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18th Anniversary

Russian River
Sept. 3, 2007

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18 years ago we got married on the porch of Casa Majulana, before about 80 friends and family. About a week before the wedding took place, some of us asked the question whether the old cottage, perched on the hillside above the river, would actually hold 80 people. We called out a contractor friend who looked under the cottage and pulled nervously on his chin. The outcome was dubious.

So a few days before the wedding, Uncle Larry and I climbed under the cottage with some 4x4s and did what we could do shore up the structure. Our contractor friend said it would help, but suggested we work to keep bodies towards the back of the cottage.

We managed to do just that until the very end of the celebration. Jen and I had said our goodbyes, then paddled across the river in the canoe. On the beach, Jen turned to wave goodbye to the crowd, who all clambered onto the front of the porch to wave goodbye. For a moment, I wondered what that might portend, if all our closest friends and family perished in a tumbling avalanche of redwood on our wedding day.

To avoid that fate, I had to pull Jen away quicker than she might have liked. We ran up this path, to our waiting Jetta and drove off -- to the end of the driveway, where, too shaky to go on, we stopped at the Russian River Pub. "Hey, we just got married!" we announced to the crowd inside. Drinks and dinner were on them. We sat out on the patio and recounted the day for a few hours, before heading to San Francisco for our wedding night.

This year, we returned to the scene of the crime for a quiet anniversary. After Lisa and the gang celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday party left, it was just the four of us and Tommy. It was so warm that we were all able to sleep out on the porch all night -- a rare thing since most nights the river fog cools the place down enough to drive the less hardy members of our party indoors.