A decade in review

I’ve already written about JF – the world’s handsomest franco-ontarian engineer. He’s my favourite human on this earth. And about a week ago, we reached our 10-year dating anniversary.

Here we are, aren't we adorable?

Here we are, aren’t we adorable?

To many grown ups, a decade of togetherness is practically nothing. My avo said « 10 years? That’s as long as I’ve had these pants.» But to us, it’s a third of our lives.

My mémère – a wise woman – used to cut out little phrases and stuff them into her address book, bible, and planner. When she died, I gathered those scraps of paper like precious gems. One said « love is a project.»

JF is kind, smart, handsome and funny. In our early love, days apart felt like months. But here’s something I think is true : even the shiniest silver loses its shimmer if you don’t give it a buff once in awhile.

At this stage in our relationship, we’re expert buffers. Our bi-weekly date nights are mini relationship tuneups. They remind us that we like spending time together. That in fact, we always have and (if we keep working at it) always will.

A retrospective

10 years ago I was at York University. JF was a the University of Waterloo. We started hanging out between summer work hours.

Nine years ago we started spending most weekends together, despite the distance.

Eight years ago, we both graduated. JF moved to Toronto and started work. I decided to do a post-graduate certificate in public relations.

Seven years ago…

Six years ago…

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Five years ago we moved into our place at Yonge and Lawrence.

Four years ago…

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Three years ago…

Two years we moved back to Simcoe County, bought a house, and I started this blog.

Here we are now! We have a dog and we’re getting married.

As I get older, the days go by faster. I’m so glad I have someone awesome to spend them with.

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Bog love

JF is enjoying summer solstice (i.e. drinking beer) in the beautiful Yukon this weekend and I’m sappy enough to admit I miss him terribly. So I thought I’d devote some cyberspace to a place we both love: Tiny Marsh.

We’ve been together nine years and marsh-goers for about six. It’s our favourite place for phone-free, brains-off time together. When we lived in Toronto, we’d often stop there to catch our breaths before wading into cottage-country traffic. These days, we visit it every two weeks or so.

Us at the marsh in 2009

Us at the marsh in 2009

Why do we love this patch of bog so much? Lots of reasons:

  1. Groomed trails
  2. No entry fee
  3. Minutes from home
  4. Fresh air – except in spring, when it reeks of hydrogen sulfide
  5. Many birds live there, some rare
  6. It’s beautiful

Though items one to four are handy, five and six are essential to any JF and Mik-friendly space.

You see, JF is a birder.  Not a birdwatcher, a birder. Because apparently, there’s a difference. For years, he’s trudged through forest, field and swamp to hear or see as wide a variety of species as he can – like a real-life Ash from Pokémon.

Personally, I think the whole thing is sweet and nerdy, just like him.  There are only two challenges with his hobby:

  • He doesn’t like to hike where he can’t add new birds to his annual “gotta see or hear ‘em all” list.
  • I find crouching over spotting scopes, peering through binoculars, and flipping through Sibley’s about as exciting as scrubbing my baseboards

Much as I aspire to JF’s level of nerddom, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m more like these two: 

Which is why the marsh’s prettiness is important. It’s filled with lovely things for me to admire and take photos of. There are shady woods, sunny fields and big wide vistas. We’re still finding new nooks and crannies.

Through the years, we’ve shared our love of Tiny Marsh with friends and family. Here are a few photos of people who have explored it with me.

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When JF gets back, I think I’ll request a boggy picnic. In the meantime, I might take a sentimental stroll down the dikes by myself.