My beautiful bride and I were wed on May 18, 1996. It is hard to fathom this reality, but we have been married for 18 years this day. It has been a journey filled with many stories, one of which I would like to share, a story from the very beginning.
Aubrey and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It really is a beautiful area and we both loved the mountains. We still sometimes reminisce about the bed and breakfast we stayed at. It sat on the side of a mountain and had floor to ceiling windows with which to enjoy the views.
What better way to immerse ourselves into this beautiful, mountainous wonderland than to take a guided mountain tour… on horseback? Sounded like a good idea. So we found a place that offered this experience and arrived with much anticipation. The tour group was small and intimate, perfect! It was just the two of us and our guide. How romantic.
The guide, being “the guide”, was the first in line, followed by Aubrey. I brought up the caboose. It seemed a fitting arrangement to me: keep the cherished bride within the pack and protect her at all costs. Manly, protective, chivalrous. That was the theory, at least in my head.
Very soon I realized the folly. My horse was malfunctioning. I think they gave me a broken one. I don’t know much about horses, but they’d given us a short lesson on what to do in various situations and how to handle the beasts. I was assured that these horses were well trained and would just follow the group. Wrong!
My horse was more interested in eating flowers and grasses on the mountainside than staying with the group. In fact, it tried climbing up the mountain with me on its back! It rubbed up against rocks as if trying to wipe me off like a bug. Try as I might to impose my will upon this beast, it would not yield. I eventually gave up since my efforts to keep it in line only caused it to turn and bite at me.
So, my young, innocent, fetching wife, my prize, my joy… enjoyed a tour of the mountains with a strapping young mountain man. Meanwhile I, the skinny musician who’d lived at home until our wedding, watched Aubrey laughing and chatting with our guide from a distance and only when they stopped to allow my horse to catch up. How romantic.
We arrived safely back at the start, the only injury being my manhood. I remember being quite steamed about the whole situation; I’m not sure how well I covered it. We did have a good honeymoon overall and this mountain tour certainly gave me a memory that I will never forget.
It is no surprise that I have no love for horses to this day.
Happy Anniversary to my best friend, to the love of my life! To my partner, my helper, my mate for life, my cherished and treasured gift from God above. I love you, Aubrey.