There are times in life when things don’t go as planned. And it’s easy to throw up your hands and get upset, to write off the event as a failure or begrudge that your plans were derailed. On the other hand, sometimes those moments somehow end up being the most cherished moments in life.
My first Valentine’s day with Scott was an absolute disaster. For Valentine’s Day 2004 we planned to spend the weekend at his parent’s cabin in Taos, New Mexico. I had just graduated from college and Scott was still living in College Station. He picked me up in Dallas and we made our way on the 10 hour trek west to New Mexico. Seven years later the exact details are foggy—such as the time we left and when the weather conditions really started to turn south, but I remember the point at 3:00 in the morning when the temperatures outside were registering in the negative teens and it was so cold Scott’s radio in his Explorer stopped working.
By the time we finally got to the cabin it was frigid and the snow was knee deep. Scott went around to the back of the house to get the house key only to find…nothing. He broke into the house and I bundled up to get warm while he worked on turning on the hot water and heater. Nada. The family friends who used the cabin last failed to prep the water pipes, so everything was completely frozen and the heater wasn’t working. Needless to say we only spent one freezing cold night in the cabin before we were able to find the last condo available in Taos the next day.
After spending most of the day trying to find the last minute accomodations (remember, Valentine’s weekend!), fixing the broken glass window, and wrapping up the water pipes, we were glad to spend a little bit of down time together at a cozy Mexican restaurant in downtown Taos. The hostess found us a table right in front of the live entertainment for the evening – Juan Extraordinare. Awesome! It was not. I can’t even say Juan was Ordinare. My favorite part of the “performance” was when Juan Extraordinare received a phone call and half talked on the phone and half serenaded the crowd at the restaurant. Since we had front row seats, we were privvy to it all—I think poor Scott was going to die with embarrassment and frustration. Top it off with terrible food and even worse service, to date it is still down in our book as the worst dining experience we’ve ever had.
The next day, however, we were able to finally ski! I had never skiied Taos before, nor skiied with Scott who has been skiing since he was a baby, so I was excited and nervous at the same time. Until we were struck down with food poisoning from our dining experience the night before. I’ll spare you the details other than we didn’t get much skiing in that day and Scott and I got to know each other on a whole new level.
There was nothing that could have made the trip a bigger disaster than it already was (nothing we want to think about anyway). That night we ran to the grocery store to pick up some more Pepto and on the radio playing over the intercom played Elton John’s “Your Song.” I will never forget being in the produce section of Smith’s grocery in Taos and Scott taking my hand and dancing me with around the greens to Your Song. In that moment, all the frustrations of the trip melted away as Elton John sang to us and gave us reason to dance. A disaster that is one of my favorite memories.
To borrow from Elton John:
How wonderful life is with you in my world…
Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope your plans go a bit smoother than ours did, but I also hope that when things don’t go as planned you’re able to find a beautiful memory in the mess.