It was one of the strangest nights of my life.
A storm was tearing through the land. Thunder and lightning of biblical proportions were wreaking havoc on the usually calm summer's night.
But it was not the torrential rain, the crack of thunder or even the deadly bolts of electricity that concerned me, it was being trapped in a cowboy bar without electricity and being surrounded by 300 drunk cowpokes that had me worried.
My wife and I were visiting a friend in Central Alberta many years ago and were spending a night on the town for a time of drinks, merriment and more drinks.
The first night club we went to was a kind of techno-pop establishment where after the first 15 minutes every song began to sound the same.
We weren't the oldest people in the room, but we certainly were not the youngest and the 'kids' bouncing around the dance floor really seemed to enjoy the um, er, music I guess you could call it.
With the thumping of the bass and what I assume was someone singing filling the room, I was reminded why I rarely went to night clubs anymore.
After some merriment and a few drinks our friend wanted a change of venue so we headed to an establishment that played much better music.
A few more drinks and a little more merriment later we once again sought a venue change and that is how we ended up in the cowboy bar.
Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against cowboys and I even wanted to be one for a good portion of my childhood. I have known a few cowpeople (to use a politically correct, but really stupid term) and they were all pretty cool. They were hard workers (and hard partiers,) but not the crowd I tended to gravitate to, mainly because of the music.
I am just not a country music fan. If cowboys listened to rock and roll, well then call me a cowboy. But I am pretty sure it is in the cowboy constitution that 90 per cent of the music they listen to must be country, which means I am not part of the club.
But on this night, I found myself in their midst. Shortly after our arrival, the storm knocked out the power, so now I was in a dark room with 300 drunk cowpeople.
This was fine, until, in the back of the room, someone started singing Delta Dawn – that old country standby – and the entire bar joined it.
We were not in our comfort zone to say the least.
My wife and I often revisit that night and we always get a chuckle out of the whole experience.
It is just one of many we have shared over the past 26 years of holy matrimony.
I have officially been married for more than half of my life – and all to the same women.
The little woman and I share a similar sense of humour, which is one of the things that brought us together in the first place, and we both found being in a darkened bar listening to a few hundred people warble their way through the Tanya Tucker standard very amusing.
After more than a quarter century of marriage we have many strange little tales to tell and, God willing, we will have many more years and many more odd little adventures to experience.
Has every year with my beloved been nothing but sunshine and lollipops? Um, er, next question please.
There have been times of great joy and times of great challenge. Moments when I wonder why I ever married her, but mostly I wonder how I could ever get by without her.
We are both human, we are both imperfect, but we are both devoted to each other and that means we can survive anything, including a drunken rendition of Delta Dawn.
Copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh