This spring will be the 25th wedding anniversary for Patty and I.
25 years! Holy cow!
It honestly truly seems like no more than 10 years ago TOPS that we were married.
But, 25 years?
Well...I guess maybe it has been 25 years...our oldest child will be 22, and we were married three years before he was born...
Wait! I've been married for 25 years AND am a father of a 22 year old?
Okay...catch my breath.
So what to do to celebrate this milestone...? Hmmm...
We thought about taking a vacation - a sort of 2nd honeymoon. On our 1st honeymoon we went to Nashville, Tennessee for a few days and then over to Gatlinburg for a few more. That was really nice. Since Patty and I both love country music, it was the perfect place for us to go. This was before the "young country" garbage took over and ruined the real country music (let it not be said that I am not opinionated!).
Anyhow, we found that the problem with taking a 2nd honeymoon is we would be expected to go by ourselves - - - we really don't want to do that! As long as our four children still like vacationing with us, they will always be welcome. In fact, I enjoy when they come along - we all have a great time together. Besides, they grow up so fast (remember - I have a 22 year old...22!)
But, since we have been lucky enough, however, to take a three vacations over the last five years - with the kids - that really wouldn't be anything really special for our anniversary.
What to do...what to do...
Then it hit us - - -
Hey! How about a ball, a Civil War Ball?
To begin with we'll have a renewal of the vows at Eastpointe's historic 1872 schoolhouse. Our friend (and fellow Civil War reenactor) Mike Gillett is an ordained minister and I know he'll agree to officiate at the ceremony.
From there it will be off to the local VFW Hall - the only place around that will be able to accommodate a decent sized group at a low rate - where we'll have the Olde Michigan Ruffwater Stringband (http://www.ruffwater.com/) to provide us with period music and dance instructions. They are historical music and dance specialists and play most of the local Civil War balls in the southern Michigan area, including Greenfield Village, Jackson, as well as at the Harvest Ball in Lansing. Glen Morningstar, who heads the group, mentioned for us to make a list of our favorite dances - so far we have the Virginia Reel, the Spanish Waltz, the fan dance (good for the younger teen set), and a few others.
To make this perfect, we'll ask our guests to wear period clothing, correct to the Civil War era.
Now, the greater majority of our invitations will be sent to reenactors, and we have no doubt that they will be dressed "appropriately," if you know what I mean.
But, how will 21st century modern dressed folk respond to 19th century dances, you may ask?
I personally think they will have one of the best times ever, if they will allow themselves to do so. If you have ever been to a contra-dance or a Civil War ball, you will know just what a blast it can be! And, at times, messing up the dance steps can actually be part of the fun. Quite honestly, very few reenactors know all the dances perfectly, so there will be many mistakes made (and laughed at) so I believe my family and non-reenacting friends will have a grand time nonetheless.
I guess what we're hoping to do here is to have a celebration for friends and family that will be memorable for sure. It will go beyond a vacation or a dinner or even a dance with a modern DJ.
For how much my wife and I - heck! our children, too! - are into history, this will be the absolute perfect way we can think of to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
I mean, it only comes around once every quarter of a century!