Last weekend we celebrated our anniversary at Timothy Lake, one of our favorite camping spots in Oregon.
We met in our friend Ken’s living room. It was one of those random moments in time that changes your life forever. Jim & Ken had been best friends for years. Ken and I had met the year before at college. When a casual outing to the movies included Ken saying “I’m going to bring along my friend Jim, he just got back from working in Alaska” I had no concept that chance meeting would turn my life plans upside down.
Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.
I grew up in a conservative, Mid-western family with expectations along the lines of good grades, college and a career and I towed the line up to that point. I was planning on becoming an international lawyer, living in Paris and assumed I’d marry some tall, handsome businessman.
Jim also grew up in a middle class family but here in Oregon and without as many “expected” constraints. He found his freedom earlier than I did, working at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood before signing on to work on a fishing processor in the Bering Sea in Alaska.
He is, in fact, tall & handsome, but on that first night long ago he had long hair, a bushy reddish brown beard and was dressed in a tie-dye t-shirt, baggy shorts and Birkenstocks. To say he was not my normal type might be an understatement! That night at the movies turned into another, then full days of long conversation. When he proposed, 6 DAYS later I’m not sure which of us was more surprised.
The past 22 years have been an amazing journey together. Certainly, life has not been all champagne and roses and together we’ve dealt with the loss of family members, jobs and pets. But together, we are invincible and know that no matter what life throws at us we can handle it. We discovered our love of travel early on and have spent the majority of our anniversaries “somewhere else”…whether that be hanging out on the beach in Mexico:
Or climbing the sand dunes of Namibia.
The last couple of years we’ve stayed closer to home at Timothy Lake. A fantastic setting with Mt. Hood in the background, great fishing, and a 13-mile hiking trail around the lake all equal an amazing experience.
Our favored site sits directly on the lake, with an uninterrupted view of the mountain.
We can fish from our camp,
spend hours hiking and swimming,
and finish the day watching the sunset turn Mt. Hood a thousand shades of pink and purple.
A great joy is waking early, to see the dawn break over the lake. Mist swirls as families of geese pass nearby.
Coffee in hand, we’re relaxed and peaceful as the sun rises, other campers start to come to life, and another great day on the mountain begins. We talk about the future, about camping at the beach in a couple of weeks, and, most importantly, what’s for dinner! All easy topics between two people who have been together for a long time.
I can’t wait for the next 22 years and beyond. I have found my soul mate and partner in life and my best friend. I am lucky beyond measure.