Today marks the end of our trip to Shreveport, Louisiana. We fly out tomorrow and will soon settle in to a routine in Dayton late at night.
It's been a roller coaster ride, coming back.
Some disappointments- the greasy spoon where we ate on most Saturdays is no more - the Polynesian restaurant where Riley worked as a waiter is now a Mexican restaurant - and now there are cloverleaf interchanges along I-20.
Some delights - the first house we lived in is still standing - the first "real" home we had, a garage apartment, is still standing - and has been improved tremendously with siding - Pancho's Mexican restaurant is still Pancho's and Marshall Texas courthouse is still standing.
The biggest delight was driving to Marshall .... finding the courthouse .... and then actually seeing our names in "the book".
A s soon as we went through the metal detector, we made our way to the records department. We asked a young lady if it was possible for her to look up the record of our marriage as we were not really sure if this was THE courthouse. She asked for the date of the marriage and seconds later hauled this huge ole book from a shelf and plunked it on the counter.
She looks through the pages and viola - there were our names. Riley Daniel Driver and Miss Sharon Lea Anderson. Oh yes - ALL the women had to put down "Miss" in front of their name. I do remember that strange oddity. Kind of an oxymoron if one is getting married. I felt such wonder, seeing those two names there. Noting the posting site of the license, she retrieved the book where our recorded marriage license resided. For the sum of one whole dollar, we got another copy of the license.
We were allowed to take a photo of the page where our names were annotated. I have no idea if we wrote our name ourselves or if someone wrote it. No doubt, 38 years ago I was probably shaking like a leaf and wondering what in the world was I doing.
But there they were - our names clearly written and the life we've had as one started. Riley's later comment was heart felt ... our names we'll see later will be in the Book of Life.
Now 38 years ago, I praise God. He knew all along what would happen 38 years later - and He knows what lies in wait for us in the years to come.
Yes, this has been a wonderful experience. I know now, had given the opportunity - I would never change a bit of my life. This is what life is to be - forever linked with the other half of me forever.
The photo? Riley & I across the street from the Marshall, Texas courthouse. This is where it began as the adventure of the lifetime.
Tomorrow we go home - and soon, I will quilt.