September 02, 2009

Summer Turns Part 1

A tell tale crisp was in the air here two days ago and soon the Delaware version of summer of 2009 will go into the record books. Interestingly, this is the second time I felt summer turn this year as I was in Lithuania at the very same moment. In fact, many of the folks who attended my sister in laws wedding remarked that summer came to an end right after they said their vows. 

Autumn is an interesting time to begin a marriage. I know because my wife and I were married on September 12th of 2001. The turn of summer into autumn had already occurred. As I remember the rollover came somewhere around the time Panchia and I returned from a romantic getaway to Niagara Falls. Well, it was romantic by our standards meaning that there were some very serious and very silly moments in a strange place with at least one public experience that bordered on surreal. For us, on this our first time out, it was dining in a Chinese restaurant where we were virtually ignored and yet made to feel strangely welcome among the patrons who were all native speakers of Chinese and were gathering with great warmth and fellowship. 

The bonds of our matrimony had been formed on this trip which was intended to get Panchia, who was here on a student visa and working like crazy, out of Ocean City, Maryland for a few days. I had wanted her to experience the falls as I had done when I was just barely 5 years old. I had wanted her to see something she had never seen before. When my family visited this magnificent attraction some 30 years before I stood with both of my small hands full of pipe railing, holding tight and I remember thinking “I could kill myself right now.” It really is the first time I remember even being cognizant of death. So it did not surprise me at all when Panchia expressed a similar desire to bound over the rail and into the turbulent water a few hundred yards before the falls. I told her when she was old and dying I would bring her back here and toss her in. I leapt into the falls of her eyes and admitted I was thinking about being with her long beyond our present excursion. Maybe it was the lure of the roar of the falls. Maybe they do not rent out wooden barrels there for a reason.

Driving home was excruciating. It was as though she would open the car door back in Maryland, step out and disappear without so much as a goodbye. Instead we came back to the schoolhouse in Delaware and stayed. I believe it was probably the next day when I popped the question: “Do you want to get married” I said. “Why not?” She replied.

Continued in Part 2



THORN said...

so the events of 9/11 didn't factor into your marriage decision? ...not that they should. just curious.
i am ready for the chill edge to descend upon us down here but i am afraid i'm ready a month early. it has been a beastly summer... the relentless, merciless kind. i can't wait for some cool. i'm really on the verge of madness about it at this moment.

Barry said...

No, in fact 9/11 almost postponed the whole thing. More on that in part 2.

I hope you get your break soon. Brent and Steph and I walked around in Austin at 11:00 pm in 99 degree heat so I know what your state is capable of.

Running cold water on my wrists can really make a difference when it is sweltering here.

THORN said...

thanks for the suggestch.