This year, my husband and I celebrated 13 years of marriage.
Due to scheduling difficulties and spending our savings on finally building the three-car garage that we’ve been saving for, we decided to make it a small, relatively inexpensive celebration.
We made a day trip to Buena Vista, Colorado. Buena Vista is a little mountain town about two hours away from our home in Colorado Springs. They have a lovely little downtown with unique shops and restaurants. They also have a hot springs resort a few miles away.
We’d been there before, so we mostly knew what to expect. When we arrived, we grabbed some pizza from a mom-and-pop shop that we had visited the last time we were there. The staff is friendly and the service is quick.
Then, we headed over to the downtown area and did a little shopping. I was worried that it was going to be too chilly for me, as the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees from the previous day. It turned out to be perfect. The sun shined like it normally does and helped keep me warm as we walked from store to store.
There is a fair trade shop that I love visiting while I’m there. If I’m going to spend money, I want it to also help people who truly deserve some extra funds, not a corporation that has more than they know what to do with. I picked up a cute little dragon garland, a journal with the moon on it, and a weekender bag.
We also hit a thrift and consignment store there. My husband found a couple of strands of crystal stones and I found a white jacket.
Once we’d wandered enough there, we headed over to the hot springs. The Cottonwood hot springs resort is usually my husband’s favorite part. He loves soaking in the hot water. We spent a good couple of hours there. At one point, we met a couple and had a nice conversation. We discussed our jobs, our garage, where we all like to travel. Mostly the usual stuff.
When we were done soaking, we quickly changed and headed back downtown to get dinner. There is a restaurant that replaced the pet supply store. They sell pizza and some other unique items. After we’d ordered, we sat there chatting about various things. We were close enough to the bar that when an older couple—the woman using a walker—started to climb into the bar chairs, my husband suggested they join us.
They said they didn’t want to interrupt our meal, but we insisted they wouldn’t be. The table sat four people and we were only using two of those places. We scooted over toward the wall, so they could easily sit down with us.
The hostess said she was so surprised by our act of kindness, and she was overwhelmed by how happy it made her feel to see someone doing something like that. I guess, in a way, it restored a little of her faith in humanity.
They ordered their food, and we had a wonderful conversation with them. We learned that they were from Missouri and they travel all over but had been to Buena Vista multiple times. We discussed our love for our dogs and how they all have their own personalities. I don’t remember everything we talked about, but the feeling I came away with was pure joy.
These two had been married for years and still loved one another deeply. They knew everything about each other but didn’t find the other boring. They loved traveling together, even if it meant that their dog might be upset with them for a while.
It felt great to have a connection with another couple, even for a brief meal.
In the end, the gentleman picked up the bill. We told him it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted. Then, he suggested that when we’re older, to pay it forward to a nice young couple and then suggest to them to do the same when they have added some years to their relationship.
It just might be the gift that keeps on giving for a long time. We never told them it was our anniversary, but I’m sure they knew we are like them—in love.