we just accepted it and moved on.

Every wedding has its problems. I think it was the morning of the rehearsal that the pianist called and said there was one piece in the prelude that she couldn’t master and asked if she could leave it out. That was fine. Then the wedding day morning one of the soloists called and was very sick. I called the pastor, and he was familiar enough with the song that he could sing it. He was already singing a duet with another lady. Since we had so many unsaved loved ones, we had asked him to take a little extra time to just go over the picture in Scripture (Eph. 5:31-32) of a husband and wife representing Christ and the church and the invitation in Scripture to become a part of the bride of Christ. He did have that emphasis anyway, but we just wanted it maybe extended or explained a little more for those unfamiliar with it. He teased my husband when he and his best man were getting ready by saying, “I’m performing a wedding, preaching a message, singing a duet and a solo. What do you have to be nervous about?” 🙂

The only problem during the wedding itself was that just before I was to start down the aisle, the greenery around an archway came loose and in what seemed like slow motion began unwinding itself around the arch and fell. A dear lady near the front, the other half of the duet, stepped up and tucked it back in.

One problem we didn’t discover til afterward — in many of the pictures my eyes were closed!

Other than that, everything went fine!

Here’s the wedding party. I was trying to go for an old-fashioned southern look — my maid of honor and I both had hoop skirts on. But later on I felt my dress and veil looked more Spanish than southern! We had bought this dress but I probably should have gone with the pattern for the bridesmaid dress and had it made.


Here’s one of the many with my eyes closed. 🙄 Isn’t that ridiculous?! I guess you could day I was looking blissful. I wasn’t terribly happy with the photography in general, but not much can be done after the fact. I am so glad for digital cameras these days! You’ll notice I didn’t do my hair — my hair doesn’t “do.”


One of the songs we used was “O Perfect Love,” an older song not heard much these days, but I came across it in a hymn book and just loved the words. I think someone sang this on the kneeling-on-the-bench part of the ceremony. 🙂 The other song we used combined parts of “Nearer, Still Nearer” and “The Sands of Time.” I had heard that at another wedding and thought it was beautiful. Both songs have the same meter and work well with the tune of either. I am trying to remember which tune we used — and I am not sure (this was over 27 years ago!) I think the one to “Nearer, Still Nearer.” I can’t remember which of the verses we used — the first for sure, an I think the second of “Nearer” and these couple from “Sands”:

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw us, our Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold us, oh, fold us close to Thy breast.
Shelter us safe in that “Haven of Rest”;
Shelter us safe in that “Haven of Rest.”

Nearer, still nearer, nothing we bring,
Naught as an offering to Jesus, our King;
Only our sinful, now contrite hearts.
Grant us the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
Grant us the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

O I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.”
I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand,
Not even where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.