I continued "God's Smuggler" today and read about Andrew and Corrie's wedding. Prior to the wedding, they had both been working very long and hard, Corrie nursing and Andrew helping in refugee camps. They were planning to go from Holland to France, but, after the reception and time with all their family and friends tiredness hit them. They ended up not far from home, staying in a small house trailer in a tree grove near a restaurant. That was it.
It brought back a funny memory for me. So much the same.
When Dave and I married it was a rainy, windy September afternoon. Dave had worked at the Air Force Base until noon, trying to get all the computer stuff in place for the stretch he'd be gone. I had done nearly everything needed for the wedding and had worked at an office until a couple days before. We hadn't arranged for anyone to prepare the sanctuary prior to the wedding or set up the fellowship hall or clean the church or pick up anything afterward and neither of us had family we could ask to stay. So, except for one couple who stepped in to help, after the reception we straightened things up, cleaned the kitchen, and made certain the church was prepared for the Sunday service.
The wedding began at 2:00 and the reception ended shortly after 4:00. We reached his house [which that afternoon had become "mine"] around 6:00. We had 3 hours to be alone, and then my kids [which during the service had become "his"] and their friends from church were going to have a chaperoned youth group night there and we needed to be gone. [We realized later that we were foolish to allow that suggestion to hit; we should have had the kids go to the chaperon's apartment and give us the house, but sometimes wisdom doesn't kick in soon enough.]
We left at 9:30 and went to eat dinner. We hadn't eaten, except for a bit of cake, since before noon. We left a podunk Chinese restaurant about 11:00 and headed east for the interstate to go towards Sioux City, about 100 miles north of us. We had very little money, and we figured we'd find a cheap enough motel room to get us through the night, and that was all that counted.
As I mentioned before, it was rainy. When Dave started driving, the rain was slithering across the windows and bouncing quietly off the roof and hood. While we headed towards Iowa's I-29, and were crossing the Missouri river on the Mormon bridge, fewer than 10 miles away from the restaurant, Dave started to nod off. About 5 minutes later, when we reached the entrance to I-29, Dave pulled off the highway and I became the driver. He was out cold, almost instantly.
As I drove, I kept finding myself waking up in another lane, headed for the median or the shoulder. I just kept hollering at God to help me get where I needed to without an accident.
I honestly don't remember exactly where, but about 50 or 60 miles later, I pulled into a rest area. It was 12:30. We slept until 3:30. I continued to drive [he continued to sleep] and we reached Brookings, SD, about 6:30. The nice motel clerk charged us only $18 for a day rate as a honeymoon gift.
By the end of Sunday, after leaving the motel around 1:00, we reached our honeymoon "retreat" in northern Minnesota ... Susie's house ... where we stayed for several days. LOTS of rest, finally. What a blessing!
But the funny part for me is that when people talk about the wonderful places they stayed for their wedding night, the glorious candlelight and champagne and delicious dinners... I just mention that, as thrilled as we were to be married, and as much as we enjoyed our alone time, sleeping in a rest area on a very chilly night was most certainly not what we had anticipated.