We took a little stroll yesterday down Memory Lane. Actually, it's on John Street in Matthews, NC. We were a few minutes early to a birthday party for the girls' cousin Peyton, and we decided to use those few minutes to take a quick look around The Reid House, where Mandi and I were married almost 4 years ago.
There were a few striking similarities to that July day in 2004. The most obvious was the searing heat. Temperatures rose above 97 degrees yesterday, just a degree or two shy of the 99 degree record we set on our wedding day. No person can attest to the heat of that afternoon better than Avery. The image of her crying uncontrollably in her flower girl dress because of the unrelenting heat (and mosquitoes) is indelibly etched in my mind. When I asked her if she remembered the moment, she replied "Yes, and I was trying to talk to Aunt Kristy and all she would say to me is Shhh!". The next day, she proclaimed her desire never to be a flower girl ever again, and I can't say that I blamed her.
When we pulled in to the driveway yesterday, another car pulled up right behind us. A woman got out and after the pleasantries we learned that she had hosted a party at the House the night before. We would have been content to just walk around the grounds and reminisce, but she offered to let us come inside as she did her final walk-through. We accepted happily, and the memories flooded back. It was fun to show Lily the room where mommy got into her wedding dress, the table where the wedding cake mommy and daddy made themselves was displayed, and the spot where her Aunt C gave her 2nd memorable speech in as many days. The Matthews' Historical Foundation, which operates the Reid House, has done a very nice job keeping the House in shape since our date . . it looks very much the same as it did.
As we left, I snapped one last photo of the house, this one of the door through which the wedding party left the house that hot, fateful day in July four years ago. I have long thought of that moment not as walking out, but rather walking through the door that led to the rest of my life.