Friday, April 26, 2013

An Anniversary Today!

Chuck and Angie Mood
April 26, 1980
So, today is our 33rd wedding anniversary.  It is not one of those, "Wow, where did the time go?" days because it feels like we have been doing this dance always, not in a bad way but in the way that says, "I don't remember life without you and its good!"

Our anniversary week always begins with remembering the day, April 23, 1980, that my husband graduated from Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. That day started our "wedding week" and it was a whirlwind.
Isabelle Hume Mood, 2LT Charles Mood,
 Angie Abbate Mood
Lackland Air Force Base
April 23, 1980

Chuck's parents and I flew to San Antonio for his graduation on a Tuesday.  After arriving in San Antonio we quickly took in a River Parade the night before attending his graduation on Wednesday of that week. We flew home to Florida on Thursday afternoon. Friday was the rehearsal and dinner, Saturday the wedding and on Sunday we said goodbye to family and friends before heading toward California on Monday. Destination?  Mather Air Force Base.

Our wedding? A typical 1980s affair with a plethora of qiana dresses, lace and sheer capes, Farah Faucett hair, wide lapels and ruffled tuxedo shirts, bridesmaids in a "rainbow" of blues and purples, ribbon bedecked flowers, a unity candle, traditional vows, and a friend who crooned Dan Fogleberg's new hit "Longer" and a 1940s hit by Irving Berlin (chosen by our mothers) "Always."  Our reception was held at Chuck's sister's home complete with her awesome neighbors who directed traffic and aunts who added the perfect touch to all the details. It was magical for us, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in his Mess Dress and his bride ready to take on the world.

Angie's Hiking Outfit!
Within one week of Chuck's graduation and just days after our wedding we had made our way half way across the country driving my beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro (8 miles to the gallon all the way to Cali baby!) carefree and well, not exactly. We, of course, didn't have much money so we had decided that we should camp on our way. After all, I figured, Chuck is an Eagle Scout, he is great at this and it will be an adventure for me. After several nights in a pup tent and not having brought anything remotely "camping like" in my suitcase I was pretty much done. Seriously, like, he even had these little plastic holders for his soap and his toothbrush and stuff like a raincoat for heavens sake! I had some really cute shoes, a blow dryer and curling iron and a bunch of sun dresses. It was the night in El Paso, Texas that finished me in. After driving all day, getting stopped for speeding in the middle. of. nowhere. Texas. (Yep, that was me driving while Chuck snoozed!), hiking up some mountain to see a fort, in heels, no place to plug in a blow dryer at the KOA Campground and freezing in the desert evening, I was near the edge. What pushed me over was the hail storm as we literally held the tent down with our bodies that night. We didn't camp again for another year!
Yep, there she is,
 the beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro!

The last day of our trip the battery went dead in the beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro. (Did I mention how much I loved my beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro?) We got a jump start in southern California and drove the rest of the way to Sacramento without turning the car off.  We arrived at Mather, parked the beautiful, red 1974 Camaro and there it sat until the next day when we could get help. Yep, we walked to the TLF (Temporary Living Facility, in Air Force speak.) that would be our home for the first few weeks of marriage.

Charles Gordon Mood, Angie Abbate Mood, COL Charles Wayne Mood,
 Sarah Mood Lyons, James Alexander Lyons
Chuck's retirement, April 2012

Here are some take aways after 33 years. Chuck retired from the Air Force last year on April 23, the 32nd anniversary of his commissioning, a job more than well done. We still visit forts on most every road trip and I am still rarely dressed appropriately for the occasion. I sometimes, actually, enjoy the journey more all these years later. Us= me, always in a hurry...Chuck, never too busy to notice the details along the way. We see people with campers now and
we wonder, "What if......" (Campers mind you, not pup tents!). Two amazing children and one equally amazing son-in-law and a grand baby on the way, God has blessed us beyond measure. Chuck is a man of integrity, one of the many great qualities I love about my husband. Thirty three years and counting, "I'll be loving you always"*..."even when the binding cracks and the pages turn to yellow!"*

*Irving Berlin's "Always"
*Dan Fogleberg's "Longer"

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