Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cindi and Ted, A Love Story

Cindi and Ted, Chapter One

Although I had dated several different guys throughout high school, the first "semi-serious" guy entered my life in mid May of my senior year. We dated all summer, then through our first year of college. Unfortunately we went to different universities, and that took its toll on our relationship. We broke up as our freshman year ended. It was a difficult time for an 18 year old female, thinking that this might have been "the" one, however it was clear that our time together had run its course and it would be in both of our best interests to move on.

After several weeks of not dating anyone, I was finally ready to put myself "out there" again. I happened to be at our city park (which is absolutely phenomenal for families, kids, and teens) and ran into a guy I had known from high school. Although he was a few years younger than me, we'd been in band together, so I'd known him for a long time.

We talked for a while, updating each other on our lives, as we hadn't seen one another for over a year. I told him that I was "on the market" again and asked him in a joking fashion, who I could go out with.

He commented that a buddy of his had just gotten tickets for a concert and might need a date. I thought to myself....well, I've never been to a concert, so it might be fun. I asked who the guy was, and he told me it was Ted. I had to think for a minute, then said that I remembered him from school. I described him and Jim said that I was thinking of the right guy. I thought...this really could be fun.

I was in band in high school and during my sophomore year, we were invited to play in the Astro Blue Bonnet Bowl (it no longer exists), a football bowl game played in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. It took an immense amount of planning to get this one pulled off, but our directors undertook the challenge and made it happen! We were in Houston from December 26 until December 30 and it was obvious that the directors and band parents wanted us to not only work hard, but give us an experience we would never forget. And they did!

We stayed in a motel that was divided into buildings. Our band, the directors, and the parents who came along all took up an entire building, so we were more or less by ourselves. Until the game on December 29, we had just about every second accounted for. After the game and we got back to the motel, we finally had some free time. Oh yeah, and starting the morning of the game, a type of intestinal flu started going around the band.

THAT was just so much fun...I was the only one in my room who didn't get sick, thank goodness.

Since none of us had access to a car, we all just hung around the motel halls. There weren't all that many of us who were even able to get out of bed by that point, so it wasn't too crowded. I recall us "well" ones gathering in a certain hallway to talk. We were sitting on the floor, just having a good time.

And I recall Ted sitting in the doorway of a room, leaning back on the closed door. Yes, Ted was in band too. (He quit band after that year though.) I remember him being very quiet and shy. He hardly said a word, but would laugh quietly when something funny was said. I liked his laugh and his smile, and his eyes were really pretty.

Fast forward three and a half years....Ted was the guy with the concert tickets!

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Two

So Ted was the guy with the concert tickets...hmmmm....I was trying to remember everything I could about him, which wasn't a whole lot. But I did recall his smile and his eyes. As I was thinking about this momentarily, Jim mentioned that the concert was on July 22.

Hey! That's my birthday!

"Sure Jim, I'll sounds like fun!"

Now in the back of my mind, I was wondering if this would ever actually happen, since things like this absolutely NEVER go my way, but thought that I had nothing to lose.

A couple of weeks later I called Jim to see if it was still a "go" and he said that it was and that Ted would pick me up around 5:00 the evening of the concert.

I had mentioned this to my folks in passing when it first happened, then in typical teenager fashion (I was about to turn 19), I didn't mention it again, because if I had mentioned it, there was a chance that they would say that I couldn't go. And I wasn't going to put myself in that situation.

My dad was on the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and as any child of someone in law enforcement can attest to, there is a different set of rules for us. We're usually brought up in a little stricter environment, because our parents have actually seen what could happen to young people. While I definitely appreciate that NOW, back then I wasn't quite so crazy about it.

So on July 22 that year, I came home from my summer job, took a bath, got all ready to go on this date, then knew that I had to face the music. I went out into the kitchen where my mom was fixing dinner and of course she asked why I was so dressed up. I reminded her that I had a date. I will give her credit... although I could tell that she wasn't real happy, she didn't say a word. I told her who I was going out with and where I was going, then went to my bedroom to brush my hair. Again.

When Ted came to the door, my mom answered and let him in. He sat down in a chair, and within a minute or so my dad came home from work. I guess it can be a little intimidating to pick up your date for the first time and her dad comes in wearing his uniform and gun. I thought it was a good sign that that didn't scare him off. Right after that I came out of my bedroom. (We lived in a ranch house, and since I'd had my bedroom door open, I was able to sort of see what was going on in the living room. The Merv Griffin Show was on TV, and Wayne Newton was his guest. For readers of this blog, you already know how I feel about Wayne, but for those of you who don't know, I love him!

Ted and I said hello to each other, then we left, after hearing the "Be careful!" from both of my parents.

I knew that Ted had gotten four tickets for this concert, so Jim was in the car too and we were off to pick up his date.

The four of us talked on the way to the concert which was a little over an hour away. We had a good time on the trip there. After we arrived and parked, we went in and found our seats. We were seeing "Climax Blues Band" and "Bad Company" and I was looking forward to it.

This was the first concert I had ever been to, so it was also rather amusing.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Three

Being that this was my first concert AND the fact that I was pretty naive (I still am!), I was in awe of the whole atmosphere. The venue was huge and we walked around a little, then found our way to our seats.

There were some people milling around with bright yellow "STAFF" t-shirts on and I had no idea what they were doing or who they were. I asked Ted and he patiently told me that they were people who were showing some people to their seats and making sure that no one went where they weren't supposed to other words, they were security.

As the time for the start of the concert drew near, I could faintly smell something in the air. I casually mentioned that it smelled like burnt pork chops. This was NOT Ted's first concert, so in my opinion he was the resident expert. He quietly mumbled something.

I said, "What?"

He once again mumbled something, but a little louder this time.

Again, I said, "What??"

Then I heard him clearly...."it's pot."

My eyes must have bugged out of my head because he chuckled just a little.

Okay, so for the first time I smelled pot. We still laugh about that.

The concert began and it was great. Although I didn't know many of the songs, I really enjoyed seeing the bands play LIVE. We had a great time.

All too soon it was time to head home. Not too long after we got on the interstate, Jim and his date were asleep in the backseat. Ted and I just talked for the next hour and 10 minutes until we dropped off Jim's date, then Jim.

I really had a good time...the concert was fun, and Ted was a very nice, polite, and kind person. I was sooooooooooo hoping that he would ask me out again.

When we got to my house around 1 am, he walked me to the door and asked if he could see me again...WOW! I was thrilled! But of course I couldn't lay all my cards out on the table, so I simply said, "Sure, that would be great."

And for the most part, that ended our first date.

After I went inside and got into bed, I couldn't fall asleep. I was going through the entire evening in my mind, minute by minute, step by step.

Yep, it was a nice night, and hopefully there would be more nice evenings to come.

Little did I know...

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Four

Ted called me the very next evening. Little did he know at the time that he was committing a HUGE blunder.

My dad does NOT like the phone ringing during dinner. Now come on…how in the world would people know exactly when we are eating dinner??? To him, though, that’s irrelevant. You just do NOT interrupt my dad during dinner.

Ted and I hadn’t mentioned that during our first date, so how would he know that he was calling while we were having DINNER?????

Whenever the phone would happen to ring while we were eating, we always sort of glanced at dad out of the corner of our eye, just to see how he would take it. His usual response was “I’m not here” and then he’d absolutely ignore the continual ringing. Nowadays, the answering machine kicks on after the fourth ring, but back then we didn’t have a machine and the phone would ring…and ring…and ring…and ring…continually.

So when the phone rang this particular time, my dad responded with “I’m not here” and my mom jumped up to answer it so it wouldn’t interrupt my dad any longer than necessary. Then she looked at me and nodded. I ran to my bedroom to pick up the phone so she could sit back down.

It was Ted. He told me that he had just gotten a new car that day and asked if I would go for a ride with him. I told him that I would love to go, but not to pick me up until around 7:00.

When I returned to the table, of course I was asked who had called and I told everyone that I would be going for a ride with Ted later on. I could hardly contain my excitement, but knew that this was NOT the time to start gushing.

After dinner, I cleared off the table and rinsed the dishes. I went to take a bath and get ready, knowing that my mom would be washing the dishes, but I would still need to dry them before I left. Yep, I had “chores” and the only way to get out of them was…well, there really wasn’t a way!

Ted picked me up in this shiny, red car and was such a gentleman. As we walked to the car, he opened the door for me (he had also done that the night before when we went to the concert) and off we went.

We spent at least four hours just driving around on that summer night, talking and getting to know one another. And yes, I did mention the “no phone call” time, hahaha!

Over the next several months I learned about his family, he learned about mine. I found out about his friends, he found out about mine. We shared our thoughts on current events and dreams for the future.

We had a wonderful time during those months, including the first time he took me to his parents’ house…

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Five

It's been a while since I've written a chapter in "our" story, so a brief review may be in order.

Ted and I knew who each other was (is that proper grammar? or should it be "were?" whatever...) in high school.

However, we didn't get together until a friend we have in common, Jim, arranged a date for us. We went to a concert with Jim and his date and had a great time. Then we started seeing each other pretty often, getting to know one another.

This is Jim with his young son Justin, taken in the mid '80s.

This is Jim with his young son Justin, taken in the mid '80s.

Check out that great smile of Jim's...and his son is just a DOLL! Jim just happens to be Ron's younger brother. Readers of this blog may remember that Ron and his wife Nora live in Texas, but were here in Ohio in July for his and Ted's class reunion.

Ron and Ted have been great friends since elementary school, and even though Ron moved to Texas, have stayed in touch over the years. Jim moved to Texas first, followed by Ron soon thereafter. They felt that there were more opportunities for them there.

So back to our story....

Ted had told me all about his family, but I hadn't met any of them. About a month into our "dating" we had gone out to a band show in a nearby community. I was still interested in seeing marching bands in action and since I was getting a little older, really enjoyed watching them as opposed to marching in them!

After the band show, he calmly suggested we stop by his brother's house.

OH MAN. I quickly tried to pull up everything I could remember about his brother, from my memory bank. Let's see...he was 5 years older than Ted, married to an italian woman, had a 1 year old daughter, and worked for our local newspaper in the pressroom.

I was getting more and more nervous as we were getting nearer to their house. We pulled up, and there was an additional car in the driveway. "That's my mom's car," Ted said. WHAT?!?! I'm going to meet his MOTHER too??? This might be too much for me. I took a deep breath, and decided that it would be fine...really....well, maybe...then that old adage, "you can only make ONE first impression" ran through my mind.

We went up to the door and walked in. Ted introduced me to his brother, sister-in-law, niece, and.....HIS SISTER! Whew! His sister was using his mom's car and she had stopped by. What a relief!

I sat down and Holly, his niece, was playing near my feet. What a sweetheart! She was absolutely adorable, with a headful of dark blonde curls. She smiled a lot and was so playful. She was as pleasant as could be, and she even let me hold her for a while.

We all talked for a while and I tried my best to listen more than I talked because I didn't want to come across as someone who just yakked all the time (okay, those of you who know me in real life can quit laughing now!). I really enjoyed getting to know these people that were so important to Ted. After an hour or so, Ted said that we needed to get going. When we got out to the car, he immediately wanted to know what I thought of his family. I thought they were great! They were so easy to talk to and it was obvious that they all had good values and morals.

But the REAL question was....what did they think of ME???

I couldn't wait for the feedback on that, but would have to be patient. Ted wouldn't find anything out until after he and his sister were both home and they had a chance to talk. Then he wouldn't be able to tell me anything until the next night.

So the next night when he picked me up, I was a little nervous. We got in the car, and the first thing he said was, "They like you...they really like relax."

Wow, I felt like a gigantic weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

HOWEVER, a bigger challenge lay ahead a week later. On Labor Day he came and picked me up and took me back to his house for a cookout with the family. I would be meeting THE MOTHER, THE FATHER, AND THE GRANDMOTHER.

It took me about an hour to decide what to wear. Afterall, it had to be perfect. I was the FIRST girl Ted had ever brought home to meet his folks. Oh gee, talk about pressure. What I didn't know until later was that until that day he'd kept me a secret from his folks and had told his sister and brother not to say anything about me.

As it turned out, I really enjoyed his parents, and they seemed to like me too. After we ate, his dad got out the slide projector, screen, and slides. I didn't know that his dad was really into taking slides. His parents had also gone on our band trip to Houston, and had taken a bunch of slides while there. We were looking to see if I showed up in any of them. We also saw slides of his parents' trip to Hawaii.

By the time we left so he could take me home, I felt as though I had passed yet another major seemed as though the parents liked me, WHEW!!!

Then time started to fly by....

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Six

Before you knew it, I was beginning my second year in college and Ted was going to continue to work for his dad on the family seed corn farm. I was very fortunate that I was attending a local college branch and would be living at home. Although a lot of my time was going to be taken up with going to classes and studying, however, there would definitely be time left for Ted!

