We graduated from high school, he joined the Coast Guard, I put my career training to use and worked in medical records and we wrote to each other all the time and tried to plan a wedding. I guessed at a Saturday that he thought he wouldn't be gone on a four week patrol...I sort of guessed right. He had a week of leave saved up that he used for the week before our wedding, and then one lovely Saturday in August, we joined our lives together.
But, his cutter was set to sail that Monday. On Sunday we got up, met my Mom and sisters for breakfast and then my sisters got in the car and the four of us drove south to California. Yes. I did say my sisters. My Mom had worried that I would be too upset to drive back home by myself after sending off my husband of two days, so she put my sisters in our car and that was the start of our honeymoon adventure.
The military requires so much paperwork to get things done, and one of those things I needed to guard with my life was our marriage certificate, proving that we were indeed hitched and that I should indeed be given housing. I had it up front with me but I worried that it would fly out the window (no AC in August, we had all four windows down) so I moved it.....and it got sucked out the window.
I could see it fluttering down the side of the highway. My sisters and I were round eyed with shock and horror. This was bad, this was very bad. My new husband pulled over, got out and chased that paper down the road. He came running back to the car, grinning, triumphant and laughed for miles (and years actually).
Nothing in my childhood had prepared me for a guy that greeted unexpected stressful moments with a smile. It was a life changing! But we still had to get to California, and in the process my sister got a speeding ticket, we fought too much, our hotel rooms were side by side and I was not in the mood to take care of anyone but myself. It was a not a honeymoon so much as one of our typical family vacations.
After we stood on the pier and waved goodbye to my husband, I was glad to have my sisters. One drove, one talked, and I just coasted along, already beginning the countdown to when the cutter returned home, bringing with it my husband and the real start to our newlywed life. Honeymoons are overrated anyway......or so I still tell myself.....and besides, we have a crazy story to tell. There is nothing we love more than a story that makes us laugh in the retelling!