Happy Anniversary...

Posted May 7, 2005 @ 9:18pm | by S. Cutshall

A few days back it was our (Amy's and my) wedding anniversary.  7 years of mostly great times, a few bumps and one or two all out hellish moments of abject insanity & ungodly agony.

But mostly great stuff.

She gifted me with an Xbox and a couple games... Splinter Cell, a classic arcade disc with titles like Asteroids, Space Invaders and my all-time favorite-Centipede, and a SpongeBob game that I suspect was more for our daughter, Chloe, than me.

I unpacked it, set it up, played it for an hour and promptly repackaged it, asked Amy if she had the receipt and announced that it needed returning or it was going on Ebay.  Chloe cried and Amy looked stunned.  I explained that while the gesture was sweet, kind, lovely and loving... it was not to be.  I didn't want more "stuff".  Especially "stuff" that would tempt sitting on my ass staring at a tv screen for endless hours (when I could be spending that same time staring into a computer screen haha!), be a major time suck, have expensive add-ons (a new game for Xbox costs a ridiculous $49.99) and possibly get Chloe into the whole, "My life revolves around video games" that Amy and me see (as a BIG pitfall) with other parents and their 5, 6 & 7 year olds.

I made sure Amy wasn't offended but in the end I won... the Xbox went back the next day and while Amy and Chloe sure were confused, I was all the happier for it as was our bank account too.

So that was my gift... the days use of an Xbox and that was fine by me truth be told as I was really excited by Amy's gift all along and really didn't care what I did or didn't get for me.

Some of you may (or may not) recall that I was going to have Bob Brown repaint Amy's Rivendell Atlantis in time for our anniversary.  After that I would add fenders, a dyno-hub, a good headlamp and some other sundries like a beautiful English, handmade wicker basket.  Well I bagged on all that and instead did this...

I sold my Atlantis as a down payment on a custom cycle to be built for Amy by Bob Brown.  Bob and I got together fairly regularly to discuss budget, plans, secrecy, design, style, look, etc.  It was difficult at times but ultimately Bob and me did good and kept the whole surprise away from Amy.

Most difficult was Bob working his day gig at 3M, building other customers bikes, redoing his kitchen and him having time for some semblence of a life with his new bride, Beth.  In between all that he made a ton of time for me so that we could "think tank" something truly special for Amy.  A One Off, One Of A Kind-work of art.

Of course there was no way it would be ready in time for our anniversary-Bob and me started on this in early March and the anniversary date was May 2nd.  But, what Bob did think was possible was to have a single lug, hand-carved and ready for me to give to my dear wife on our special day.

It was a great idea and a grand plan to say the least but we still had to think of a concept as well as plan out what it would mean for Amy to see it so early on in the build.  Bob finalized that part easily enough... he thought about it for like 2 seconds and said, "Scott, give her a lug on the anniversary.  It'll let her see and know what's to come BUT she'll have no idea about the rest of the cycle, the build... any of it.  So it's basically 2 gifts in 1."  True, very true!

Next was the concept... this would be more diffcult.  What does Amy dig?  What defines her or aspects of her and her life in images?  After much thought I had it and will keep it (sorry) until the end of the total build.

So on April 28th leaving on a Fedex plane from Minneapolis/Saint Paul bound for NYC for overnight delivery was a small cardboard box and insured for some large money at that.  The next day much to the relief of an exhausted frame builder and a nervous soon-to-be-married-7-years father of one, the box was handed to me at our door.  I called Bob and told him that the, "Eagle had landed"... he was as happy as me.

A few days later on May 2nd, a really beautiful, strong, amazing woman opened a gift on her anniversary... she looked confused at first, stunned then, and quickly "got it".  She cried and her jaw stayed on the floor for what seemed like hours that evening long after Chloe had fallen asleep in bed.  Mom & Dad (me and Amy that is) sat up, and held hands while I told her what she meant to me and the story of the lug... what Bob had done way beyond the call of duty and my sacrifice-which in selling the Atlantis... really wasn't a sacrifice at all.  I told Amy how much she always supports me and sits back and takes such great pleasure in what I'm doing or going through... or watching and sharing my excitement and enthusiasm when I was having my custom built by Bob.  I told her I owed her for all of that and much, much more.

The best moment was the next morning when I came out of the bedroom to hang out with her before she left for work... 5am, both her and me are exhausted (but of course I can go back to bed, she cannot)... as I walk out of the bedroom half asleep she's very carefully setting the lug onto a soft towel on the kitchen table next to her cup of coffee.  I stopped walking and just stood in the doorway quietly... she put her chin into her hands and smiled at the lug and then slowly traced her right index finger along the edges of the shapes that Bob had hand-cut and hand-filed.  The whole time she's doing this she's smiling.

I love her and she deserves this cycle...

From beginning to end-The Evolution of an Anniversary Lug for an Anniversary Cycle.


This was the image I found that started the whole process.  We had fears that it might present problems though.


Bob ran it through a photo editor and was worried about the straight edge as well as having the frog face in toward the lug.


I reshaped (rather crudely) and sent it back to Bob with the idea that the belly could be shaped as I had done and would look great when done by more experienced hands than I.  We also decided we could make this work if the frog faced away from the lug (what I was hoping for from the beginning anyway) and appeared to be jumping off & away from the lug.


When Bob sent me this, I knew we were onto something fantastic.  Bob loved it, I loved it... and I knew Amy would love it too.

The day Bob overnighted the lug to me for our anniversary I woke up and found these in my Inbox...





Bob is amazing.

Story to be continued...

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