Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Which I Make A Memory

Today is December 16th. This date is important to me for a few reasons. For one, it marks the anniversary of the date that The Boss and I started dating. It also is the date we got engaged, on our one year anniversary. As of today, we've been together for five years. I find it hard to believe that it has really been five years, but here we are. As they say, all that time has flown right by. I thought I'd share the story of the day we got engaged. It's quite a story, so this entry will be a bit long. Just bear with me, it's worth it.

Back in 2005, as we approached our one year anniversary, we decided to take a few days off from work and go enjoy some time together away from home to celebrate. We made reservations at a hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire for the night before our anniversary, and reserved a log cabin in northern New Hampshire for the night of our actual anniversary.

We had a great time on the first day of our mini-vacation, and as we retired to our hotel room that night, I checked the weather report for the next day. My stomach dropped when the meteorologist started talking about snow. Lots of snow. Heavy, wet snow, to be exact.

The Boss, much like myself, was upset when she heard the news. We had paid a lot of money to rent the cabin for the second night of our vacation, which at this point was non-refundable. Not wanting to waste it, and really looking forward to that night in a log cabin (one of The Boss' dreams), we decided to get an earlier start and try to get as far as we could before the snow started falling.

When I woke up early the next morning, I looked out the window to see a steady snowfall, and an inch on the ground already.

We quickly packed up and got in the car (which was a 1996 Saturn SL1, by the way). This was before the days when GPS navigation units were commercially available, so we had printed up some Google maps to guide us along. Anyone who has relied on those directions before should understand how nervous I was, having to trust them to get us there safely.

The cabin we rented was in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, which isn't all that far from the Canadian border. The directions that we had told us it should take about two hours from where we were in North Conway. I knew that the snow would slow us down a bit, so in my little four-cylinder car, onward we went.

Three hours into the drive, we were only about halfway there. The steep, curving, twisted mountain roads would have been miserable on a summer day, but add in heavy, wet snow and driving wind, it was simply, absolutely horrible. My car was working hard, between the steep grade of the road and the draw off the engine for the windshield defrosters, I had to pull the car over a few times to cool the engine down before it overheated.

The irony was not lost on me. It was definitely weird to be worried about overheating in the middle of winter.

At hour number four, I had to pee. Badly. We were the only car on this one stretch of road for almost an hour now, so I pulled over to where another road turned off of it to take a leak. Leaving the car running, I sprinted down the secondary road a bit, and unzipped. I was in the middle of melting a decent sized patch of snow  in the shape of my first name when I heard a loud noise behind me. Startled, but still unzipped with my Disco Stick in my hands, I swung around to see what the noise was.

It was a car. A minivan, to be exact. With a bunch of young kids in the back.

I had no time to react. Facing them, with my hands on my junk and STILL PISSING IN THE WIND, in the middle of a snowstorm, on the side of a mountain in the middle of freaking NOWHERE, they drove past. Through the windows I saw five slack-jawed faces. They made it about six feet further down the road before the taillights flared, and they came to a stop. I finished peeing as fast as I could and ran back to my car, zipping up on the way.

The Boss was already laughing when I jumped back into the car, and pulled away from the side of the road. What were the odds? I mean, seriously. What were the odds of that happening?

Hour number five came around, and we pulled off the main road to gas up and get some snacks. I let the car rest for a little while before getting back on the road. It would be getting dark soon, and I hoped beyond hope that we'd get to where we were going before then. The snow was still coming down pretty hard, with a good seven or eight inches on the ground to compete with.

After six hours on the road, we finally got to the cabin. We checked in at the main office, and had to follow a plow truck to the actual house we had rented for the night. They hadn't plowed the road to it yet, because they were waiting to see if we'd actually show up. They were surprised we did.

We were surprised we made it alive, without getting lost even once.

It was mostly dark when we got there, so we didn't really get to see what the cabin looked like from outside until the next morning. It was nice and cozy on the inside, though, and we promptly got changed into more comfortable clothes and flopped on the couch to relax. It had been one hell of a stressful drive to get there, but we made it.

We had enough time to watch most of a movie before the power went out.