We settled into a routine of seeing each other on the weekends and once in a while during the week. I had some classes in the evenings, so we needed to work around that. On the nights that we didn't see each other, we would talk on the phone after I got home from class.

We seemed to go to a lot of movies back fact, the first movie we went to see was the original "Star Wars" movie less than two weeks after our first date. I didn't understand it then, and I certainly don't understand it now! I'm not a science fiction buff by any means, so most of it went right over my head!

Other than movies, we would either watch TV at his house or my house...spend some time with some friends, go out for dinner...things like that. Just typical date things. As long as we were together, we were happy.

Not too long after I first met his brother Tim, he decided to leave his job in the newspaper press room and begin working on the family seed corn farm. Ted would spend the day working with his brother, so that was nice for the two of them and for their dad.

Throughout that first fall and into the winter we would spend Sundays at Ted's parents' house. In a rather small TV room six adults would watch the Cleveland Browns football games. It was Ted and me, Tim, Patty, and Holly, and Peg and her boyfriend Mac. Ted's parents would usually stop in and say hi, then go on about their business. There just wasn't enough space in that room for anymore people, and they didn't have an TV in the bigger living room. Fortunately Holly was under the age of two and usually took naps during the games. We really got loud though, always rooting our beloved Browns on!

That November, Ted's sister Peg came home from a date with her boyfriend Mac, and showed off an engagement ring! There was now going to be a wedding in the family and something to look forward to. They wanted to get married the following June, so there were plans to make. Although I wasn't in the family at that point, I still got to hear about the plans and that was exciting. Peg even asked me if I would either be in charge of the guest book at the wedding or pass out the programs. Time has played its tricks on me and I can't seem to remember which one anymore!

Things went smoothly for us as our relationship made it through the first holiday season, the first winter, the first spring, and then Peg's wedding in June. By the time our one year anniversary came around we pretty much knew that it was "real" and we were in this for the long haul!

However, a challenge awaited us....

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Seven

After we had dated for a little over a year, we needed to prepare for a challenge.

I would be leaving home and going to the main campus of the college branch I attended. Even though it was a little over an hour away, we would be apart.

On one hand, I looked forward to the experience of being away from home and having to be responsible for myself. On the other hand, I was really going to miss Ted a LOT!

We'd spent so much time together that it was going to be very difficult to be apart. However, I knew that we would be able to get through it...somehow.

Although I was going to be going through a big change (a new place to live, new classes, being more responsible for things, just having to grow up, being without Ted on a daily basis), Ted's life was going to change in only one way: I was not going to be right there and he would have to get along without me for a while.

We knew we weren't going to break up. That just wasn't an option. We were way too in love to even consider that. We were going to try our best to stay in contact as much as possible.

Keep in mind that this was L O N G before cell phones and computers. Long distance phone calls were expensive, so we couldn't just call each other at the drop of a hat. We couldn't text each other. We couldn't send email back and forth several times a day. And we certainly couldn't meet on any type of messenger service online.

Nope, we were going to have to rely on writing letters and an occasional phone call! And that's what we did. There was a big blue mailbox one building away from the apartment I shared with a couple other girls. The mail pick up time was posted as 5:00 pm. And I took that to MEAN 5:00 pm. Not 4:59, and not 5:02, but FIVE O'CLOCK P.M.

That means that I had to have my letter to Ted IN THAT BOX by5:00. I didn't want to seal the envelope until right before 5:00 in case I had something else to add to the letter, so I was always cutting it close. I needed to make sure that I had stamps and envelopes all the time, necessary items if you're going to be writing letters!

After one week of school, Ted showed up on Friday to bring me home for the weekend. On Sunday, he took me back to school. We fell into a routine then...every Friday he would arrive, and every Sunday he would take me back. Of course each quarter my schedule changed and there were some times when I could go home on Thursday night, so he would pick me up then. We usually didn't leave home to head back to school until sometime early Sunday evening, so we could spend the day together doing different things.

The letter writing lasted for the entire first quarter. After that, he started calling. Every night, at either 10:00 or 11:00 (okay, so I'm getting older and I don't remember!) he would call the apartment and we would talk about how our days had gone.

To be honest, I think that this year apart bothered Ted much more than it bothered me. I had so many new things going on that I didn't have extra time to sit back and think about him and miss him all the time. He, on the other hand, had plenty of time to think about and miss me.

In April of that year, when I was home for a weekend, we had spent Saturday night with some friends. We were out sort of late when Ted finally took me home. I thought our night was ending, but he had something else in mind.

Around 1:00 am on Sunday morning, April 22, Ted asked me if I would MARRY HIM!!

We had discussed this fairly often, but never "officially" if you know what I mean. It was always "well someday when we get married..." or "when we eventually get married..." or "after we're married..." BUT THIS WAS DIFFERENT!

This was serious now. It was the real thing. A proposal from the man I loved. A diamond RING!

Well, without a second's hesitation, I said YES!!

We were so giddy and happy that we just continued to sit and talk for at least another hour. Eventually Ted left and I went to my bedroom. For the first time I really looked at the ring.

WOW, he sure did a fantastic job at picking out something I would like! Back then they didn't have the fancy bridal sets like they do now. You got an engagement ring, then a separate wedding ring. The ring was simple, yet elegant. I absolutely loved it!

I knew that my mom would come in my bedroom early in the morning to wake me up for church and I didn't want her to see it before I had a chance to tell her about it first, so I took it off and put it back in the box. I slipped the box under my pillow and went to sleep with a huge smile on my face.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Eight

The dark blue, velvet box stayed under my pillow all night long. Since about 5th grade I've always worn a ring on the ring finger of my left hand, so I had on a different ring throughout the night and when we went to church that next morning.

To say that I had a difficult time paying attention to the priest was an understatement. I kept thinking about how I was going to tell my parents this news. They treated Ted well, so I assumed they liked him. But maybe they really didn't, and it was just a front. Hmmmm... Then there was the fact that we were young. I was 20, and Ted was just a few weeks shy of his 20th birthday. Well, the worst thing they could say is that they didn't think it was a good idea, so it was time to tell them.

I had a feeling it would be easier if I told them one at a time.

After church, my mom would always start cooking Sunday dinner. We usually ate around 12:30, so I knew that she was in the kitchen cooking. I also knew that my dad and younger brother were outside doing something or another.

I took the box and went into the kitchen. I took a deep breath, and said, "Look at what Ted gave me last night," and waited for her to say something.

"That's really better go tell your dad."


Was there something more to this? I don't really know what I expected her to say, but I don't think that was quite it. I was wondering why she said it that way. Of course I was slightly paranoid and was probably reading things into her comments.

