To celebrate our anniversary, my amazing artist husband, Phil, decided that he would do a 19-day art challenge, drawing one new picture every day for 19 days. And I thought it sounded like fun, so I jumped right on the band wagon and declared that I would write a silly, one-page story to go with each picture he creates during this challenge. I'm not writing the stories in order, because I got behind, but I'm determined to finish by the end of March. :)
The picture from Day #6 is the LDS Temple in Manti, Utah, where we got married. I felt like this picture needed a true story to go with it, but because my wedding day is a special memory, I couldn't bring myself to share the details online as part of a semi-silly challenge. Instead, I present to you another memory, from the summer before I met my husband, when I traveled with my church youth group to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.
The Temple's walls gleamed in the fading sunlight as the bright blue of the sky transformed into a rainbow of orange, pink, and purple. I settled into my surprisingly comfortable folding chair and took in the excited chatter of voices all around me, as hundreds of people filled the available chairs and every open space on the lawn.
My bishop leaned across the girls sitting beside me and grinned. "So, Veronica, this is where you're getting, married, huh?"
I smiled and nodded. I didn't even care that he was teasing me.
"Oh!" The woman sitting in the row of chairs in front of us turned around and clasped my hand in both of hers. "That's wonderful, dear," she gushed. "When is the big day? Are you getting nervous yet?"
I blushed and pulled my hand away, turning reluctantly away from the Temple. "Um, well..."
The bishop laughed and winked at me. "First, she has to meet someone, right Veronica?"
The lady's smile faltered, and she tilted her head slightly, her brows furrowing as a slight frown pulled down at the corners of her lips. "But didn't you just say ..." Her voice trailed off, and she stared at me, waiting for my answer.
I ran my fingers through my long, blonde hair and pulled a section of it in front of my face, like a curtain I could hide behind. "Well ..." I looked back at the Temple and took a deep breath. Then, I told her all about how I'd decided, when I was five years old and my parents brought me to see the Pageant, that I was going to get married in this gorgeous building that looked like a castle fit for a fairy tale princess. "I decided, if a guy isn't willing to make the drive to marry me here, he's not the right one for me."
The lady smiled and squeezed my hand. "When you find him," she said, "make sure you request the sealing room at the top of the tower. It's beautiful, and you'll get to see the amazing spiral staircases*."
Then, the last of the sunlight faded away, and the Temple lights illuminated. Everyone turned their attention to the pageant about to begin, and I smiled. Just as I remembered, the Temple looked like a castle. And one day, I would marry my perfect Prince there.
I already knew which room I wanted.
*Note: The spiral staircases in the Manti Temple are not only gorgeous, but they're amazing feats of engineering - freestanding without a central support. There were some pictures of the Temple interior in the Ensign (the LDS church magazine) several years ago ... and I found a website that had those pictures.