Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A fine wedding anniversary celebration

Anniversary celebrations for my dear wife and I took a revitalized path thanks to our new living configuration. Thanks to a little generosity from a congregation, my Mom and Dad, a little saving and creative searching, we had a fabulous celebration.

Dinner at Anthony's on Pier 66 in Seattle was a gift from a congregation (that did some great research) I served in South Dakota. My family has a good history of family gatherings over simple, creative, and scenic seafood meals--and my dear wife and I have made Anthony's part of our own family and relational dating tradition. We enjoy checking out the local scenery of each restaurant. I think we've enjoyed 5 locations and hope to enjoy more in the future.

We enjoyed a pleasant get away from kid clutter and household projects by staying at a nice suite and enjoying a drive across the I-90 bridge--something commuters and locals (including me at one point) easily took for granted. I admire this drive for its beauty, architecture, and the intersection of form and function. Our time of exploration and sharing were enhanced by the backdrop of beauty and utility--a celebration of gifts. For me, this is marriage at its best. Sometimes this beauty is lost in the stresses day to day living. None of this can happen without the day to day living--working together and appreciating one another doing the little things.

Chateau Ste. Michelle offers free tours. Another beautiful example of form and function convergence in a way that wanted us coming back for more. We walked hand-in-hand on the grounds, learned a little bit more about wine, and enjoyed our time together even more as we watched a couple tour with their two children (although they were AMAZINGLY behaved), appreciating our own children but thankful we had some time to ourselves. Soon after we began earning real incomes as pastors, we drove to the Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin, enjoyed the tour and bought wine for gifts and personal enjoyment. I think we learned wine wasn't going to be a serious hobby, but when thinking of our trip to Chateau Ste. Michelle, we easily remembered what an enjoyable experience of taste, beauty and appreciation for the work and creativity of a craft can be.

There was much more that could have been enjoyed that day, but we were called back to the service of our household when we learned our geriatric canine was suffering and needed our attention. Thankfully the dog's struggles didn't happen in the early stages of our time away, but we gently moved in to care for the dog--it was the right thing to do. Caring for the dog served as a reminder of the love that brought us together and the work together that bonds with that love to uphold a household, while providing each of us the opportunity to serve in our Christian vocation while serving one another, while also being served by others. This is also a relational event for my dear wife and I that would have been much more difficult in South Dakota--a challenge for our child care situation, different work schedule challenges, and not as many dining choices. All in all, we witnessed A blessed interdependence.

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