". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

At Last

My husband and I "celebrated" our 22nd wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. I put the word "celebrated" in quotation marks because in truth we didn't actually get to celebrate. On the actual date of our anniversary we weren't even in the same city, as he was chaperoning my son at a chess tournament in St. Louis. And for months now there has just been too much going on in both our nuclear and extended families to allow us the luxury of a night out.

This past weekend, though, we made up for the lack of couple time in recent months by going out on a date. And not just any date--a 24-hour one! At about 3:00 on Monday afternoon we waved good-bye to our children (the oldest of whom is almost 17) and disappeared, leaving them with the laptop, frozen pizza and the run of the house (and instructions to call us on the cell phone if they needed advice or assistance).

First stop: coffee (what else?) and cookies at Starbuck's. Then it was on to the Volkswagen dealer to drop off my Eurovan for a full inside and out detail. We have never gotten one before, but after 85,000 miles, 6 years of Chicago winters and multiple cross-country trips, it was time.

Next, we checked in at our local Americinn hotel, which was to be our home base for the next 24 hours. We had reserved a whirlpool room, but when the desk manager discovered it was our anniversary he upgraded us to their nicest accommodations--a suite with whirlpool and fireplace--for no additional charge. He also put us down for late checkout the next day. :-) Now that's what I call customer service! (Thanks, Jim at Americinn!)

We enjoyed the room for a little while, watched Fox News, and then headed out to do some shopping. So where does a wife drag her husband when she finally has him all to herself? Ikea, of course! (He looks a little worried, doesn't he?)

We had decided to forego individual gifts and instead buy something on the house wish list, settling on a new computer desk. Here's the old setup. It was crowded, cluttered, and although you can't tell from this photo, the desk itself--cheap, painted particle board--was scratched and worn and downright ugly.

Here's the new setup. The desk, in case you're interested, is the "Fredrik" model from Ikea. I assembled it myself! Better, no?

For supper, we indulged in some Mongolian barbecue. Then after a long & loud sleep, we stepped out for breakfast at a local Mexican grill (the Americinn breakfast was less than appealing). After a 1:00 checkout, it was on to Hobby Lobby (can you believe it? First Ikea, then Hobby Lobby?) for a little window shopping and a craft purchase for my daughter. Finally, masculinity prevailed and we wrapped up our shopping at Best Buy, departing with a new printer and empire-building computer game. Before we returned home, however, more coffee was consumed, this time at Caribou.

There was more to the date than this, but the rest is for me to know and you not to find out. A girl has to have her secrets, after all. I will say that I wish we could do this once a month. As much as I love my home and children and life, it is very hard to find the time and quiet to relax to the extent that this getaway allowed. And as good as it is to go out on a 3-hour date, it's not the same. Sometimes, with the getting ready and making arrangements and not getting enough sleep, it can seem like just another item on the task list ("Date with husband." "Check."). But 24 hours means plenty of time not only to recreate but also just to talk and sleep and feel truly rested.

The children never called--they did fine, as we expected they would. We did check on them once. How nice to have teenagers to watch the 5-year-old!

So, honey, I know we can't afford this every month. Not even every three months. But maybe twice a year? What are you doing the last weekend of September?

Happy anniversary to us.


Elephantschild said...

Bravo! Twice a year is a great idea, if you can swing it.

(I can't quite convince my husband that that type of hat is wonderful. He's got a tweed one that he looks fantastic in; I wish he'd wear it more often.)

Karen said...

We went away for 3 days for our 20th anniversary. Money just won't allow it every year, but I'm trying to get a 2 night/3 day color tour train trip in Canada this year. The time away from the demands of a family is very refreshing. I came back with a renewed sense of purpose. Glad you had a wonderful time!

William Weedon said...

First, congrats on the anniversary.

Second, but, but, but that's a WINDOZE computer! I thought you were confessional Lutherans and therefore Mac users... ;)

Glenda said...

Congrats on the anniversary Cheryl, I'm so glad you got away. It truly is great to get away. That was one of the best things about our Germany trip, we were miles away without kids for 2 weeks. Yes we missed the kids, but it was so nice to reconnect as simply husband and wife and not worry about anyone else than each other.

Hope you can make it twice a year, or at least once a year!

Cheryl said...

Well, that's what I get for putting photos on my blog. Father W.'s discerning eye has found out the truth. We're not really confessional Lutherans--we just play them on the internet. ;-)

Elephantschild said...

Ah, but Pr. Weedon - Cheryl is married to a Cantor and is therefore a pauper. That's why they've got a Mac. :)

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Happy Anniversary, gang. :)

Cheryl said...

But EC, it's not a MAC. But should it be? Are MACS cheaper? That would definitely be a plus for paupers like us!

Elephantschild said...

Ah, but Pr. Weedon - Cheryl is married to a Cantor and is therefore a pauper. That's why they've got a WINDOWS MACHINE.

My bad typo caused alot of confusion! Sorry.

It seems to me that Macs are quite bit more expensive than PC's.

Jane said...

Happy Anniversary!
I want to do this!!

Do you think my 22, 18, 16, & 13 could get by without us for a couple of days? :)

Cheryl said...

22, 18, 16, & 13?