I have promised pics from the family holiday gatherings – hopefully, I’ll get to that this weekend. But I’ll share a couple today because they fit in with a story that I have been trying to figure out a way to tell properly.
This is from our annual Christmas Cookie Night back in December. Ryan and Emily were not present – they were not feeling well and we still don’t take chances around Mom, even though it has been nearly three years since her chemo ended. My dad realized that afternoon that everyone who would be in attendance had a connection, either as a graduate or a current student, to Miami University (that would be the real Miami, in Oxford, OH – founded in 1809 – where they sell a t-shirt that states “Miami was a university when Florida still belonged to Spain.”). So he suggested that we all wear appropriate garb.
And this was from Christmas Eve Eve – where I was finally promoted to a small corner of the patriarch/matriarch bench. I suppose this also translates to “I’m getting old.”
Sharp eyes will notice two people in these pictures who have not been seen in these posts before. One is my nephew Tyler’s girlfriend, Jordan. The other is my wife of nearly 33 years, Carla. Yes, he said “wife” – which answers a question that more than one has asked over the years. Here is the explanation – when I started this blog six years ago, and it quickly became obvious that posts about my family were going to be part of it, Carla specifically requested that she not be included.
And I have honored that request. It was hard when Ryan and Emily got married – I had to pick and choose which pictures I shared with you, and even then Carla appeared, uncredited, in one of the pics from the rehearsal dinner. We didn’t get the formal wedding photos until early December – when she realized that I would want to share some that would include her and gave her permission for a limited release (and I will do that at some point). Same with the Christmas pictures.
All of this is a prelude for a trip into the Wayback Machine . . .
Like today, January 26, 1976 was a Monday. In those days at my high school, fourth period was the lunch period and was broken into three 25-minute segments — you ate during one and went to class the other two. I ate during “first lunch” at 10:30 and then went to Government class. About 11:45, I told the teacher that I needed to go talk to my mom in the administration building and left class. I headed to the cafeteria instead, heart pounding, trying to get my nerve up. And failing — 20 feet from the door, I decided to walk right past and head back to class. Then Carla walked out of the cafeteria — suddenly we were somehow alone in a usually-crowded hallway. It took only seconds — I asked her to go to the basketball game that Friday night and to a restaurant afterward and she said yes.
Amazing how life changes in an instant . . .