Time in a bottle

A week ago today, my wife, Becky, and I hit the road early to make the 41-minute, 28-mile journey to York County, South Carolina.  Our destination was the historic York County Circuit Courthouse, the place where we were married by a justice of the peace 38 years ago.  

Most of our friends know the story of how we met at a Father’s Day picnic, dated for several weeks, and then married after knowing each other for just six weeks and two days.  We had made the same trip to York one other time; I believe it was when we celebrated our 30th anniversary.  But on that occasion, it was at least a three-hour drive from our home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and we had stayed overnight at a motel.  On  neither occasion, however, did we ever dream that 38 years after making that initial trip, we would end up living less than an hour away from the place that changed our lives forever.

When we pulled up to the edifice, the streets were virtually barren of automobiles, and the parking lot was blocked off with cones, owing to an ongoing construction project.  We pulled our car to a stop a hundred feet or so down the block and got out.  The heat was stifling, much like it had been almost 40 years ago when we came there to be married.  Believe it or not, my stomach was doing the same kind of flip flopping it had done way back then.  I could almost feel those nervous jitters I had experienced at the time we eloped.  The enormity of what we had done, the risk we had taken, and the sense of the unknown was as palpable as the 85 percent humidity of the air.

York County District Courthouse

Becky and I held hands and walked the half block to the courthouse steps.  “Let’s take a picture of the courthouse by itself,” I suggested.  And we did.  There was no one around to take our photo, so  we climbed up several steps, turned our backs to the building, pulled out our cell phones, and—you guessed it— took “selfies.”  Imagine that.  Two septuagenarians taking selfies on the steps of the courthouse.  We laughed aloud like little children.

“Well, what do you want to do now?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Becky said.  “I’d love a hot dog”

There was a little lunch place across the street, but when we got closer to it, we realized it was closed.  Then I had a brainstorm.  “How about a milkshake?” I asked.  Becky’s smile gave me the only answer I could have expected.

I’d like to say that we drove around town and found a 1950s ice cream parlor, where we sat at the soda fountain and sipped strawberry and vanilla concoctions served to us by a white-hatted teenage soda jerk.  But we didn’t.  We ended up at a local Wendy’s, where we slurped down chocolate Frosties, while sitting in our car and looking on Google Maps for a park where we could finish our drinks.  We found one, but when we got there, it was only a couple of benches nestled on a grassy area the size of a postage stamp.  We decided to head for home instead.

Driving back, we reflected upon all the changes that have occurred in our lives since that memorable day so very long ago: children, grandchildren, jobs, houses, friends.  A lot of water has flowed under bridges and over dams, and many memories have been made, remembered, and forgotten.  But one thing remains crystal clear: If we had it to do all over again . . . we would . . . and in a heartbeat!  No amount of time can ever diminish the certainty of that moment.

Thank you, York, South Carolina, for making all the difference in two happy people’s lives.

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To learn more about me and my writing, visit my website at: www.joeperronejr.com or my author page on Amazon.com.  If you’ve not read one of my Matt Davis mysteries, I hope you’ll give one a try.  Start with As the Twig is Bent; it’s the first in the series.  All five Matt Davis mysteries are now available in pocketbook editions, as well as full-sized and large print editions, and, of course, in Kindle.

About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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14 Responses to Time in a bottle

  1. Joseph campisi says:

    Joe. Was checking to see if you had a new book out. If you remember me. The italian Joe in Ca. At 83 I’m doing great. Loss 100 lbs.and feel like I’m 60. Best to you and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course I remember you, Joe! Glad to hear you’re doing well. The last book I published was “Deadly Ransom,” which was the fifth in the Matt Davis Mystery Series. Nothing since then, but might surprise everyone in a year or two. Thanks for checking in! 🙂


  2. KiM says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both! The old stone church where hubby and I were married is long gone but if we visit the first house we built we know just where to find the one rock we added from the church.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, that is such a sweet memory. I imagine you two will be making more memories to share with us. Always so nice to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How sweet… Love is what it’s all about! Great selfie of you and Becky. Thanks so much for sharing your trip down memory lane. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Richard Dawley says:

    Love conquers all and is enduring. You two prove this adage. Gay is probably smiling down upon you and Judy and I are both happy that you so enjoyed your trip down memory lane.

    This blog ranks among your best pieces of writing. It exudes such feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. balroop2013 says:

    What a heart-warming post Joe and you both are looking awesome in that selfie, your pink shirt is complementing Becky’s purple top! You make a handsome couple. Cheers to many such moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks, Loretta. Glad you enjoyed it. A blessed day to you, too. 🙂


  8. Loretta Ramey says:

    Remember the saying come and grow old with me for the best is yet to be. I love reading about your life and how you and your wife are enjoying every moment of life. Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 1 person

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