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‘But there’s a full moon rising; let’s go dancing in the light’

2017 harvest moon AP.jpg
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The 2017 harvest moon.

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By Mark Rutledge

Saturday, September 14, 2019

When my wife chose Sept. 13 for our wedding day in 1997, she was not looking ahead to see that our 22nd anniversary would fall on Friday the 13th under a full moon.

“So what are we going to do on our anniversary?” I asked Sharon a few days before.

“Oh, probably the same thing we never do,” she sighed.

I admit to not being especially timely when it comes to acknowledging greeting card holidays. But anniversaries are different. We both usually forget.

More times than I care to admit, I have attended the annual Valentine’s Day Eve Meeting of Derelict Husbands at Walgreens. When all of the heart-shaped boxes of high-dollar chocolates are gone, nothing says “I love you” like a slightly smashed bag of cinnamon jelly hearts.

It’s the perfect treat to pair with that card that says: “You’re the one I want to go to bed and look at my phone with.”

The most memorable greeting card holiday that I ever forgot was my wife’s most notable Mother’s Day — Sunday, May 12, 2002.

“I can’t believe you didn’t get up early and make me breakfast,” Sharon said over our Cheerios.

“Yeah, right,” I chuckled.

That was her first clue that I really had no clue what day it was. In my defense, it was a very busy time in our lives. We had a toddler about to turn 2, and twins born just a month before.

Who can watch a calendar during that kind of chaos?

But when it comes to our wedding anniversary, Sharon and I are mutually forgetful. The same year of the Mother’s Day disaster, we laughed off the forgotten anniversary passing each other on the steps. I was carrying a baby up, she’d just put two in their cribs.

“Guess what today is?” she asked.

“Friday the 13th,” I said.

“What were we doing right now five years ago?” she persisted.

That I remembered. And it wasn’t even a full moon.

Some friends and family members joked at the time that we might be tempting fate by choosing the 13th for a wedding date. But we were not about to let superstition get in the way of reserving the Pandorah, Ohio, VFW banquet hall on the only available Saturday that September.

My wife is from an area of heartland farm country rich in Swiss and German influence. They never celebrate weddings without doing the Chicken Dance.

I did not know the Chicken Dance, so I did a solo, Tennessee-barnyard version of my own. It brought the house down.

This harvest micromoon apparently is the rarest of Friday the 13th full moons. For Sharon and me it deserves more than a howl — or even a Chicken Dance crow.

Pull up the lyrics to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” and it’s obvious that he wrote that song with our Friday the 13th harvest moon 22nd anniversary in mind.

That’s my card this year. A card we can dance to.

“The same thing we never do.” I like that.

Contact Mark Rutledge at mrutledge@reflector.com or like him on Facebook at Mark Rutledge Columns.

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