Our thirtieth anniversary celebration

by Rob Tiller

Sally and I celebrated our thirtieth anniversary last weekend. Thirty years! This struck us as a considerable milestone, and we considered taking a major trip to commemorate it. Because of work and other commitments, we couldn’t make that happen. Instead, we decided a weekend getaway to Fearrington Village.

Fearrington is in Chatham County, one county over from us — about a forty minute drive from Raleigh. It was once a working farm, and still has a barn, a silo, and some pastures with unusual oreo-striped cows. It also has a few shops and our destination, the Fearrington Inn, where we had a sumptuous and charming room. It had a bowl of fresh fruit, and a bar of dark chocolate. After settling in, we walked across the square to the Spa, and had a couples massage — our first ever! It was extremely relaxing. Afterwards, we went into a housewares shop and perused the glassware and various objets, and smelled the floral candles.

When we got back to the second-floor room, we looked out the window and saw a wedding just beginning on the lawn below. The bride looked lovely. We talked about our wedding day, when we said our vows before family and close friends in Diane’s apartment on East 63rd Street, and then went downtown for the reception with a large group of family and friends. It was a happy day.

How wonderful it is to fall in love, and build a friendship that deepens with the years. We’ve had many remarkable chapters, and are looking forward to many more. The marriage contract involves a tacit NDA (corporate-speak for a non-disclosure agreement) that makes possible a special level of trust and confidence between the married persons. It creates a zone of safety where we can be something closer to our true selves.

In view of Sally’s and my NDA, I will not be writing about certain intimacies of our weekend, except for this sentence. That evening we ate at the Fearrington Inn, one of the finest restaurants in the region. When last we were there, several years ago, I’d found the food excellent but the service mannered and fussy. But that was not my impression this time: the food was excellent, and the service was both professional and friendly.

On Sunday morning I went for a run, then came back and read most of the Times before Sally got up. We had a breakfast with excellent coffee at the Inn, and then walked through the little village. There were dozens of barn swallows nesting in the barn. The parent shot in and out and rested near to the their nests, letting us get quite close to them and their babies.

Then we went over the McIntyre Books. It’s a bookstore with charm and taste. I was pleased to see a lot of books I’d cared about displayed as though someone else cared about them. Bookstores like McIntyre’s were never common, but now they’re vanishingly rare. To show a little support, I bought the fourth volume of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson, which I’ve been looking forward to reading since I finished volume 3, ten years ago.

We took a circuitous route home along the beautiful country roads of Chatham County, across Jordan Lake, and through the farmland and forests.