THE Dress

One the car was bought and we moved the wedding to June 4, I was then in full wedding planning. Not that I hadn’t been before, but it seemed more real now. I had purposefully waited until January when the Spring and Summer lines were out to shop for the dress. But, now it was time.

One Saturday in late January/early February, Mom and Jason had UK basketball tickets. They bought an extra one for Barney, and Kim and I decided to use this day to shop for wedding dresses in Lexington. We dropped them off at the game and headed to the shops. The dress was the first one I tried on. Yet, I wanted to be sure. So, we went to several other shops and tried on many more. We had to wait for the game to be over after all. 🙂

Once the game was over, we picked up the rest of the gang an went to the first shop. We had narrowed it down to two dresses. I put both back on. The family thought the one we didn’t choose was too much dress. It was aw full ball gown with the “cup-cake” underskirt and even more ruffles and material. The dress was perfect. I love it to this day. We have had a picture of me in it hanging in each of our bedrooms through the years, and it is still in our bedroom today.

Spring 1983

Spring began the frequent trips back and forth. You now had a car, so could drive.

Yet, before we begin with the memories, I am now convinced that some of the letters are missing as my letters to you stop in October when you get off the ship and your letters to me have big gaps from October to March and stop in early March. I remember that we re-read some of the letters together when we were packing to move into this (Wooded Forest) home and decided to pull some of the more intimate letters in case our children, then seven and nine, ever read them. But, that couldn’t account for all of them. I’m still hoping to run across them some day. We always said about anything that was lost, “I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.” Back to the memories . . .

I took every opportunity to show off my sailor. So, this Spring, I asked you to wear your uniform for Easter. And, this was the time where everybody got a new outfit and wore corsages.

Our first Easter

In late ’82 or early ’83, you were recommended for officer training with glowing scores. You were so proud of the evaluations that you mailed them to me with one of your letters. But, you turned it down because it would require you to re-enlist for at least another three years. You were already thinking about getting out of the NAVY, because you hated the separation from me.

I didn’t think about it at the time, but that’s a big part of our love story. You had loved the NAVY, because it gave you a sense of belonging and adventure prior to our meeting. Yet, now you said that your life began when you met me, and you were willing to to do anything to be with me. And, I felt the same about you. We were a strong team from the very beginning.

Our First Overnight Trip

During Spring Break, I went up to D.C. with you to see our new home. We stayed with Josh Beckham and his fiancĂ©. They were renting a house off-base, and she was just decorating it as well. While you boys were at work, we shopped for bedroom dĂ©cor. It was becoming real that were becoming a family. We slept in the basement on a blow-up mattress as they didn’t have guest room, but we loved it. We were setting up our home and on our first trip together.

On the way home, we were anxious to be married and decided to elope. Yet, we were driving Dad’s car as the used one you bought from Fred wasn’t as dependable as Dad wanted for his little girl to travel in. So, we called Dad to ask for his permission our of respect for him and because we were driving his car. He said no and explained that I would regret that impulsive decision later. He was right. I loved (and still love the memories of) our wedding.

I thought it special at the time and still even more special in memories that both you and Daddy thought of me as your little girl. You would say that I would always be your little girl, and I was Daddy’s pampered princess. I didn’t have a job until I met you and wanted to make money for our life. Daddy said my job was school. So, even my first job at Balloon World worked around my school schedule. I loved that you didn’t mind and even appreciated that I was high maintenance. You took taking care of your little girl seriously.

Our First Valentine’s Day

You flew home on February 19 to celebrate a belated Valentine’s day and buy the car. The Fields agree to allow payments. As we were visiting with them, we discussed the new wedding date. They (Fred, Linda, and Mike Fields with Ross and Mendy Roberson) were going to be on vacation that weekend. As they were a large part of the wedding party, we moved the date – up, not back, of course. We were already impatient as I mentioned earlier. And, that is how the June 4th date was established.