Yesterday was Jim’s and my 16th anniversary and it was a fabulous day, made more so by its contrast to one year ago. Last year on June 7th, Jim was in all-day end-of-year meetings and I was up to my eyebrows in packing. Our closing on our Virginia house was just 6 days away and we weren’t even close to being packed up.
This June 7th, yesterday, was also Emerald’s last day of 6th grade and we had big plans for the evening. Em was so excited for both of those reasons that she ran to the car at pickup. She told me that she and her dad were the 4th car in the carpool, but that they were the first car out because she ran out of Band class and all the way to the car.
Part of our evening plan was coincidental to the date. Back in early May, we took a family weekend trip to the mountains of N.C. and while there strolled down Main Street, Blowing Rock. Em and I wandered into a gallery, just to browse. We spotted a painting that spoke to me. Em suggested we should buy it, but I told her we were there to look only. I did note the name of the artist, so I could revisit her work at a later date.
The following week, while I was allowing myself to be distracted from work, I Googled the artist and found her web page. I was still completely grabbed by her work, particularly two themes. I sent Jim the links and asked him to take a look. I was very clear that I wasn’t asking for a painting for Mother’s Day, which was the following weekend, but rather wanted to know if he felt as strongly pulled to her style as I did, so we could keep her in mind for some future time when we wanted to buy a piece of art.
He particularly liked one of the paintings, which was also one of my favorites. We agreed to split the cost and I would count it as my Mother’s Day gift. He contacted the artist and she said that the particular painting was on exhibit until the end of May and she would be at a gallery in our town on June 7th and could bring it with her if we’d like to meet her there. June 7. Our anniversary. It was like fate. So it changed from my Mother’s Day gift to our anniversary gift to each other. We planned the whole evening around going to the gallery show in which the artist had another painting, picking up our painting, and then having a nice family dinner out afterward.
We were all so excited for weeks, as the anticipation of getting our painting built. We hadn’t yet seen this particular one in person. We made reservations for the Melting Pot and waited for the day to get here.
Yesterday evening, after Jim picked Emerald up from school, we all dressed in our finest and headed out to the gallery. We toured around the gallery, met the artist of our newly purchased painting, and accompanied her out to her car to pick it up.
It didn’t disappoint. We are all still in love with it.
After a great dinner, we headed home to find a place to hang it. There is so much detail that the pre-planned spot above the mantel didn’t offer enough opportunity of up-close viewing to fully appreciate it. We have moved another picture and have settled on a prominent spot in the living room. At least for now.
All in all a perfect celebration of 16 years of marriage. Sunday night, we’re going out just the two of us for a romantic dinner. Such a contrast to last year. It’s so good to be settled.