Due to the brilliant design of whomever built the house, just about everything ran on electricity. The heat, the lights (obviously), the water pump that delivered water to the cabin... We wanted rustic living, well, we got it. With the power out, we couldn't see well enough to make the dinner that we had brought supplies for. Other than the raw ingredients, we had a few crackers and pieces of fruit that we had taken from the continental breakfast. Being in the middle of nowhere, there was no place remotely close that we could drive to for food, and besides... It was still snowing.

Fortunately, there was a gas fireplace in the living room. We were able to keep warm by huddling near it and covering up with blankets from the bed. Oddly enough, as inconvenient as it was, shivering in the cold in the dark, with rumbling, hungry stomachs, it was romantic.

As my gift to The Boss for our anniversary, I had written her a song (she would later choose to walk down the aisle to this song at our wedding). I had just enough power left on my laptop battery to play the song for her, and as she listened to it on a set of headphones, I got up and pulled out the ring box I had been carrying around in my jacket pocket all weekend.

When the song ended, she looked up at me. She was about to say something, but stopped short as I got down on one knee, holding the ring box in my hand. And there, in front of the flickering light from the fireplace, I proposed.

I'm not going to tell you exactly what I said when I proposed, as it's deeply personal and something I'd like to keep between The Boss and I. I will tell you that I didn't have anything planned out to say, because I was sure I'd either forget it or stumble all over the words.

And of course, as you all know, she said "yes".

We sat in the dark for a little while longer, and she started discussing wedding plans. I couldn't help but smile. She told me she didn't expect this at all, and couldn't believe that I had kept her engagement ring (which I picked out on my own) under our bed in a lock box for the past six months. 

The power never came back on that night. We went to bed a few hours after I popped the question, taking all the blankets we could find and huddling together on the bed in the master bedroom. The power came on at some point in the early morning. We took our time getting our things together, and made decent time getting back home (compared to the six hours it took to get up there, the three hours to get home seemed like nothing).

The rest, as they say, is history.

Happy Anniversary, my wife. It's been a tumultuous five years, but with such an epic start, I wouldn't expect anything less.

P.S. For those interested, click here to listen to the song I wrote for The Boss.


The Peach Tart said...

What a fabulous romantic proposal story. Happy Happy Anniversary.

Kat said...

See, I knew there was a reason you are my friend. Great and romantic proposal. All's I got was a ring on a put on my textbook while I was in the middle of studying for finals and a "so...ya wanna get married?" Seriously.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I didn't even get a ring. Damn. Or a real proposal, just sort of a, well we've been together 5 years and you need health insurance, so let's just get married. I admit it, I got married for the bennies.

Happy Anniversary!

Deb Thaxton said...

-->Great story! My husband proposed on the side of a mountain at one of the pull off spots. I figured out what he was doing just before so when he proposed I said, "I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DO IT NOW!" Then of course, said yes. Happy anniversary!


mepsipax said...

Great story. Damn Aunt Juicebox that's messed up.

The Good Cook said...

What a lovely, romantic tale. I watched the anniversary video on YouTube - excellent! You wrote that song? It's beautiful. Cheers to many more happy years together.

Mrs Soup said...

Awwwwww, The Boss is so lucky! So special.

Nej said...

The weekend may not have totally gone as planned....but it makes for a great (and romantic) story!!!!

(The just married sign on the pop up is classic. Love it!!)

Aunt Becky said...

Awww. Happy Anniversary! Now I'm all verklempt!

Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks for making me tear up a little at work ;). Geez, man.

The fact that you wrote her a song and then proposed in a freezing log cabin is the best. The. Best. Happy Anniversary, you two!

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Congratulations and happy anniversary!! If you can survive such adversity together with such humor, it bodes well for your future! :) Great story...thank you for sharing.

mysterg said...

You weren't tempted to pee your proposal into the snow?

x said...

I'm not one bit surprised that you're a romantic.

Erin said...

how romantic and rustic and sweet.
I came over from Moonspun's blog. I'm your newest follower & looking forward to reading more!

BugginWord said...

Cartoon hearts!! And congrats, too! What a love fest!

BeautifulWreck said...

Damn! What a fantastic, and beautiful story! Congrats!

mumma boo said...

