Day 4: Rock Island

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We awoke early this morning to the squawking of angry birds. So I did what any photographer would do…I shot them with my camera. It was another hot and beautiful morning on the island.

I was wished a happy anniversary, but it wasn’t our anniversary yet. But why couldn’t it be? Our 20th anniversary was tomorrow, but we were planning on leaving the island early the next morning to avoid bad weather.

I decided to have our vow renewal ceremony a day early.

I didn’t shower, nor did I wash my hair for several days. Paul told me he walked around this morning and found a bathroom nearby with running water. I took my fancy clothes and a wash cloth to wipe off my grimy, sweaty body. There wasn’t enough room under the sink to wash my hair.

I locked myself into the windowless bathroom watching the bugs crawl across the floor as I was trying not to pass out. It was stifling hot in there. I started to sweat after I washed off. My body swayed from too many days and nights on the boat. People knocked repeatedly on the bathroom door. Somehow I managed to look somewhat presentable.

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After I got ready, Paul and I did a photo shoot on Washington Island. I found the person with the nicest camera in our group to be our photographer which was George’s wife Beth. George and Beth were the only couple in our group that were married longer than us.

After an hour of photos, we loaded up in Captain Tom’s sailboat and headed over to Rock Island. Captain Tom’s wife made me a beautiful bouquet.

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The island was the most beautiful place in the world to have a vow renewal ceremony, or a wedding for that matter. It was our first time on the island, but not our first time married to each other.

When Paul and I got married, we had a very traditional wedding. We got married in a church with three couples standing up plus the miniature bride and groom. Then we had a reception at a place called the Rock Garden. It seemed very fitting that we would remarry on Rock Island.

I was hoping that we could do the ceremony at the exact date and time 20 years later, but it wasn’t worth risking lives over.

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Our first wedding was wonderful, but I always wanted to get married on the beach. I wanted something small and intimate with only close friends and family. So I did the next best thing. I got remarried on the beach with virtual strangers in attendance.

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It was a short walk to the beach.

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We found a secluded place on the beach for the ceremony. Captain Tom renewed our vows. We had to speak loud over the crashing waves.

We said our vows, I read the words I wrote, and sang Morning Has Broken. I sang a song that was sung by someone else at our wedding. I always wanted to sing for my own wedding.

The ceremony was so touching and beautiful that there wasn’t a dry eye all around.

After the ceremony, we popped a couple bottles of champagne and waded into the cool water.

Suddenly the sky grew dark and distant thunder rumbled. We grabbed our belongings and quickly made our way back to the boat. We weren’t sure we would make it back in time. Once again, the storms parted around us.

The group bought us some gifts to remember the day.

Beth made tie the knot cupcakes.

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It was truly wonderful…better than I hoped, dreamed, or expected it would be.

I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring.

2 thoughts on “Day 4: Rock Island

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