Until you’ve been blessed to mark the passage of time, you cannot believe how quickly the second-hand sweeps around the clock face. A second, minute, hour, day, week, month, suddenly years.
Here I sit, a decidedly mature woman, feeling like it was only a relatively short time since I was sitting in a hotel room, near Kennedy Airport, celebrating my Honeymoon night, when in fact it was forty-seven years ago.
At eighteen years old, married only a few hours, it seemed that life went on forever and we had all the time in the world. Yet we were in such a rush to get on with it. Wedding, honeymoon, children. Eager to attack the struggles of life. It appears that is the way of youth, then and now, and why we tended to run head long into life changing decisions without care or fear. Life happened to us sans plot or plan.
Our honeymoon on Puerto Rico was an example of how impulsively we did things. The destination chosen because I heard another young woman at work speak about when and where she and girlfriends were going on vacation. How else does one pick a place for a memorable event? We lucked out. The La Concha Hotel, located on the Jewel of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, was a magical place for our Honeymoon.
We did everything there was to do. The first morning we ordered room service, and ate in bed. It was a nutritious breakfast, veal cutlet parm with a side of spaghetti. Only the stomachs’ of teenagers could handle such fare for breakfast. There was no one there to tell us we weren’t allowed. We were married!
I went to my first Casino at that island hotel, and there you have it. I felt like Gina Lolabrigita on the arm of Sean Connery. My new husband had very dark brown hair and sparkling, blue eyes. He stood behind me as I played black jack and got excited when I won. My big winnings – all of forty dollars – a lot of money in 1964.
A rented Volkswagen Beetle was the mode of transportation to help us race around the island. One beautiful, blistering, afternoon, we were doing just that, sightseeing, when we began bouncing all over the road. A flat tire. My Knight jumped out of the car, found the trunk, which was in the front, pulled the jack out, gasped. Instructions written in German. It took a while to discover you didn’t jack up the Beetle from the fender, but rather from the side. Finally the tire was off. Leaving me on the road side he went strutting down a hill, tire rolling in front of him, confident he would find a tire shop. He didn’t speak a word of Spanish.
Not ten minutes after he left, the storm clouds gathered. It was like something out of a mystery novel. A young woman left alone in a disabled car, on the side of a lonely road, when startled by an unexpected rumble of thunder and clash of lightning. It got pitch dark, and so it came, the down pour. A deluge of loud, hard, blinding, rain. In seconds water streamed over the hill, causing six-inch deep puddles in about twenty minutes. Just as quickly the sun returned and chased the flash storm away.
Sometime later my hero returned, with his patched tire. His wool pants looked like they were smoking. Steam rose around him. Hot sun was quickly evaporating the rain water from the drenched pants. Quickly, the tire changed, we proceeded on our way without further incident. The only casualty, the woolen pants, which when dried had shrunk in length to just above this ankle bones. We got some strange stares when we walked back into the elegant hotel.
Another of our Honeymoon memories was when we took a ten passenger island hopper over to St. Thomas. Not to say the plane was small, but every one was asked their weight, when seated, in order to balance the little puddle jumper. Way before the days of terrorists caused security measures, the cockpit was separated from the passengers by a short curtain which remained opened during flight. You could have running conversation with the pilot as he few this antique bird. It was on this trip to Blackbeard‘s castle that we were asked if our parents were coming on the hop with us. The lady who inquired was visibly embarrassed when we informed her we weren’t with our parents, we were adults on our Honeymoon.
These and more memories make me smile today as I sit with my Knight while we watch television these forty-seven years later. We are not doing the Anniversary Waltz this evening , his hair is no longer dark, but those blue eyes are still brilliant, now framed with smile lines. He still can make me laugh so hard, tears come to my own brown eyes. I look forward to much more memory making with him.
Happy Anniversary, Jim.