On December 27th, I went shopping with our daughters and we visited a local bookstore - Chapters Gordon Road, Regina, SK - to buy some books, of course, and to see our own books on the shelves.
As an author and publisher, I always check out the 'Saskatchewan's Own', 'Local Authors', and 'Regional Interest' shelves of Canadian bookstores. Several of the books we've published are visible in this photo - the award-winning children's book Jamie and the Monster Bookroom is top left under the green sign, Interrupted With Bipolar is on the second shelf on the left, and my award-winning, best-selling Never Leave Your Wingman book is on the second shelf on the right.
No matter how many times I see books published by DriverWorks Ink on store shelves, that vision always sends a thrill through my body. I do love books ... and I love writing them, editing and publishing them.
Watching first-time authors find their books on a bookstore shelf is also one of my favourite experiences.
Our daughter Lisa Driver found her award-winning spiritual wellness book, Opening Up: How To Develop Your Intuition And Work With Your Angels, on this bookstore shelf ...
... right beside my award-winning Never Leave Your Wingman book! That makes sense. A book written by Lisa Driver should be beside a book written by Deana Driver.
While at the mall that afternoon, the girls and I had a little fun with a wintery scene cut-out.
Our two daughters are in the top photo, while I am mugging it up with our youngest daughter, Dani, in the bottom photo. What fun!
Later that evening, before sitting down to watch the Corner Gas Movie (which Al and I had already seen, had thoroughly enjoyed, and were looking forward to seeing again), talk turned to Lisa and her fiancé Kyle's upcoming wedding.
Lisa had already chosen a wedding dress during a shopping trip in the fall, but I had not thought about my own wedding dress until this moment.
Our daughters were surprised to hear that my wedding dress has been in a vacuum-sealed storage box since Al and I were married in January 1976. We've moved the box with the rest of our things from apartment to house to house over the years.
You should have seen the looks on our daughter's faces when they heard this news. It was priceless.
Also priceless are these photos - which were taken as we pulled my dress out of its storage box for the first time in 39 years, and each of our daughters modelled my dress - just for fun.
I was pleased that the dress had been so well-preserved. (The blue in the sleeves is packaging to keep the lace from crumbling, I imagine.)
39 years later, the dress still looks great. I was impressed.
Lisa tried on my veil. Hmmm ... maybe she'll wear it as 'something borrowed'. We'll see.
She also checked our wedding photo to see what the veil looks like when it isn't all wrinkled.
Dani got a kick out of my dress, too.
It's a little too big for her, but it was fun to see her wearing my dress anyway.
Lisa looked great in my dress, too, but it didn't fit her either. And those sleeve bands are not exactly in style today. Still ... you could 'shorten it and wear it again', as they said about bridesmaids' dresses in one of my favourite chick-flick movies, 27 Dresses.
Nah, I don't think that's going to happen.
After we put the dress back in its storage box - minus the vacuum seal - the girls asked how much my dress cost. They were surprised to find that I had many details recorded in our Wedding Album. (That's what I do - write it down!)
The dress was sewn by a woman in Regina. The satin fabric, lace, zipper, and veil cost a total of $39.32. (That was big money in those days.) Although I don't have a receipt from the seamstress, we recall that she charged about $100 to sew the dress. The fabric for the two red velvet bridesmaids' dresses totalled $90.73. Ah, those were the days.
Sharing these memories and my dress with our daughters was priceless. What a great day!
I also saw a note in our Wedding Album about a detail that Al and I had both forgotten. We went on our first date on January 7, 1974, when we were taking a Journalism Administration course at SAIT in Calgary. Exactly two years later, I was the main attraction at a bridal shower in Regina, Saskatchewan, just 10 days before our wedding. Wow. Time flies when you're having fun.
So on this, the 41st anniversary of our first date, I celebrate family. Especially my husband - and DriverWorks Ink publishing partner - Al Driver.
Happy Anniversary, Al! And here's to many, many more!