We’re more seasoned after 5 years of marriage

Sometimes I think to myself, “Why didn’t I just propose to my wife at the local Dairy Queen?”
I could have placed the ring in a frozen treat, she may very well have accidently swallowed it, and then we would have had a memorable trip to the emergency room. Now that’s an engagement story — if she actually said yes after having the ring removed from her stomach or esophagus.
As it was, I proposed six years ago at the second beach in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It’s a location that’s more than 1,400 miles away from where we live, one that we hadn’t been back to until a few weeks ago. The DQ would have been a lot easier to visit on a whim, that’s for sure.
Outside of camping around Minnesota and a little bit in Wisconsin, we don’t travel far. Neither one of us had been on a plane since our honeymoon to San Francisco five years earlier. But with the nickel wedding anniversary this year, we decided to do something special and head to Washington State and then visit the spot on foreign soil where Jill accepted my offer for a lifetime of wedded bliss. Well, maybe being married to me isn’t bliss every day, like when I put the ice cream in the cupboard instead of the freezer and it all melts, but I’d say bliss is around a solid 87 percent of the time.
I was hoping for a complete recreation of what it was like the day we got engaged — blue sky, perfect temperature, ocean waves gently lapping the shore — but, as with many things in life, when you have an idyllic setting in mind something often happens to throw a wrench in your plans. The Pacific Northwest is in a historic drought, and a myriad of wildfires are burning in British Columbia. The smoke from those fires sunk south, making the skies over Vancouver and Washington a dull shade of hazy gray. No blue skies for us.
After arriving in Vancouver Aug. 4, parking the car, and then incorrectly reading a map and walking in the wrong direction for about a mile (my navigational specialty), we tracked down the spot where we got engaged. It was later in the day than when I proposed, so the tide had eaten a little more of the beach; many of the rocks that were in the photo we had taken at that location six years prior were underwater. It didn’t look the same, and initially I was a tad disappointed.
But then I thought for a second about the trip — we couldn’t recreate every moment perfectly from our first venture to the West Coast together, nor should we. This was a different vacation, and we were making new memories. We’re also slightly different people than the ones who stood on that beach six years ago and agreed to spend the rest of their lives together. We’re more seasoned; we’ve been through a lot together. There are a few more lines in each of our faces, and maybe one of us has a two or three gray beard hairs. So it was fitting that the experience was different, because we’ve changed over time.
There’s nobody else I would have wanted to spend the last five years married to, and I’m looking forward to the next 5, 10, 15 years and whatever comes after that (I may have failed a math class in college). Next year’s anniversary might be at Dairy Queen, though. Honestly, who doesn’t like a frosty treat and some steamin’ hot chicken strips? You’ve really married a romantic, snookums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *