When we got married, at 21 and 23,
we didn’t have the time, money, or
imagination to put together some
grand honeymoon in exotic climes.
In fact, we were so naive we
didn’t even think to make hotel
reservations for our wedding night.
The groom whipped through his last
graduate school exam, raced to his car,
drove six hours home, arriving just
in time for the wedding rehearsal,
and we got married the following day.
Immediately after the wedding, we
kissed the family, piled our suitcases
in the car, and drove-drove-drove
directly to Pennsylvania where my
new husband was to start his rocket-
scientist career and I would be
completing my student teaching.
A quarter century later, on our 25th
anniversary, we did it up with a silk
bow. We flew to France—Provence,
then Paris—and called this trip our
honeymoon. We were two éponges
supping up French food and wine,
French villages and market days,
French perfume and fields of lavender,
French nights of thunderstorms
On our 45th anniversary, we chose a
restaurant we knew would delight our
demanding little French-trained taste buds.
After a beautiful dinner outdoors in the
diaphanous summer evening, we drove
home, cuddled up on the wicker swing
on the balcony, and watched a full pearl
of a moon rise from behind the mountain
into blue-black-purple skies. Side-by-side,
his arm around me, my hand on his thigh,
we rocked and reminisced in a quiet way,
with more remembering in the pauses.
And all the while the swing in its rhythmic
creak language whispered the plenitude of,
Ann L. Keiffer
Photo Credit: Goleta Air & Space Museum