When we met, Cliff’s very first words to me were “Nice to see you again.”
My quick quip, “Nice to see you again too.”
But I’m getting ahead of my story. Way ahead . . .
* * *
During the months of June and July, I published a series of posts about moving from our large family home to a smaller abode. An earlier post discussed this move from my husband’s point of view: His Turn, an Artist Discards, Donates, and Discovers. I mentioned then that I may reveal later some of Cliff’s discoveries, unearthed drawings from an armoire that have not seen the light of day for literally decades.
I’m showing the first one on this post.
But first, some background . . .
Through the ingenuity of my Pennsylvania neighbor next door, Paul Mumma, I met Cliff, his college roommate, as a blind date on December 18, 1965, a fact I recorded in an entry with many embellishments in my journal. My iPhone says the day of the week that year was a Saturday.
On what turned out to be a double date, Paul, his girlfriend Betty, Cliff and I drove down Anchor Road on the way to the education building of a small church which the four of us intended to decorate for Christmas. On a blackboard in one of the Sunday School rooms Cliff first revealed his artistic talent by drawing a Santa Claus, mostly for my benefit, I surmise. (Sorry, the Santa Claus has been erased.)
A few days later, he had me pose in the living room of my parents’ home for many minutes. He explained that he was drawing my portrait. I sat very still for a long, long time.
Cliff finally flipped the paper to expose the drawing. I was aghast when I saw what the clever artist had been playing with on paper for forty-five minutes: He had morphed my then-slender figure into a porky jungle animal with a cute blue bow.
He laughed heartily when he saw my shocked reaction.
After the gasp, all ll I could manage was an incredulous giggle. “You got me,” I thought.
The next week was Christmas. Then I heard him tell me, “I think I am falling in like.”
Really? What’s that like, I wondered.
About a week later, Cliff drew a proper picture of me.
He drew a good likeness of the serious me and prophesied my future, I think, by exaggerating my pile of dark hair and miniaturizing my prayer cap.
He signed it, Love, Cliff.
Yes, Reader, I married him.
Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present. ~ Jane Eyre, Ch. 38, C. Brontë
Our wedding was not quiet. And more than four people were present.
A few weeks ago when Cliff pulled out piles of papers and other drawings including the one above, a small bag fell out from one of the crevices in the same art armoire. The envelope was dusty but well-preserved after years in hiding. Inside he found an anniversary card he apparently had bought in his travels and had been intending to give me about 10-15 years ago, so he imagines. Time had preserved the lacy layers. But he added a fresh, new message.
Dear Reader, have you ever found lost or long-buried mementoes of sentimental value?
Thank you for adding your discoveries here.
By the way, our move became a reality yesterday, August 9, in case you are wondering when all this hoopla has culminated. Next week, prepared in advance: Summer on Anchor Road: Sights, Smells, & Sounds