It is Birthday time for MJ. We begin our celebrations early. Her actual birthday is Monday the 24th. My birthday is on October 24 and our anniversary is on March 24. We like 24! We made our way to Cape Girardeau, Missouri for a fine lunch at Katy O’Ferrells Publick House, graciously purchased by Jonathon. But first, was our tour of the plethora of antique stores along the river front.
The first store that we entered was, Pastime Antiques, and what did we come upon…but a large bronze statue of Frederic Remington’s, The Bronco Buster, and I was immediately captivated.
I had admired the Bronco Buster for most of my life and have seen it in a multitude of different mediums. I remember Paul Sebastian cologne, which I purchased at our former Famous Barr department store, and they’re wonderful gifts that the cologne company provided with a purchase of their product….Especially around Christmas. One holiday season I purchased a cologne for myself that was accompanied by a Remington Bronco Buster, in a small porcelain-black figurine that was suitable for setting on a desk. I gave the replica to Ray, my boss, for Christmas and he displayed it in his office for several years.
This weekend we travel for a fine Italian dinner at Bella Milano in O’Fallon, Illinois and then a visit to Powell Hall to hear the great rhythm and blues singer, Aaron Neville. A few years ago we visited New Orleans and although we made great efforts to enjoy some extraordinary jazz music…we did not.
As I reflect on the years that MJ and I have spent together…I marvel at the exciting and challenging and happy and miraculous journey that it has been. On our first date, I insisted that we ride in my 1963 Ford Fairlane car. It was in January of 1978 and I had a large hole in the floor board of the drivers side of the automobile and the back of my seat was held in place by a board that had to be removed by anyone that wanted to sit in the back…and then replaced. She wore her, lambs wool coat and her cheeks were rosy red. It was cold!
On my first day back to work after our three day honeymoon…I was thrilled to find two cheeseburgers in my lunch box. I thought to myself, ‘this marriage thing is going to work out well!’ When I told MJ how happy that I was with the upgrade to my traditional lunch of either peanut butter…or nothing…she said that I should not get used to hamburgers as our budget could not afford it….
The joy of having a partner to accompany you through the roller coaster ride of life, is difficult to describe. As we were driving home from Cape, yesterday, I said something that I had been thinking and she laughed and commented that she had been thinking the same thing. This mind reading phenomena happens on a regular basis, in the Brooks home.
The years have zoomed by…and I obviously eat hamburger when I desire them. But the affection that I have for my young bride only becomes greater each year. And…she bought my birthday present on her birthday!