I went out the back door and found my dad and brother. Again I opened the box and said, "Look at what Ted gave me last night."

No comment from dad.

However, my brother spoke up immediately.

"So when are you moving out?"

He was 16 years old and saw this as a way to take over my bedroom, since it was bigger than his.
Finally my dad said, "That's nice."

I went back inside and took the ring box back to my bedroom and put it on my dresser. I left it there while we ate dinner and NO ONE said a word about it during the entire meal. Afterwards, while my mom and I were cleaning up, she asked if we had a date in mind and I said that it wouldn't be until after I was finished with college, and she seemed to be very relieved about that. Then she said that I should put the ring on. I told her I would when I got ready for him to pick me up to take me back to college.

I heard him come in an hour or so later and I heard my dad say, "Welcome to the family Ted" and that made me feel soooooooooo good.

We were officially engaged!

Now that my parents knew, and seemed to have approved, the question was with Ted's family. As we left the house with my stuff loaded up, he told me that he hadn't told his parents yet. His parents had divorced a couple of years earlier so that meant telling them separately. Ted was living with his dad on the family farm, and his mother had an apartment in town. He said that he would tell his dad that night after he got home from taking me back to school, but we were going to stop and tell his mom before we left town.

She was VERY excited for us! She wanted to know if she could tell people and we told her that it would be fine, but to also tell them that we didn't have a date yet.

When we left there and went to school, we talked about the date on the way. We knew that we wanted it to definitely be after I was done with college, and during the summer so as not to interfere with a teaching job I might have.

We didn't want it to be in August...too hot. We didn't want it to be in July...that's the month of my birthday and that was enough for that month. That left June. June would be a fine month for a wedding.

When we got to my apartment at school, we found a calendar for the following year and looked at Saturdays in June. I have a thing about even numbers, so right away June 7 and June 21 were out. That left June 14 and June 28. We decided we would rather have it in mid June than late June, so it was decided that we would get married on Flag Day, June 14.

The following weekend we told everyone the date of the wedding, and then just relaxed. Back then you didn't need to start planning a wedding a year in advance like you do now, so we weren't too worried about things. The main goal was for me to finish college and try to find a teaching job somewhere near home.

Fortunately everyone was very happy for us. In retrospect, we were surprised that NO ONE tried to talk us into waiting for several years because we were rather young. By the date we had picked out, we would both be 21, but that's still a little on the young side for getting married.

I began looking at some bridal magazines, trying to get some ideas. I had a little notebook that I wrote a lot of things down in. Since we didn't have the internet available at that time, most ideas came from either talking to people or magazines. I liked looking at the advertisements in the back of the bridal magazines and sent for quite a few catalogs. We would look over things together and make some decisions, only to change them within a matter of days.

The one thing I did right after we selected the date was to call my church and reserve it for that day. It was a good thing I did, because not too much later someone else in the congregation had selected the same date, but because we were first, they had to work around our schedule. We had scheduled the wedding for the middle of the afternoon, so they had to use it in the morning.

That was it for the plans...until the fall.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Nine

I was actually engaged to be MARRIED!! I was going to be spending the rest of my life with this one particular man that I absolutely loved and adored. I would get to use the word husband!

We spent the summer just talking about the wedding occasionally, as we knew we had a lot of time to get things planned. Way back then, you didn't need to have everything planned out, ordered, arranged, etc. a year beforehand like you do now. Besides, I had a busy fall coming up.

Since I had taken a few summer classes, I was going to be able to graduate a semester early from college and would hopefully get a little headstart on getting a teaching job. The college I went to was in the process of switching from quarters to semesters, so there were still a few little quirks to work out. I would have a 5 week block of classes, then a week off, and then 10 weeks of student teaching that would take me right up to Christmas vacation and then I was DONE!!

The five week block was pretty tough. I believe I had four classes at that time and they were long, 5 days a week classes. They were basically being done in the same time format as summer classes (yuck). Fortunately my grandparents lived about 8 miles from the university, so I stayed with them for that time, and just drove over to school. I wasn't able to get an apartment for just 5 weeks, and dorms weren't available for only 5 weeks either. So it was either stay with my grandparents or drive back and forth from home each day. Some people did that, but it certainly wasn't my idea of a good time to spend two and a half hours on the road each day!

The 5 weeks went by fast, but I missed Ted. A lot. Then I had a week off. That was really nice. However, I used that time to buy some clothes. (I do NOT like to shop, but I needed some professional clothes to wear for student teaching.) I also had gotten in touch with my cooperating teacher and spent some time in the classroom with her before I officially started.

Once my student teaching started, things got crazy. My cooperating teacher turned out to be a royal pain. She said she'd never had a student teacher before, so she really wasn't quite sure what to expect. Well, I'd never done student teaching before, so I didn't know what to expect either. She told me that I needed to have three copies of each daily lesson plan: one for me, one for her, and one for the principal. Back then we didn't have copy machines to use, so I wrote them all out on notebook paper with carbon paper in between. Each half hour lesson that I would be teaching had to have a THREE page plan, in triplicate! That also including the opening activities at the beginning of each day, along with the closing activities of each day. For each lesson, I was to not only include any and all supplies necessary, but the name of the text book, if I used one, the chapter number and title, the lesson number and title, my method of instruction AND list all the questions that I would ask the students, and the answers I was hoping to elicit from the class.


I spent much more time doing lesson plans than teaching the lessons. It was terrible. But the worst part of all this lesson planning was at the END of my student teaching experience when I found out that NO OTHER STUDENT TEACHERS in my group had to do this. They only had to use a lesson plan book issued by the school district and fill it in appropriately. They did their entire week of plans in less than 2 hours. Heck, I was spending hours and hours each and every night.

And I missed Ted. IMMENSELY. We could talk on the phone during the week, but only for a little while. I had way too much to do. We both realized that it was only a temporary situation, but it was driving us crazy. On weekends we were able to see each other, and one Sunday we had a full day planned.

We were going to Cleveland to see the Browns play the Steelers! We were going with Tim and Patty (his brother and sister-in-law) and Peg and Mac (his sister and brother-in-law). I knew that my plans weren't done for the following week, so I took as much of my stuff with me as I could and worked on them in the car on the way up and the way back. We had a wonderful day together...we all had a great time! But when I eventually got home, I knew I was going to have to pull an all-nighter to get my plans done.

That didn't happen. And I had to face my cooperating teacher the following morning and tell her that all my plans for the week were not done. She was not happy. She dug out her plans from the year before and turned those in, and would teach the lessons. She asked me if I learned anything. I told her that I had....I told her that I learned that I could do absolutely NOTHING besides school work until I finished my student teaching. Then she told me that that wasn't true. She said that relaxation was important and I would just need to manage my time better.


