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When we got married, we had the small ceremony in an old church in a part of town that was still borderline rural. You faced one way at night and you could see nothing but blackness over the meadows and pastures and cattle fences; if you faced the other you could see the lights of the highway in the far distance. That highway replaced the train line that gave this town its existence. All the business went up on the other side of the highway, where the river was, but not down here. Was all quiet down here. Perfect little place to get married. Just thirty minutes away from the farm your husband Silas grew up on. He was not much of a cattleman, but thankfully, he found computers and they gave him a career.

Still, Silas loved this little church from his childhood. I think besides the actual getting hitched part, it was his favorite part of the wedding. It was aging and dry rotted, held up with lots of nails and many coats of paint. The wind whistled through in places. But it felt holy and sacred to him.

Ten years later, we were back in town to visit his ailing mother and we drove past the church. It was abandoned. All boarded up. Silas was saddened. The land was for sale. The sign was faded and stuck in the corner of the plot. I didn’t say anything and my husband didn’t notice it. When we got home, I called the owner and bought it. Dirt cheap. I gave it to Silas as an anniversary present. We moved back from the city where we were miserable and spent the next couple years renovating it and adding on.

Now it’s our home. The day we were “done” – like, “done done” – the day we could stop fixin’ and start living, Silas paused in the center of the vestibule and put an arm around my waist. Buttons, our fluffball of a dog, looked up at us curiously.
“This is our home,” Silas says as he beams with pride.
“It is,” I agree. “Our home.
“I don’t think I ever thanked you for buying it for me.”
“Your happiness is thanks enough.”

I got a squeeze of a hug and a kiss for that. We both paused to admire the work we’ve done.

“Wanna start a family?”

I wish I had a photo of the expression on his face. I mean, what did he think we built those extra rooms for! In time, we did fill them though. We just took some time for ourselves first in our little church, out there, on the prairie. It still whistled a little, but that was my favorite part.

Captions are 100% fictional.


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