Monday, July 4, 2005, 1730 hours. Chickasaw national recreation area, Pavilion springs in Sulphur, Oklahoma.
The weather was gorgeous, very hot, muggy, the sun was shining, and the sky was blue with very few clouds in the sky.
The covered pavilion was constructed out of brick and wood, a few concrete steps led down to the floor of the pavilion. There was a natural spring in the middle of the pavilion, cold water flowed constantly. Metal folding chairs were sat in rows on both sides of the spring.
Many of our family and friends sat in the chairs. Some were standing.
I pinned my grandfather’s boutonniere on the left side of his shirt just over his heart. “Inside your heaven” by Carrie Underwood began to play. Mitchell and Chuck stood to the left of the Reverend. My Aunt Deedee walked slowly down the steps, then immediately left and stood to the right of the pastor. When the song finished, I walked to the left side of my papa, and locked my arm with his. A family friend stood behind me straightening the train of my dress. The wedding march played as my grandfather and I walked gracefully in sync. My eyes met Mitchell’s, they were misty. He smiled bigger and brighter than I’d ever seen before. As we stood in front of the preacher, my grandfather placed my hand in Mitchell’s and gave me away. I stood there, my eyes glued to his. We promised to love each other until death that day.
The wedding was short and sweet. We chose a hay ride as our exit. Crawford and Sharon drove a black Chevrolet truck. Two square bales of hay sat against the cab of the truck in the bed. The words “Just married” were written in red bold, large letters on the back window. As we rode through the town of Sulphur cars honked and people waved as they drove past. My veil blew in the wind as the truck traveled along the two lane highway toward Davis.
Our wedding reception was at Sharon and Crawford’s house. A table set along the north wall of their living room. On the left end of the table, our small wedding cake sat on a pedestal with a lighted fountain underneath. My grandfather baked and decorated our wedding cake. It was two tier, heart shaped, with white icing and pink and white roses around the edge of both layers. On the right end of the table, was a large chocolate on chocolate sheet cake. Friends and family stood around the open kitchen, and lined the furniture.
Our song “Bless the broken road” played. He had his arms wrapped around my waist; my arms were loosely draped around his neck. We held each other close, and danced in the middle of the living room until the song ended.
After our first dance, I changed into jean shorts and a white shirt. He wore jeans and a T shirt. We sat the front yard with our friends and family for the majority of the night. Some set off fireworks; others just sat around and visited. We didn’t plan a honeymoon; instead we stayed in a hotel room in Paul’s Valley. We were both so exhausted that we fell asleep almost immediately. I looked at him just before my eyes closed, smiled and said “We’re married.” He said “Good night my beautiful wife.”
The next months were pretty close to perfect. We just lived. We worked, cleaned house, went to the laundromat, paid bills, and cooked. We would disagree occasionally; we always made up pretty quickly.
In August Mitchell tried to teach me to drive his truck, it was a standard. I grew frustrated because he thought it was hilarious when the truck would roll backward or die at stop signs. I finally told him I would drop him off at his sister’s and teach myself to drive a standard. We spent many days at Sharon and Crawford’s house. We would smoke cigarettes, laugh, and play video games. I loved his family.