Today is our 14th wedding anniversary, and I can’t think of a better excuse for being sentimental, so you’ll have to forgive the trip I’m taking down memory lane today.
Our first home in St. Louis was at Park Clayton Apartments in the Dogtown neighborhood. The apartment itself was pretty basic, but the neighborhood was the perfect place to live in and get to know St. Louis.
Shortly after moving in, Ryan and I both got jobs at the Brentwood Target…he worked security, and I was the store’s operator, answering the phone and doing some basic clerical work.
I can’t mention our early days in St. Louis without mentioning Concordia Seminary. I’m not going to lie…I have more mixed feelings about this place than any other St. Louis location. But it was the reason we moved down here in the first place, and it was a focal point of our lives for several years, and continues to be part of our lives even today, so I have to give credit where it is due.
Another place we spent a lot of time was at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Bridgeton. In his first year at the Seminary, Ryan was assigned this congregation as his field work church for two years. In his second year of field work, I also started working there, as a DCE intern.
We have lived in two other apartments in the St. Louis area…first at The Pavilion in Maryland Heights, following our move back to St. Louis after Ryan’s vicarage in Green Bay, WI.
And then at Village Green in Chesterfield, for just over a year. This was definitely the nicest apartment that we lived in, even if it wasn’t in a charming neighborhood like Dogtown!
Of course, we landed permanently in Belleville about eight-and-a-half years ago:
There are other important to us places from our early marriage I could mention…places we both worked, like the International Center, Circuit City (of blessed memory) in Chesterfield, and Concordia Publishing House. I could also talk about the hospital where four of our children were born (Mercy Medical Center, formerly St. John’s Mercy). I could even mention other specific Dogtown locations, such as the former Chuy Arzola’s Mexican restaurant or the former Gewinner’s Market (both places that were significant to me in the pregnancy cravings department when I was awaiting Turkey’s arrival). I will mention the St. Louis Zoo, as we spent the morning of our first wedding anniversary there…what can I say? It was within walking distance of our apartment, and free, which was great back then when we had no money! We did the same again today, thirteen years later, this time with five additional Markels joining us!
And of course, Seamus McDaniel’s in Dogtown, also within walking distance of our first apartment, and home to many family celebrations over the years, just as it was today.
Sure, we’ve gotten older, but we still look happy to be together, don’t we?
I can’t really think of a better way to spend our anniversary, than going to a fun place as a family, enjoying a meal together at our favorite restaurant, and then taking a walk (or drive, as the case may be), down memory lane!