Yesterday, Sondra and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. On December 21, 1971, we were married on a Tuesday night in Bakersfield, California. It had been a windy, dusty day. The church was full. I was on leave from training and assignment at Ft. Benning, Georgia, having been drafted into the US Army in March of that year. After our honeymoon in Las Vegas, we drove back to Georgia with hardly anything in the UHaul trailer behind the Chevy Vega car we owned.
That was 38 years ago. It has been a tremendous journey through the years. Schooling, children, jobs, churches, teaching and all.
This past Saturday, I wanted to get a jump on the anniversary timing by making a weekend of it. So I went and bought a card, a flower arrangement of roses and other assorted flowers, and a box of chocolates. Without her knowing, I also went to the box office of the California Theater of the Performing Arts and purchased tickets to see "Riverdance," an exciting show of Irish music, song and dance that has been on stage for some time now.
"Riverdance" was absolutely fabulous. The tap dancing was amazing to watch and enjoy. After the show, we went to Corky's (an all-night diner in Rancho Cucamonga) to eat a light dinner before heading home.
On Monday, I had planned a lunch at the Old World German Restaurant in Huntington Beach on the coast. However, as I made one last check of times of operation, the web site revealed that they are closed on Mondays. So, I had to check on other restaurants that had German fare in the Los Angeles area. Most of you know that I was stationed in Germany in 1972-1973 with the Army, and Sondra came there to live while I was assigned to the Headquarters 8th Infantry Division (Airborne) as I had completed the Airborne School at Ft. Benning. So, while there we developed a love for certain German foods, specifically Jaegerschnitzel (breaded veal cutlet with a mushroom sauce) and Gulaschsuppe (a wonderful blend of beef and potatoes cooked as a spicy soup).
We ended up on Sepulveda Boulevard near the Los Angeles Airport at a place called Chalet Edelweiss. Not the greatest of ambience, but the food was delicious with good lunch prices. No gulaschsuppe, but the schnitzel was good.
Driving home, we decided to go to the movies. We went to the AMC theaters in the Ontario Mills shopping mall and saw the movie "Armored." Lots of action, a fairly decent story line of courage and family closeness. After that, we actually stayed to see another movie as well, as it was not yet too late in the day for another show. So, we stayed and watched "Invictus," the story of Nelson Mandela's leadership early in his presidency of South Africa. His use of a rugby team and its destiny helped shape the nation's understanding of change and acceptance.
The evening was just beginning, so we went to the Black Angus restaurant for dinner. Absolutely awesome. They had a chef special for $20.99.....steak, lobster and shrimp. With baked potato and salad. It was a great meal and a super way to end the day.
Thirty-eight years. Sondra gave me a card that read (in part) that she was looking forward to the next 38! We will be quite old by then, but who knows?
These have been 38 good years of life together.