Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 9, 2011

Going Gruene

This past weekend Cheryl and I attended the wedding of the son of some of our very dearest and oldest friends. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding set under a canopy of Texas oak trees in Austin, Texas. At the reception that followed, Cheryl and I stood with friends as the best man spoke to the young couple. “When you look back on this day thirty years from now,” he said, “may you see this as the day you loved each other the least.” Cheryl turned to me and said, “Wow. What a beautiful sentiment!” I nodded in agreement as I thought about the fact that Cheryl and I will celebrate thirty-one years of marriage this year. I can honestly say that as much as we loved each other thirty-one years ago, our love today is richer and deeper and broader and higher than we could have ever imagined. It was easy for me to whisper a prayer that our young friends would indeed look back on their wedding day as the day they loved each other the least.

Cheryl and I took advantage of our time away to do one of the things we like best ― exploring small towns in Texas. There is something that I find attractive about small towns, perhaps because I was raised in one. We decided to visit Gruene, Texas located south of Austin near New Braunfels. I first visited Gruene in the late 1970‘s when I would take teams there to go rafting down the Guadalupe River. Gruene was founded in the mid-1840s by a German immigrant named Ernest Gruene and his bride Antoinette. Gruene and his two sons purchased land, built the first homes, and planted cotton. Their cotton business attracted other families to the area, giving birth to the small town of Gruene. A number of historic homes and buildings remain, earning Gruene a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Cheryl and I ate lunch at the Gristmill Restaurant set in an authentic century-old cotton gin overlooking the scenic Guadalupe River. Afterward, we enjoyed walking slowly and browsing through the many quaint shops that line the main street.

Going to the wedding and later visiting Gruene was an experience made more enjoyable because Cheryl and I did it together. When we took our wedding vows almost thirty-one years ago we determined to work together to make our marriage meaningful for a lifetime. As with any marriage, we have observed lots of holidays and special days ― but mostly just ordinary days filled with the stuff of living. Marriage is about sharing a lifetime of ordinary days with the person you love the most. These ordinary days are what make up the soil in which the roots of a marriage can grow deep. Walking slowly down sidewalks in small towns may not seem like much of anything important, but to us it’s one way to keep the soil of our marriage fertile and gives us uninterrupted time to talk and laugh together. We have found that going to places like Gruene is a good way to keep our marriage green and fertile. I hope that you will consider Going Gruene or finding other ways to keep the soil of your marriage rich and fertile.


  1. And we thank you for joining us in this celebration! It was wonderful to see your faces and hug your necks!!! We love you guys!!!! Now…come back to stay with us and we will go back to Gruene – only a few miles from our home!!!

    • Loved the wedding ceremony. It was beautiful to see Aaron and his bride surrounded by their attendants in prayer and to see them incorporate the Lord’s Supper into the ceremony. So good to be with you and Steve and the family. Cheryl and I will definitely plan on coming your way for a return visit to Gruene. Love you and grateful for your friendship.

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