I knew in December 2019 after getting home from celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in Hawaii, that however we marked our anniversary in 2020, it would pale in comparison. But then the global COVID-19 pandemic began to shake our world just a few months later and then throughout the year, changed all of our lives forever. I know I am not alone when I say it was an extremely hard year with the incredible numbers of illnesses and deaths, the huge numbers of closures, the immense loss of jobs, and the Stay-at-Home or Safer-at-Home ordnances enacted throughout the world.
So, when my wife and I began to discuss how we should celebrate our anniversary on the 22nd, just three days before Christmas in 2020, she commented that she had gotten so much in the habit of not going anywhere, that she didn’t even seem to mind it. But then she made an intriguing suggestion. Why not celebrate our anniversary down at our midtown condo?
In case you are a fairly new reader and unfamiliar with our condo, my wife and I purchased it about eight years ago to give ourselves a weekend getaway any time we wanted. After we gutted it and completely redecorated it, we had a unique spot to spend the evening that was just a short 30-minute drive from our home in the eastern suburbs of Memphis. But, when the pandemic hit and restaurants were closed, one of the main draws for us to spend the night there was taken away. As a result, we had not spent the night at our condo in over nine months.
Even with her suggestion, we knew we would still not eat out at a restaurant but could at least pick-up dinner and bring it back. Turned out, even if we had wanted to eat out, the choice was practically taken away from us as new stricter county-wide ordnances were being implemented right around Christmas because our local COVID cases had been on an exponential rise during the fall while at the same time our state became the worst place in the world to be with the highest infection rate.
I readily agreed with my wife that we should do it and so made plans accordingly.
On the afternoon of our anniversary, we drove down to the condo to begin our celebration. After settling in, my wife suggested we go for a long walk in the huge urban park not far from our condo. Fortunately, the weather was dry and warm enough for us to comfortably do so. We ended up taking over an hour walk, stopping once to get a quick anniversary selfie as the sun began to set.
We made it back to the condo just in time to sit out on our fifth-floor balcony and savor an adult beverage while watching the sunset.
We even got a chance to once again see the Christmas star, the alignment of Jupiter and Venus, that we had witnessed the night before on the winter solstice.
Having worked up a hearty appetite from our long walk, I ordered our dinner from a locally-owned restaurant in our neighborhood, one with an eclectic Pacific Rim with French influence cuisine and then drove over to pick it up.
My wife’s appetizer was bacon wrapped dates and I opted for their delicious black bean soup. We even had a really nice bottle of wine to accompany our dinner, a $60 cabernet that my wife had bid on and won at a silent auction benefitting the river conservancy our youngest son works for. I commented to my wife that this alone would likely have been a $120 bottle of wine at a restaurant, a luxury we had never had.
For our main courses, we both selected their tasty roasted sea bass on black Thai rice (Sorry I forgot to take a photo before we both dived in).
Over dinner, we reflected on some of the fun experiences we had had over our 41 years of marriage.
Fully satiated after dinner, we sat around relaxing and reading while savoring the remains of our wonderful wine before retiring for the night (my wife and I are huge readers and read every single night).
The next morning, it took a moment for me to recognize where I was as this was the first time, I had spent the night away from home since the middle of March (the last time I had spent the night at the condo). We had taken our usual breakfast items down and so had a relaxing breakfast and a quick shower before we loaded up and headed back home.
As we drove home, I told my wife I was really glad that we had celebrated our anniversary that way and told her what a great suggestion it had been. It was truly wonderful in the middle of a raging pandemic to be able to do something that was both fun and safe. What had been a normal weekend getaway prior to the pandemic became a very special outing for the two of us. For it really was great to finally get to spend an enjoyable night down at our condo!