Jan 162009

Today is a very special day for Terry and myself. We are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. And what a wonderful time we have had together since that day when we stood in Judge Reinhold’s courtroom in Lakeside, Arizona, and the good judge pronounced us man and wife! 

Terry and I always say that in some ways it feels like we are still on our first date, and at the same time it feels like we have been together forever. Here’s our love story, if you care to hear it:

We had known each other for many years. Terry ran a commercial glass shop that advertised in the small town newspaper that I owned. At that time I was in a bad marriage, and since Terry always wore a big ring on her finger, I assumed she was married as well. We were just business acquaintances, though I always admired her because she is that combination of a beautiful and intelligent woman who is very real and never “puts on airs” as my Mama used to say. With Terry, what you see is what you get, and I found that very refreshing.

After my marriage ended, I instructed my friends that if I ever said I was going to get hitched again, please shoot me. I had been shot twice and married twice, and you can get over shot quicker and with less financial outlay. 

One week I wrote a silly little column in my newspaper about making the transformation to the single life. I wrote that I had learned that I could survive for a weekend on Pepsi and Toaster Strudel, and that in a pinch, I could wash my underwear in the dishwasher and dry them in the microwave. But I lamented the fact that the bakery in town had closed its doors, and a chubby little cherub like myself needed sweets, so somebody had better send me either a recipe or a woman. Terry responded by sending me a big plate of brownies with a note that read “Quit your sniveling!”

The brownies were delicious, and I got a chuckle out of the note. When I called Terry to thank her, she said “Anytime you want something like that, just let me know. I love to cook and bake and I don’t have anybody to do it for.” I asked her why she didn’t bake for her husband, and she told me she had been single for fourteen years. “I work with contractors and construction workers all the time,” she told me, “I wear the ring to keep guys from hitting on me.” (Now, you have to wonder, after fourteen years, if she settled on me, what kind of troglodytes did she pass on?)

Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so when my secretary told me “Terry is sending you a signal, but you’re too dumb to know it” I didn’t believe her. But over a period of several weeks I began stopping in at Terry’s shop more frequently, and we really hit it off. It was amazing how much we found that we had in common.

Eventually I screwed up my courage and asked her out to a movie and dinner. We snuggled down in our seats at the theater and whispered to each other all through the movie (don’t ask me what movie it was, neither of us can remember). Afterwards we went to dinner, then sat and talked until dawn. I was smitten.

Two weeks later we had our second date, to the Fall Festival in our little mountain town. I was on the board of directors of the battered women’s shelter, and we had arranged a fund raiser in which the town council and other local “dignitaries” were supposed to take turns in a dunking booth. You know the type, where you pay a buck to throw three balls at a target, and if you hit it, the person inside the booth drops down into a pool of water.  It was a chilly day, with temperatures about 50 degrees, and suddenly the local luminaries decided it would be “undignified” to climb up onto the dunking platform.

Well, if you’ve ever met me, you know that I’m about as undignified as they come, so I handed Terry my jacket, shoes and socks, and climbed aboard. It took all of about three seconds until some cowboy with a good eye nailed the target and I dropped down into the water. Damn, that was cold!

That’s when I discovered that I was too short and pudgy to hoist myself back up onto the metal platform. The dunking tank was a wire basket with a canvas reservoir full of water in it, so I had to hook my fingers and toes in and crawl back up the side of it and slide myself into my seat. I didn’t have time to get comfortable, because that cowboy had two balls left, and he used them well! Twice more I got dunked and crawled back up. No sooner had the cowboy stepped aside than the local postmaster, a good buddy of mine, took his place. Bill wasn’t quite as good a pitcher, but he managed to dunk me one throw out of three.   

The local radio station was doing a live remote broadcast, and the announcer was another good buddy of mine. JJ the DJ announced over the airwaves “Folks, if Nick Russell has ever written something that ticked you off, it’s payback time. Come on out and get him wet. It’s all for a good cause!”

And come they did! I was in that dunking booth for over three hours, and we raised over $3,000 for the women’s shelter. By then my toes and finger were bloody from crawling back up that dumb canvas bag, and I was so blue that I looked like a smurf.

Terry was in tears much of the time, though I never have been sure whether it was sympathy for me or mortification from being out in public with the class clown. Whatever it was, she took me home, dried me off, and kept me. We’ve been together ever since.

Happy anniversary baby. I love you more and more every day.

Thought For The Day – Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  23 Responses to “A Very Special Day”

  1. Congrats on the anniversary!

    Nice romantic and interesting story.


    See you in a couple of weeks….

    Hugs……….Pat and Mike

  3. Congrats Terry and Nick. Say Nick, you may have struck out twice in the marriage department but I am glad you won 3rd time up at bat! Safe travels.

  4. Happy Anniversary Nick and Terry. May you have many more happy years together as you travel the blue highways.

  5. Wishing you two the very best life can bring, for many years years to come!

  6. Your story is just wonderful–I often wondered! Thanks for telling us, and congratulations on this special day. May you travel safely, happily and healthily for many years to come.

  7. Congratulations Terry and Nick.

    My first “real date” with Jaimie was in the parking lot of the IGA in Ajo.

  8. Wow, what a beautiful love story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! My dad also finally found true love with his third wife (NOT my mom), and I loved my stepmother dearly for the wonderful life she gave him until the day he died.

  9. Happy anniversary to you both. It is so refreshing to have a man openly acknowledge his love for his wife. It is obvious that you both are deeply in love and are “friends”, otherwise you would not be able to live together in the close confines of a motorhome. Congratulations!

  10. Happy Anniversary, Nick & Terry! Isn’t it the greatest thing in life to be married to your best friend? We are also “retreads” – both having a first marriage that told us what a second marriage should REALLY be! 🙂 Enjoy every minute! We’ll see you in Celina!

  11. Congrats! What a happy love story. I can’t wait to see the movie! Happy Anniversary and many more.

  12. Happy Anniversary! I’m looking forward to meeting you both in a couple of weeks. I know I had to kiss a couple of frogs with bad breath before I found my prince and we will be celebrating our 20th this year.

  13. I’ve heard your story before, but I loved hearing it again! As you know, you’ve been inspiration for me to take the leap yet another time, *and* to live in less than 400 sq ft with a new husband. Congratulations, you two!

  14. What a lovely story! Happy anniversary and many more to come.

  15. Happy Anniversary! Great story too! Thanks for sharing.

  16. HAppy Anniversary!! What a great love story. Mac and I were married once before we got together and we had a great beginning also. We have been married 24 years as of December 22, 2008. Again, Congrats…

  17. Congratulations and best wishes for many more years together!! We are now heading towards 37 years and can tell you that the best is yet ahead!! It is good to have a comfortable companion along for the journey.

  18. Happy Anniversary to you both. This is my second marriage and Doni’s third. This July it will be 28 years. It’s great how things work out…isn’t it.

  19. Terry & Nick,

    Sincere continued happiness. That is a story that can’t be topped. And imagining Nick as a Smurf has me laughing to no end. You guys are a tonic for each other and we readers benefit from a great relationship.

    Best wishes,

    George & Sandy Stoltz

  20. Congratulations Terry and Nick!!! May you have many more wonderful years together.

  21. Knowing how talented Terry is, did she ever try tossing the baseball at you while at the dunk tank(or since)? Congratulations, we’re so glad we get to share your love and happiness. Knock on wood, we’re working on year 39 together.
    See you soon,
    Judy and Luke

  22. Darn it Nick you’ve got this 47 year young bachelor all teary eyed! You certainly are a blessed man. Here’s to another 11.

  23. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Happy anniversary. We wish you many more to come.

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