I was coming in at least an hour early each and every day, doing her bulletin boards (which were extremely important to her!), and I was staying anywhere from an hour to three hours after school to grade papers, set up the lessons I would be teaching, reading things in the small professional library they had at the school (you couldn't take things home). When I got home I would take time to change clothes, then work on lesson plans until almost midnight every single night, taking a few minutes out to eat dinner, talk to Ted on the phone, and take a bath.


Basically, in my humble opinion, she was NOT a good cooperating teacher. After the entire experience she told me that she would never again have a student teacher. She thought it was too much work. I just shook my head and chuckled to myself on that one.

Sooooooo, all the wedding plans we were hoping to make that fall, didn't really materialize. We had notes about things, but nothing official. Right before Christmas I called the photographer and arranged for him to take the engagement photos between Christmas and New Year's. We had begun talking about a guest list too. My mom was working on the catering part of the reception and my dad knew someone who was going to be able to supply the beverages at a good price. So by this time it was getting to be a matter of making things official and coordinating it all.

But what we really needed was a place for the reception. And THAT turned out to be one of the biggest problems of all.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Ten

By January, our biggest concern was finding a place for a reception. We checked out every single place we could think of, and only one place was available. The unfortunate side was that it was extremely expensive, and I didn't want to pay that much. I was trying to pay for as much of the wedding/reception as I could. I didn't think that it was my parents' responsibility to pay for everything, since I was the one getting married.

I graduated from college on December 22, and right after Christmas break I was able to start substitute teaching. It was rare to find a full time opening in the middle of the year, so I thought that subbing would be just fine. I put in several applications and waited for the phone to ring.

I didn't have to wait long. I began subbing immediately after the break, and worked an average of 4 1/2 to 5 days a week. At that time, subs were making $30/day in the district I lived in, and $28/day in a nearby district. Times have changed soooooo much! I was saving every penny that I made, as was Ted. It was so nice for me to actually be working in my chosen field and making money while doing what I really enjoyed.

Each day put me a day further away from my awful student teaching experience, and I was extremely grateful for that. I was learning much more by being in a classroom and seeing how different teachers did things. I took notes on every sub assignment I had. My notebook was filled and it was great. I was able to meet different principals and let them see how I taught. One elementary school was near our house and it seemed as though they began calling me at least 3 days a week. I was very fortunate.

By the beginning of February, I commented that I just needed ONE day off to work on the reception situation, and lo and behold, it worked out that I got an afternoon free. The people at all the potential reception sites were only available when I was working, so it was difficult to talk to them. Ted was really trying to help, but it just wasn't possible. This was something I needed to do because I had all the notes and the names of the people I talked to. HIS job was to find us a place to live.

So the afternoon I had free worked out great. The one place that had been available before, was still available, AND the first guy had given me the wrong price. It was actually a little LESS expensive than what I was told originally! They reserved it, and I told them I would be there at 4:00 the next day to pay for it. They were willing to have someone wait around until I got there, so that worked out too. Things were definitely looking up!

In the evenings, Ted and I were calling about apartments and going to look at them. There wasn't much out there that was ... let's see, how do I say this ... there were few apartments available in our area that would meet our standards. Actually, there weren't any. We had to lower our standards. A lot. Neither one of us was happy, but we didn't have a choice.

In mid February, we found an apartment that was the upstairs of a house. It had a big living room, 2 big bedrooms, a bathroom, and a small kitchen. It wasn't great, but it was okay for a temporary place. The guy who owned it was nice enough, and the price was right. Ted gave him a check for the deposit and first month's rent. He said that he would stop by some evening when he saw the lights on to have us sign a lease, as he didn't have one with him.

Before we moved Ted in that following weekend we went out and bought a color console TV. Back then, black and white TVs were still available, but we didn't want to go that route. Appliances came with the apartment, so that was good. But we also needed to buy a bed. We had decided that we would get a queen size mattress set, so off we went to the furniture store to take care of that too. We were spending money right and left, but it was on things that we needed.

We moved all his stuff in over a weekend, and tried to get it organized. We didn't have a washer and dryer, so he was going to go to his dad's to do laundry. I went grocery shopping and tried to get him everything I thought he would need. There are certain grocery things that you need when you first set up housekeeping, and that initial trip can cost a fortune. Things that you don't need to buy very often, but you need to buy them all at once at first might include salt, pepper, all other spices that you normally use, flour, sugar, and all kinds of other goodies. Not to mention other things, like salt and pepper shakers, canisters, pots and pans, plates, silverware, pot holders, a toaster, etc.

The one part of the apartment that I felt really needed some work was the bathroom. The walls needed something, but we weren't allowed to paint or paper. Washing them didn't help. So I did the next best thing. (I still can't believe I did this.)

I went to a cheap store and bought several vinyl tablecloths in the same pattern. I put those tablecloths up as wallpaper, using a stapler. I had no other way of getting the tablecloths to stay on the wall. I didn't want to use nails, so I tried my stapler and it worked! Well, as long as you didn't touch the tablecloths too much, at least. I had a lot of things to cut around, like the window, doorway, bathtub, lavatory, toilet, pipes coming into the room, etc. but it all worked out.
Things were starting to fall into place...and it was time to go pick out my dress.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Eleven

Paulie had commented about our needing an apartment so soon and needing things like pots and pans, etc. She mentioned that many things like that were gotten as shower gifts.

Apartments in our area were difficult to find, so we knew that we had to work on that early. Neither one us wanted to be "stuck" with no place to live, and we were NOT going to move into my folks' house (YIKES!!!) or into Ted's dad's house. That's why we began to look right after the holidays. When we found something that was sort of okay, we jumped on it. Ted lived in the apartment. I was living at home with my parents.

As far as bridal showers are concerned, I did not want one. I just have a thing about showers. I don't like going to them, and I don't want to attend one as the guest of honor. It just wasn't my idea of a good time. I hate it when people feel obligated to get someone a gift. I hate it when I feel obligated to get a gift, too. So that was why we got those things on our own.

Now for more of the story....

In mid February we spent a Saturday at our local bridal shop. My mom and I went, along with my three bridesmaids. The maid of honor lived in California and we would be taking care of ordering her dress. Since my mom was a nurse at our local hospital, she had to work every other weekend, and we had to make sure that we scheduled this for a Saturday that she would be off, and that the bridesmaids would be free.

