31 years ago, thirty-one!

Today would have made it 31 years since Karl Michael Bauer and I said, “I do” in front of the Justice of the Peace in Germany. It was three weeks before our church wedding in Cincinnati. We had hosted a traditional party the night before to celebrate. The whole village was invited! Hundreds of people came to the party, which we held in the municipal building. Brats, mets, salads, hard rolls and beer, Apfelwein and shots! Lots of shots! And there was the traditional “making a mess of things”….Paper, porcelain, china…all smashed in our courtyard for us to clean up. Its a silly tradition that can get completely out of hand when your husband-to-be is a leader in the community. He was a volunteer fireman, soccer player, former hockey player, Fasching board member (Marti-gras), on the men’s comedy dance-team, and a former member of the fitness society and President of the County Electrical Union. Yep….lots of paper and porcelain. LOTS. We had to hire a dumpster to get it all hauled away. The premise is to make it so hard, that it can only get easier in married life.

Well, we returned to our apartment after a long night of pushing brooms and sweeping, socializing and drinking only to find our bedroom filled with balloons….We had to pop hundreds of them to find our bed! A few were filled with soda, which really pissed me off! Really? Let’s make a mess inside while we’re at it! (It had to be his best friends…). And, then to make matters even more terrible and push me totally over the top….our bed was filled with dried peas, lentils and rice….all under the sheets. Now that needed to be cleaned up as well. AND your appointment at the courthouse was at 10am. It was going to be a really hard day. I was in tears.

Sincerely, it could only get better from here, right?

Of course the morning brought with it tears of frustration (still LOTS to clean up) and joy. Our lives were on path of the first day of the rest of our lives. Celebration with the family in Germany and dinner and gift opening (hundreds of them!). I think we got 6 butter dishes! I still have one today, the square European kind! Towels, and more towels still. Breakfast boards galore (Brettchen used for sandwiches). And on and on. It was the beginning of what we wanted.

Now we had a “wedding” to get ready for. White dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen, 125 guests, wedding cake, a live band and the whole 9 yards.

This was it, what every girl dreams of; the beginning of our Happily-ever-after.


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