The first of many

Derrick Knutson
Derrick Knutson

As we sat on the top deck of the paddleboat, watching the waves from the St. Croix River lazily lap at its hull, I thought about just how different this day — our one-year anniversary — was than just one year ago.

A year ago myself, Jill —my wife — and our friends and family were operating at a hectic pace and on little sleep, trying to ensure all aspects of our wedding aboard the Empress paddleboat in Stillwater would go off without a hitch.

But of course, things never really go as planned.

I caught a bug about three days before the ceremony and was hopped up on enough stomach-quelling medication to drug a large horse.

During the ceremony performed by Jill’s cousin Brent, I remember looking out of the windows and seeing the water steadily rush by as the boat made its way to Hudson, Wis.

My thought at the time: “Wrap it up, Brent. I want to marry my beautiful fiancee and sit down before I pass out.”

The ceremony ended, Jill and I kissed, and we were wed.

Thankfully, my stomach settled down, to a point, and I was able to muscle on throughout the rest of the night, shaking hands, dancing — I do a pretty mean “lawn mower” — and catching up with people I hadn’t seen in years.

It truly went by in a flash, and before I knew it, the day was over.

The same can be said of this past year with my new wife.

Things seem to be going by so quickly, and you know what people say about time seeming to move at a breakneck pace: Time flies when you’re having fun.

We’re having a lot fun, but that’s not the only thing making our time together seem like it’s moving at an accelerated pace — it’s love.

I love seeing her when I wake up every morning and when I fall asleep at night.

I love all the other time we spend together, too, and all of the memories we’re making together.

Like our wedding day, not every aspect of our marriage has gone off without a hitch, but that’s not how it should be, in my opinion.

The road bumps along the way shape us individually and as a couple.

We’ve faced a few tough situations thus far, but we’ve been able to drive up those road bumps and down the other side with everything intact and in working order.

One year has gone by in what seems like an instant, and before I know it, 20 years will have flown by.

Two decades from now, both of us will likely be sporting a few more wrinkles, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing because those lines — likely mainly laugh lines at the corners of our eyes and creases around the edges of our mouths from smiling — will serve as a visible record of our time together.

I’ll look at those lines and smile rather than frown, because they’ll make me remember all the years I’ve had with my wonderful wife.

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