Mom and I got there a while before they would be arriving so we could look at dresses for her and me first. Her dress was fairly easy to pick out. My mom is a woman of simple tastes. She didn't want anything all sparkly and fancy, with doo dads all over. She selected a simple melon colored dress that looked wonderful on her and would look even better once she had spent a little time out in the sun. She tans very quickly in the summer.

***Yes, I know that being out in the sun and having a tan can be harmful to your body, and so does she. However, this is a risk that we are both aware of, yet choose to participate in. I may address this in a future post.***

Once we found her dress, we began looking for one for me. I am NOT a simple size 7, hahahaha, oh my...I'm about as far from it as one can possibly be! Therefore I was limited to dresses that came in plus sizes. THIS WAS A GOOD THING, BELIEVE ME!!

I do NOT like to have to make a decision when I have hundreds of things to choose from! For my dress I was limited to to about 30 choices, and that quickly was narrowed down. It really didn't take all that long to select my dress. I was happy with it. My mom was happy with it. And when the bridesmaids arrived, they told me that they liked it too. Whew!

I had seen a dress in the window that I liked for the bridesmaids, so that was where I wanted to start. I had decided that I wanted a variety of pastels for colors, so once we decided on the dresses I would choose the colors. I had some colors in mind, but wanted to see if they liked what I picked out first.

Fortunately they all liked the dress, or at least they said they did. I liked not only the style of the dress, but the simplicity of it, and the ability to be able to wear it to another function later on. The dress had a blouson type top with a simple lightly pleated skirt. The sleeves were short, but slit, and tied at the top.

The maid of honor, Mary, was going to wear light blue. Barb was going to wear peach, Davene was going to be in yellow, and Melanie was going to wear mint green (her favorite color is green, so that worked out well).

With the dresses ordered, we made an appointment with a woman who designed silk flower arrangements. Our evening with her was very nice. Thank goodness she had a list of everything that we would need, because I didn't have a CLUE! We selected the bouquets, the boutonnieres, the corsages for various grandmothers, etc., the flowers for the church, and reception, and a small bouquet for me to throw. The lady we worked with did a great job helping us out with our selections, and we were happy.

Our local newspaper used to have a section called "Love is..." in every Saturday edition. It included all the engagements, weddings, and "big" anniversaries. On the last Saturday of February of 1980, our engagement was in the paper. Back then the picture featured only the bride-to-be, so that's what we had. Now, they usually have pictures with both the bride-to-be AND groom-to-be, and I like that much better.

(Somewhere around this house is a clipping of our engagement. I wish I had been on the ball enough to find it and scan it so I could include it in this post, but I'm not that organized!)

The next thing we did was begin our meetings with my priest. At the time we got married, I was Catholic (and still am) but Ted was not. This would require us to meet with the priest several times and discuss things with him. Because we were getting married in a Catholic Church, we also needed to attend Pre-Cana classes.

Our Pre-Cana classes were interesting. Fortunately a new session was just getting ready to start at our local catholic high school, so we registered. We attended four Wednesday night sessions, each about 2 hours long, and found them to be somewhat informative. The discussed many aspects of being married with all of us, from finances to household responsibilities to (gasp!) natural family planning. A couple of times we had long questionnaires to fill out, then would talk and discuss our answers.

Our meetings with the priest were just the two of us and him and we talked about a lot of different things. One thing we had to discuss was the form that Ted would need to sign about any children that we might have. In order for the priest to marry us in the Catholic Church I had attended for years, Ted would need to sign a form saying that any children we had would be raised in the Catholic faith. The three of us discussed this thoroughly, and I was NOT going to force Ted to sign anything like that. I think that as long as we made sure that any children we had would not be raised as agnostics or atheists, we should be "good to go" but that's not the way the Catholic Church saw it.

Ted agreed to sign the form, and commented that it was not a problem for him, as long as he was not being forced to become Catholic, and he was not.

After we went through personality quirks and things like that, the priest gave us a small book about selecting readings and vows for the wedding. That was nice to go through together. He also told us that we could have non-Catholics do some of the readings. We were very happy with that, as we wanted one of Ted's uncles to do a reading for us, and he was a devout Methodist.

I had said from the very beginning that I did not want a mass for our wedding, but I would have changed my mind if need be. A portion of the people attending the wedding would be Catholic, but NOT the majority. I didn't want them to have to go through an entire mass if they did not understand everything and know what was going on. I also knew that by having the wedding in mid-June in a church that was not air conditioned, it could possibly be quite warm. A mass would add about an hour to the service, and in the best interest of all our guests, it was decided that we would have a ceremony, but no mass.

Throughout all this time, I was fortunate enough to still be subbing quite often and Ted was working as a plumber's helper. We were still able to go out with friends, or just sit around and watch television or whatever. It was a great time in our relationship.

Then one evening I came home, and my mom said she needed to talk to me. I got the distinct impression that this conversation was not going to be a happy one.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Twelve

Our next door neighbors were great people. They were both teachers at our local high school, and had two young daughters and an infant son at the time. I had babysat for them countless times and just adored their children. They were the sweetest things, and even when I came home for the weekends during college, I would babysit for them when they needed me. When they moved in, they didn't have any children, so we were watching these little ones grow up.

So one evening, just about 2 months before our wedding, after I came home from being with Ted my mom said that she had to talk to me about something. By the tone of her voice, I had a very strong feeling that it wasn't going to be a pleasant conversation. I sat down, and she began.

"Sheryl came over tonight while you were gone." (Sheryl was the next door neighbor.)


Mom took a deep breath and said, "She wants to host a bridal shower for you."

"WHAT? What did you tell her? You know I don't like showers!"

Mom said, "She wants to do this for you and I told her you would be honored. It's going to be in two weeks."

I knew by the tone of her voice it was a done deal, so I was going to have to put my best foot forward, and with a smile on my face, I would graciously accept this kind offer.

The next day I called Sheryl and told her how much I appreciated her wanting to do this and was looking forward to it. She told me that it would only be for the neighbors because she didn't want to invite friends that would be attending a shower that the bridesmaids would be having for me.

That's when I thought, "SAY WHAT??" but didn't say a word.

And lo and behold, before the shower at Sheryl's, the bridesmaids told me that they were having a shower too. By this time I had already accepted the fact that it was going to happen, so again, I very graciously said that that would be great!

Although my feelings on showers didn't really change, I thoroughly enjoyed both showers and Ted and I received many nice gifts. I truly appreciated everything that these wonderful people did for me AND had fun at both showers!

Who would have ever thought??

Everything with the wedding was falling into place, but we had a slight problem.

