On September 16,1997 David asked me to be his girlfriend, and today, September 16, 2017, we celebrate 11 years of marriage and 20 years of togetherness.
We’ve been coming to the tiny Texas town of Round Top since before we were married. Some trips have been made separately, but we’ve made most together. I came alone to pray and strategize the year we decided I would quit my corporate job to start a nonprofit ministry. We’ve come for retreats and trainings, and we’ve brought friends here. We’ve come to rest and cry when life left us weary and broken. And we’ve celebrated many anniversaries here - this one included.
Round Top may only be a two and a half hour drive, but it feels worlds apart from home. With a grand population of 90, everything moves slower here. I’ve wondered from time to time if we should move here, but it seems likely that we’d just bring our busyness, and pretty soon, we’d need a new place to escape. Part of the beauty is that it isn’t home. It’s comfortable and familiar, yet refreshing and away.
Last weekend was full of normal life activities, children, grocery shopping and laundry. There was also an abundance of abnormal activities because our community is deep into recovery efforts from a catastrophic flood.
But this weekend, none of that.
We’ve grown to prefer simple celebrations. We stayed in our pajamas till almost eleven yesterday, sitting around on comfy couches with mug after mug of coffee. We laughed and reminisced and dreamed and napped. We had pie and lattes, and tried a new restaurant with pretty market lights strung outside. Today was spent holding hands as we meandered through antique shops and tents full of treasures, engaging in thoughtful conversations with complete strangers.
I think one of the reasons we come alive here is because there is so much quiet and natural beauty. You drive through endless fields of green and wild flowers to get anywhere. And if you need food (or coffee creamer), there’s no big, shining grocery store chain, only The Mercantile - the most quaint, friendly corner store you’ve ever seen. Cell service is spotty at best and the sky is totally dark at night, painting the perfect black velvet backdrop for the stars. There’s far less concrete and distraction. My whole body exhales as soon as we veer toward the left exit off the highway that leads to this special place.
Our 20 years of togetherness has been a winding road. There’ve been miles of both joy and sorrow, and truth be told, more hustle than rest most of the time. We’ve done a lot of things well, but we’ve each needed plenty of restarts and do-overs too. Two precious daughters joined us along the way and there’s been more silliness, laughter, and adventure than I ever dreamed.
Our time here has been slow and simple, and just as sweet as ever. I love that we come back here, but not just to this place, to each other.
As I consider it all - all these twenty years have brought - two significant themes come to mind: grace and connection. This is the road that leads us home.
I want to hear your thoughts - please comment below! Where is your special place to find simplicity and a deep breath?