Happy Anniversary!

Notes From the Grove said...

Soooooo SWEET! And what a beautiful song. You're such a talented man!

Miss Grace said...

I love this. Happy Anniversary!

Mad Woman said...

Awesome're such a romantic, peeing in the wind and cold instead of in a bottle in the car.

Happy Anniversary!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Great story and beautiful song. Have you been back to the cabin since?

Happy Anniversary.

Badass Geek said...

The Peach Tart: Thank you.

Kat: You win some, you lose some.

Aunt Juicebox: Hey, benefits are important.

Deb Thaxton: She claims that she knew it was going to happen, but got thrown off by the song.

Mepsipax: Thanks.

The Good Cook: I did write the song, yes. It's obviously not a live recording, but yeah.

Mrs Soup: She would agree.

Nej: I don't know how many times people stopped in our site to congratulate us.

Aunt Becky: You? Verklempt? Didn't think that could happen!

Rebecca Knight: Thank you. =)

Jade @ Tasting Grace: Thank you very much.

Mysterg: It crossed my mind, but I (wisely) decided against it.

X: Most people aren't. ;)

Erin: Glad to have you here!

BugginWord: Thank you!

BeautifulWreck: I couldn't have made it up, that's for sure.

Mumma Boo: Thanks!

Notes From the Grove: So I've been told. =)

Miss Grace: Thank you!

Mad Woman: I don't think I have the coordination to pee in a bottle.

Little Ms Blogger: We've wanted to go back to the cabin, but haven't yet, no. Someday.

Kaylen said...

this is way too sweet!! I love this story!!!!

Six months under the bed?? Nice hiding place.

Jaime Teele said...

I couldn't drudge up any sympathy for the peeing incident, as I have penis envy. And also I have been totally busted squatting next to a car by a state trooper, and couldn't stop midstream when he came walking up. so I just greeted him and finished while he stood awkwardly by.

Phoenix said...

This is the most adorable story I've read in a long time. It was the perfect combination of romance and usage of the word Disco Stick.

Well done, sir! I feel all vicariously fuzzy and warm after such a sweet post.

Happy anniversary to you and your wife...may the adventures continue :)

Amy said...

I smiled the entire time your song/video played! Beautiful! You are so talented.

Happy Anniversary guys!!!

Thanks for sharing your story with us! Very romantic:)

Chibi Jeebs said...

You *totally* made me cry, you big jerk. <3

Caron said...

What a lovely story. Nicely done, too. I mean all those years ago. ;)

LucyCooper said...

Very nice work, Badass. You went to a lot of trouble to make that perfect, despite the forces of nature. If you can be freezing your asses off with no food and describe it as "romantic," you'll be together forever.

Employee No. 3699 said...

Happy Anniversary!

The Boss is a very lucky woman to have someone like you as her husband. Oh, and thanks for making me cry at work with your video...and beautiful music.

reinventingsandyb said...

Hey there BadAss, just stopped in to read and several things sent a few shivers down my wee spine, because, well, we seem to have them in common!
1. My husband proposed on the anniversary of our first date
2. We were married one year later on that same day
3. I walked down the aisle to a song he wrote for me! (the BEST wedding gift from any husband, so hats off to you!)

Lastly, our anniversary is ALSO in December... the 12th, but still, close.

Happy Anniversary. Wonderful story.


Tony said...

a little late but Happy Anniversary - dude, that was the most awsome story ever. That was great! A lot of great memories

Lola said...

What a great proposal story that is!!! No proposal for me either and no ring until I went out and found one I liked. After 13 years together, it was more of a, well, we built a house and own a lot of crap, so maybe we better get married type of thing. Incredibly romantic, I know.

Happy belated anniversary!!!

Becky said...

What a great story. I just happened across your blog today and was glad to have read this... my husband and I went to a log cabin for our 1 year wedding anniversary. We didn't have snow to deal with, instead we lost power to a tornado. It brings back memories reading this. Thanks for sharing!

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Sandy said...

I know I'm late to read this post but better late than never, right? The song is absolutely lovely, what a lucky girl. And Happy Anniversary to you, and wishes for many, many more.

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