Anniversary Pizza?

italian-flag-29640-mItaly, 1974.  Our “home” was an old tent set up in a field owned by a local family.  The rest of our summer mission team of about a dozen international 20-somethings slept somewhere in the rugged farmhouse.  We got the tent because we were the only married couple and it was our first full summer together. We were thrilled to have “our own place!”

Our first anniversary was coming up and we wanted to celebrate Italian style all by ourselves as a LOT of our time was spent with the team.  We also had no money of our own to speak of so as usual, I prayed for a way for this to all work out.

This is how it happened…

If you are old enough, you might remember aerogrammes, very thin paper for writing an overseas letter which folded up in a way to avoid a need for an envelope.  All over it was stamped. “no enclosures.”

One made its way to us on the Italian farm from a farm in Illinois. My grandpa had not only surprisingly written but enclosed a $10 bill.  I knew that it was my answer!

A few days later we visited the local bank to exchange it for Italian lira, you got a LOT of lira for $10 forty years ago!  I had noted a cute little place in one of the villages so we decided to go there to celebrate.

On the morning of our anniversary, we received a card and flowers from the rest of the team with warm wishes for a special evening.  Meanwhile, we spent the day in an Italian  church, lunching and siesta-ing and a meeting with our team.

Anniversary cardOur first Anniversary card!

Finally, it was time for our date!  We walked into a little pizzeria in a tiny village and by the reaction, no one who looked like us, very American!, had ever walked in before.  We ordered our pizza and coke and settled in for a wonderful evening.  The pizza was actually somewhat of a disappointment in its flavor but we sure didn’t mind at all.  We were alone in Italy celebrating our infant marriage.

pizza-503136-mIt DIDN’t look like this!

Before we made our way back, we found gelato and a little candy and read aloud to each other part of one of the Chronicles of Narnia as was our pattern that summer.

A very precious evening.

So much so, that we decided to celebrate each subsequent anniversary by sharing a pizza and reflecting on our marriage.

And so we have. Year after year, including our milestone years and yesterday’s 40th.  Our venues have varied, the pizza options have expanded over the years and each time feels just about perfect.

August 2013 243Where we went last night for our 40th

So now you know!  Simplicity, tradition, and an annual reminder that the story of who we were is part of what we are.

“Grow Old with Me, the Best is Yet to Be.”  Robert Browning

Our last dinner out40 years and counting!

Hope for the best,

Tish

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