The weather was turning warmer and it was getting mighty hot in Ted's upstairs apartment. We talked about getting a room air conditioner, but knew that it would be very expensive. We decided that a few floor fans might be able to get us through the summer.

Then the downstairs tenants were getting louder and louder. It sounded as though they were fighting...a LOT. If I decided to do some tutoring during the summer, how would I be able to do it with all that going on downstairs?

About two weeks before the wedding we decided that Ted's apartment just wasn't going to cut it and we would start the search for a new place immediately. Talk about timing.

There were some townhouses just outside of town, about a mile past my parents' house, that had a vacancy. Through Ted's job he had worked for the guy who owned the apartments and made arrangements for us to go look at the vacant one.

It was a 2 story apartment with a basement too. We could have a washer and dryer down there. It had a living room, dining area, small kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. It was air conditioned too! And to top it off, the townhouses were only a couple of years old. We had two parking spots directly in front of the door. Our apartment was in the first townhouse of the allotment, so that was nice too. We wouldn't have to drive all the way to the end to get "home."

The rent was a little more than he'd been paying at the other place, but that was alright. It was well worth it. We agreed to take the apartment and made arrangements to sign the lease a few days later. In the meantime I was trying to find out all I could about the "old" apartment situation. Apparently since we never actually signed a lease (the owner never did bring the lease by for us to sign) we only had a verbal month-to-month agreement and he would HAVE to give us back the security deposit.

Armed with all this information thanks to my research, Ted called the owner. He tried to get out of returning our deposit, but Ted had enough information to get him to realize that he had no choice. He took his time about it though and didn't return it until after we got back from our honeymoon, but we DID get it back.

So one week before our wedding we enlisted the help of family members and moved into our new apartment. We were SOOOOOO much happier there!

I'd been in contact with Mary, my friend who was the maid of honor. She lived in California and would be arriving in Ohio on the Tuesday morning before the wedding. Barb, one of the bridesmaids, spent the night at my house and we got up around 3:30 am or so to get to the Cleveland airport in time to pick up Mary. Her flight was due to arrive around 6:00 am. We got there in plenty of time and back in 1980, the airport was pretty empty that early in the morning. Now, of course, it's entirely different. But we picked her up, and drove home. Mary was extremely tired as she hadn't slept very much on the plane and she was suffering from jet lag.

Of course things couldn't go too smoothly, or it just wouldn't be right.

Ted was suffering...and soon a trip to the ER would be necessary.

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Thirteen

So here it was, four days before our wedding and Ted was complaining about a pain on his tailbone. It was really bothering him. He couldn't sit, he couldn't lie down, he couldn't stand up, he couldn't do anything without a lot of PAIN.

Finally the Wednesday night before our wedding, after a short discussion with my mom (the nurse), we decided that a trip to the ER was in order. And this is where I fell short of being the perfect bride-to-be.

Mary and I had so much to do, since the wedding was just a few days away. We decided that the best plan of action would be for Ted's mom to take him to the ER while Mary and I worked on other things. If you ever waited in an ER waiting room in the early 1980s, then you know that a wait could be several hours long, and I just didn't have several hours to spare that night.

Okay, think of me as a bad person. Go ahead. I deserve it. Ted practically insisted that I NOT go along with him, but that's really not a good excuse.

Anyway, back to the story...

As soon as he got back to the apartment about five hours later, he called and filled me in on things.

It turned out that he had a pretty big abscess back by his tailbone. The doctor at the ER ended up having to drain it with a HUGE, 2 FOOT LONG NEEDLE, THAT WENT ALL THE WAY IN. At least that's what Ted said, and I had no reason not to believe him. He also said that they drained at least a gallon of fluid out of the abscess. Again, I have no reason not to believe him. (Could he possibly have exaggerated just a tad??)

When they were finished, they put a small dressing on it and he had a prescription for an antibiotic...along with a very sore tailbone.

The next morning Mary and I had to go pick up some additional things for the decorations for the reception and we also got a blow-up ring that kids use in a swimming pool. We got that for Ted to use when he sat down so that there wouldn't be any unnecessary pressure on his tailbone. He really appreciated that!

Other than Ted's issue, things were going pretty smoothly, and when that happens, I tend to get a little nervous. Nothing goes that smoothly with me without a big type of problem arising, so I was just waiting for that to happen.


It didn't happen!

The afternoon of the day before the wedding was spent decorating the reception hall and folding the programs that would be passed out at the church. We also checked in with the lady doing the flowers, the priest, the cake lady, and the caterer. Everything was just as it should be. I was shaking my head in disbelief over this, but finally accepted the fact that it was going to come off without a hitch.

That evening we all met at the church at 6:00 for the rehearsal.

As I walked down the aisle with my dad during the practice, it all sort of hit me.

I was going to get married the next day.


As in, having a HUSBAND.

As in, Mr. and Mrs.


Oh my...what was I getting myself into?!?!

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Fourteen

I really wanted to add some pictures to this post, however I have a little problem.

We moved into our new home TWO years ago and I can't find the wedding pictures. I knew exactly where they were at the old house (in the cedar chest) but they're not there now, AND I have NO IDEA where they are. There are two albums, each in a white box with a red rose on top. But I can't find them. The search WILL continue, but I'm going to go on with the story.

So as soon as the rehearsal was finished, Ted's brother-in-law took us out to his car to give us a gift from the plumbing shop where he and Ted both worked. It was a Charmglow gas grill and we were thrilled with it! Our new apartment had a back door with a little porch and we would get a lot of use out of it. I mean, how hard can it be to cook on a grill??

(It might be a good time to mention that I knew nothing about cooking. Nada. Zilch. Zero. But I was willing to learn.)

After checking out the grill, we all went to the rehearsal dinner at a well known restaurant about 6 miles out of town. This place was well known for its steaks and seafood and we were very excited about having a nice, relaxing meal.

Little did I know that my nerves would be getting the best of me and I would hardly be able to eat a thing! We also gave our attendants their gifts. The girls all got heart shaped necklaces with their initials ingraved on them, and the guys all got ingraved money clips.

There were toasts all around, and everyone had a great time. Then the girls in the wedding party, except Holly (Ted's niece, and soon to be mine), decided that they were going to take me out to a couple of places so we could have a few drinks. Holly was the flower girl and only 4 years old, so she was just a tad underage.

I can only actually remember one place we went to, but I know that we went to two or three different spots. I can even remember what I drank, believe it or not! I don't like beer...never have, so I opted for mixed drinks. I had a couple of Tom Collins, also known as a Gin Fizz. I know that two are my limit, so that was all I had. I had a Pepsi at one place too. My cousin Davene was definitely underage at the time (15) so there was no alcohol for her.

