Thursday, November 08, 2007

Unforgotten and Unremembered*

Five years ago today, I made one of the best decisions of my life. Let me tell you how it went....

Sir had flown down to The Middle of Nowhere (that's where I lived on The Ranch) to see me. This was back when we'd somehow manage to see each other for a few days every couple of months before resuming the long distance courtship of e-mail and phone calls. Anyway, he flew in Thursday evening, and after I got off work, I drove down to the airport to pick him up. I think he was supposed to fly home Sunday night, so on our drive back to the Ranch we discussed what we were going to do for the next couple of days. I was taking Friday off from work and we had previously agreed that I would make all the plans for Friday, and Sir would make all the plans for Saturday. Sunday took care of itself because there was just enough time to go to meeting and have lunch before we'd have to head back to the airport. But when we got to the ranch, Sir casually suggested we switch our assigned days. It seemed a bit strange to me that it made a difference which day we each were responsible for, but anything I was planning could be done on either day. So, I had no problem with the switch, promptly forgot my initial puzzlement and settled down to enjoy being with my knight.

I should have been more suspicious, but I was too preoccupied. Earlier that week I had been talking to Sir on the phone and somehow he got me to give my dad the phone without making me too suspicious. And my dad played right along. They both teased me for being suspicious and my dad even tossed out some seemingly senseless clues "Emotional Salad Bowl" he grinned at me. What? I just shook my head and tried to pry some information out of Sir, but he wouldn't budge. So, I put it aside to work on later.

Anyway, I don't remember perfectly, but we probably went for a moonlit walk Thursday night before saying goodnight. When Sir visited me, he usually got to sleep on the second story of the horse barn. Then we'd set our alarms, and meet up for a early morning horseback ride where we talked and watched the sun rise over the misty rolling hills. I still am amazed at how we managed to drag ourselves out of bed so early in the mornings... especially since we're both more on the night owl side of things and we'd often stay up till Midnight before finally saying goodnight. Friday morning we saddled up and raced our horses to the High Point where we'd get a front row seat to see the sun rise. I remember welcoming the warmth of the sun that chilly morning. We just sat there watching the world wake up. The High Point overlooked the county road for a little ways and we saw my dad drive by on his way home from work. We waved, but he didn't see us - of course he was probably dead tired from working all night and wasn't looking for two kids on horses at 7:50 in the morning.

We rode back to the house for breakfast and then hopped in my car and drove to our favorite park. It was a tiny little historical park that was originally the homestead of the 'former president of the Bear Flag Republic - California independent of Mexican rule.' Outside the little one-room adobe house, was a wooden plank bench on the porch overlooking the beautiful Sacramento River. This was where we'd read and pray before getting on with the day. We were reading in Ecclesiastes, but I can't remember now which chapter we read that morning. I do remember holding Sir's hand when it was my turn to pray and I remember him squeezing my hand as I prayed for "whatever it was that (Sir) has up his sleeve". I guess he squeezed my hand while trying not to laugh at my suspiciousness.

After we finished our little reading, we started to go for a walk around the park. When Sir pulled me up from the bench, he didn't let go of my hands right away. Instead he stayed facing me and said my full name and paused before finishing with, "I love you,". This was something different... the saying my full name part. He'd done it earlier that morning and the evening before too. I was a little puzzled, but it wasn't something to worry about or anything. He let go of my right hand and we walked down the path along the river. When we got to the little wooden bridge that a small stream ran under on its way to the river, we stopped underneath the leafless grape vines that hung from the huge oak trees and leaned, side by side, against the bridge rail as we looked out over the river.

We stood there for a few minutes not talking - just enjoying the morning and each other's company. Then Sir stood up and took my hands again and said my full name. This was strange behaviour and my puzzlement must have showed a little because he let go of my hands and clasped his hands behind my neck. Still standing an arms length away, he repeated my full name yet again. And this time after the pause, he finished with, "Marry me?"

I really wasn't... quite... ready for that question. Of course I knew it was coming... but I thought it was still a few months away at least. I just stared at him as I grasped what I'd just heard. And then, thinking that he might not be ready to ask this question I asked, "Are you sure?" Not exactly the most romantic response, I know, but he knew he'd surprised me and just answered, "Yes, will you marry me?" And as I could do nothing but cry he pulled me in for a hug. He kept hugging me until I realized I hadn't answered him. I stepped back, and while both laughing and crying at the same time, I accepted my knight's proposal.

That was when he explained why he wanted Friday instead of Saturday. We were going to go ring shopping, and he wanted to make sure the stores would all be open. When we got back to the car, he pulled out a bunch of maps he'd printed before he'd left to come see me. All the ring stores he could find within 30 miles were marked out on the maps. I was astonished he'd been planning it out for so long and that he'd gone into such detail and research. Then I remembered my morning prayer and laughed at just what I had prayed for! Just before we drove away, I started to tell him how close to my imagined proposal he'd come and wistfully mentioned something along the lines of my dad getting asked for my hand first. Sir grinned at me and said he had asked my dad... earlier that week... on the phone to be exact. We laughed at how well I'd been surprised, and I marvelled at how well Sir knew me. I'd wanted to be surprised, but not really with a ring. I kind of wanted to choose a ring together, but I knew when the time came, it really wouldn't matter. I really wanted my dad to give his permission first and I never mentioned any of it to Sir. We'd never talked about those parts of our future before that day.

We stopped for lunch somewhere (I don't remember where) and then we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for my ring. When we finally found the one we liked, the jeweler told us they could have it ready for us that evening, so we made a dinner reservation at a restaurant and sat in the car outside the jeweler's shop where we started making our wedding plans. Once we picked up the ring, we went to dinner and afterwards stopped by the hospital to wait for my dad to get to work so we could tell him that we were engaged. My dad was 'on call' to work that night and he thought he'd be called. While we waited we designed the ring picture at the top of this post and when we were finished, we discovered that my dad wasn't going to work that evening. So, we headed back to the Ranch and shared our news with my family before calling Sir's family on the phone to tell them too.

And so now you know the story of this day five years ago. I need to publish this soon, or it will end up getting put off again.

*(not forgotten yet still seldom brought to mind)


  1. Aww, that was such a cute story! I never got to hear it in such detail before! I remember you guys tried to call my parents but they were out or something and then you called D and H's where I was (with all the YP) to give me the news which I received with much excitement and shared with everyone else who was there! We were all pretty excited for you guys! :)

  2. Congradulations! And no, she isn't expecting, as far as I know.

  3. That's so cool! Thanks for sharing =) It's so much fun to remember those days every once in a while . . . We were young, but not foolish, I guess, since we said "yes" to the right guys! =P

  4. Man I wish I had a memory like yours that is a beautiful story thanks for sharing Christina