Wedded bliss

Well, we did it! Almost 11 years after our first date, we got married.

Weatherpeople predicted hail, thunderstorms and even tornados for our wedding day, but in the end, it was just a bit cool and windy.

More than 200 people came to watch us say our vows. They all toasted to our long and happy lives together. We’d like to thank each and every one of them for being there. Jf and I both felt very supported and fortunate.

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No event is without its glitches (our tent filled with angry smoke when someone tried to light a bonfire despite the wind) but mostly, we had a grand old time.

So many friends and family members worked hard to make our day great – far too many for this post. We owe about a trillion favours. But my uncle Andy deserves a special thank you. He delivered the most spectacular home fireworks show I have ever seen in my life. It was better than Canada Day in Midland, truly.

We spent Sunday cleaning and quietly recovering from the party with family. On Monday afternoon, we were leisurely packing when we realized that our flight left at 5 :30 p.m. not 11 :30 p.m.

Despite a few heart palpitations, we managed to cram some things into random suitcases and speed to the airport, leaving a sad Odie, and hasty instructions for his care, behind us. We (barely) made it onto our flight.

I thought I’d hate Venice (a.k.a. Americans-in-Italy-land) but I quite liked it. It was charming and beautiful. JF and I have decided Slovenia is the perfect country. People are kind, groceries are cheap, tourists are scarce, and the scenery is gorgeous wherever you look. We spent a few days in Croatia, mainly tanning on the coast, before heading home.

Now, we’re settling back into reality again. Everyone asks me « how does it feel? » to which I answer « exactly the same as before.» Because after a decade there is no mystery, just well-worn, comfortable, wonderful love.

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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.

My poverty, but not my will, consents

You know the apothecary in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet who sells Romeo the deadly poison? Well he doesn’t actually want to sell the poison. He has to sell it because he’s poor and hungry.

His exact words in the play are “my poverty, but not my will, consents.” Lately, I’ve been using that line a lot. I’m not hungry. I have a bag of Tostitos on my lap right now. But I’m poor enough that I’ve had to bend my own rules a little bit.

For some (no doubt Freudian, childhood-related) reason, I really don’t accept friends’ generosity very well. When I share a meal at a restaurant, I cover my half.  When someone gives me something, I like to give something back.

Grateful — and lately, relieved — as I am when a kind person treats me to lunch, gets me a coffee, or buys me a drink, it also makes me feel squirmy and wrong inside. I end up saying odd things and not quite knowing when to back down.

Unfortunately/fortunately I have some of the most generous, lovely friends on this earth. So I’ve been in that “uncomfortably delighted” space a lot lately. June featured a series of pleasant lunch and dinner dates with some of my favourite people, but was remarkably easy on my wallet. I can’t say the same for my waistline.

My university roommate Steph took me out for High Tea at MoRoCo last week. Delightful!

My university roommate Steph took me out for High Tea at MoRoCo last week.

To all the great people who have treated me to something lately, thank you. And I apologize for making it awkward. I really appreciated it, but couldn’t properly show my gratitude without screwing my face into an inappropriate smirk-frown.

This whole situation is something I have to work on. But in the meantime, I will continue to stiltedly accept friends’ kindness. And eagerly await the day when I can pay them back in full.