We all laughed and had a great time. It was fun to be with them, but it began getting late, a little close to midnight. I knew that the next day was going to be a big day, so I was ready to head home.

Although I'm not extremely superstitious, I didn't want to press my luck. The day of the rehearsal was Friday the 13th and things had gone fine up to that point. I sure didn't want to spoil it.

We took Davene back to the hotel where her family was staying, dropped Barb and Melanie off at their homes, then Mary and I went back to my family's house. I was definitely ready for bed. Mary, however, stayed up and talked to my mom for a while.

I tossed and turned and couldn't sleep. There were too many things running through my mind. Did I have everything I needed for the wedding dress? I was going to be changing at the church, so was everything set for that? Was there anything else I needed to do for the reception? Did my suitcase have everything I needed inside for our honeymoon? What was I forgetting? What if my shoes got too tight at the reception? Would I be able to get through the day without crying? Would everyone have a good time at the reception?

But the one thing I was NOT questioning was whether or not this was the right thing to do. I KNEW IT WAS.

I loved Ted and he loved me. We were going to be so happy together!

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Fifteen

I woke up that morning of June 14, 1980 after a restless night's sleep. Mary must have sensed that I needed some time alone. She pretty much hung out with my mom that morning, while I did some last minute things.

We had already received a fair amount of wedding gifts in the form of money and Ted and I had decided that we were going to buy a washer and dryer. I knew absolutely nothing about appliances, nor did he. We had seen an appliance store ad in our local paper that advertised a Whirlpool washer and dryer for around $500 (hey, it was a long time ago, so I can't be absolutely sure of the price, but I think I'm pretty close).

Being that Ted was the youngest of his family, he never knew what it was like to have a younger sibling, so he occasionally liked to "bond" with my brother. And Ted chose the morning of our wedding to continue the bonding process. He stopped by the house and picked up my brother (who is about four and a half years younger than me) and they went off to buy a washer and dryer. Can you really think of anything more manly than that??

In the meantime I decided to lay out in the sun for a little while. I guess I just wanted to have a little tan in my wedding dress. After an hour or so out there, I came in, took a bath, and started working on my hair and make-up.

Nowadays women go to the salon and have their nails done professionally, their hair done professionally, and their make-up done professionally. It would be nice to have those people fussing over me, but that's not how things were done back in 1980.

I've never been a person to spend a lot of time on my hair or my make-up so I knew that this was definitely not the time to experiment! I had almost always had long hair, so I knew the style would be something simple, and definitely NOT just hanging down. The make-up would consist of the very basics only.

Once those things were done, I polished my fingernails...with clear nail polish. I didn't want anything bold or bright, so a simple shine was enough for me. Good old Sally Hansen nail strengthener!

After my nails were dry, it was time for us to head up to the church. We got dressed in the basement of the rectory (where the priest lives). Fortunately all the girls in the wedding knew that I needed to sort of be left alone with my thoughts and we all did our own thing. After we were all dressed and ready to go, we went up to the living room and the photographer took some pictures.

Everyone looked so pretty. The dresses were simple but the pastel colors I had chosen really added some variety. And Holly looked absolutely adorable in her flower girl dress. She had very long naturally curly hair and had her hair back in a ponytail with the long curls hanging down. She had just recently turned four and was so cute! Although the aisle at the church was very long, we knew that she'd be able to walk down it with no trouble at all.

After the pictures were taken, we had about 10 minutes before the music was scheduled to begin. That's when I decided that I wanted to be over at the church so I could hear it. I had taken a long time selecting the music and we had an excellent organist and vocalist, so I wanted to hear them. We all went over to the church (right next door) and went into the stairwell that led to the balcony. No one saw us there and we got to hear the music, so it all worked out.

And then, before we knew it, it was time to start.

This was it.

There was no turning back now.

And I had no desire to turn back anyway!

The bridesmaids walked down the aisle.

Holly walked down the aisle, and did a fantastic job.

Mary walked down the aisle.


my dad and I started down the aisle.

I was smiling while holding onto my dad's arm and didn't look over at him on our walk.

We got to the front of the church, and the ceremony went off without a hitch. I recall looking down at my watch at one point and noted that it was 2:20 p.m. The music had started at 1:30 and the wedding had begun at 2:00. Don't ask me why I looked at my watch, or why I was even wearing a watch, because I HAVE NO IDEA!!

After the ceremony we had a receiving line in the vestibule of the church, then went outside amid flying birdseed and I somehow got a mouthful of it. I know, I know...I need to keep my mouth shut!

We took off in Ted's car with his brother Tim driving and Mary in the front seat too. Tim was honking the horn as we drove all over town. The guys had decorated the car, so of course we drew a lot of attention.

Now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I heard horns honking after a couple got married. I suppose that's another tradition that's out of style, sigh.

We went back to the church after a short ride and posed for pictures. Fortunately it was not too hot or humid, so we were pretty comfortable. The photographer took sooooooooo many pictures! My cheeks actually began to hurt from all the smiling, but it was well worth it.

After the pictures, we were off to the reception. Fortunately we'd had cookies at the reception, and the bar was open, so everyone had had a chance to get a little something to eat and drink while they were waiting for us.

Back then we had a real band, not a deejay for the music and they weren't completely set up yet. They did it quietly while we all ate and talked. But the one thing that wasn't done back then, but is done now, is introducing the bridal party as they come in. I wish we had done that, but I never even thought of it, nor do I know who would have done it.

After we'd been at the reception for an hour or so, I really needed to go to the bathroom. Before I headed there, I was trying to think the process through and realized that I was not going to be able to accomplish this task on my own. Mary and Barb (a bridesmaid) came into the bathroom with me and held my dress up over my head so I could "relieve" myself. We were quite the sight! Fortunately the stall was big and we were all able to fit in there. They even held my dress up while I washed my hands in case there was water on the floor anywhere around. I wouldn't have been able to do it without them!

The food was wonderful, the band was great, and everyone had a super time at the reception. After the dancing, the bouquet toss, and the garter toss, it was time for us to leave. We made it out of the reception hall and had to stop at the my folks' house so I could change clothes. My mom was going to take my dress to the dry cleaners while we were gone.

We left their house, with Ted still in his tux, and me in jeans and a tee-shirt! We looked like a real mish-mash! When we got to our apartment, we were going in as our next door neighbors were coming home. The guy said, "It looks like you were in a wedding today!"

Ted said very simply, "I sure was....OURS!"

He congratulated us as we closed our apartment door and began our journey into marriage