Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Popping the question...

Our engagement was a very special day indeed...but before I tell you about that day, you should know that during the four-year period between when we met and when we got engaged, we moved in together (a year after we met), experienced job changes (both desired and undesired!), cooked many great meals with each other and our friends, and spent lots and lots of time sailing.

Mr. C has been sailing since he was a kid, and he introduced me to sailing the first summer we were dating, by taking me out for a week on his sailboat on Lake Michigan.  I absolutely loved it, and convinced him to ship his boat out to NYC so we could enjoy it more often.

First sailing adventure was a success, and boat is ready to ship to NYC!

After she made it to the east coast by way of an 18-wheeler (!), we spent two summers sailing her in the waters of the Hudson River, Raritan Bay, and Long Island Sound, and then in the spring of 2011, Mr. C sold her to a friend of ours.  But we couldn't go without a water-going vessel for long...within two months, we had found and purchased a larger sailboat, together!  Osprey is our new boat, and we spent last summer sailing her all over the NYC/Connecticut/Rhode Island area.  We even took her on an extended racing trip that included stops on Block Island and Martha's Vineyard.

All that back story is to explain what we were doing when we got engaged.  At the end of the sailing season, we had spent all day in the boatyard in Rhode Island on October 8th, sanding Osprey's teak toe rail.  Sanding teak is dirty work - the dust gets everywhere.  At about 4:30, Mr. C told me to wrap it up, but I wanted to keep working!  We were so close to being done...  He somehow convinced me that we needed to finish up while it was still light out, and he suggested we head to our yacht club's clubhouse on Narragansett Bay for showers, drinks and maybe some dinner.  Not suspecting a thing at this point, I agreed that sounded good, and debated whether or not to spend time washing my (very teak dust-filled) hair - y'all know when you wash your hair you take so much longer than a guy does to get presentable!  He stealthily managed to suggest that I might want to wash my hair, again without raising suspicion!  I was totally clueless as to what was about to take place.

While I was still getting ready in the women's showers at the club, I heard the cannon go off signaling the end of the day and the lowering of the flag, and I rushed to wrap it up and get out to the lawn before the sunset disappeared.  Sunset is my favorite time of day, and I knew the view would be incredible overlooking the harbor.  Mr. C and I got glasses of wine and headed out to the adirondack chairs on the lawn to enjoy the view.  Shortly after we sat down, Mr. C began to talk to me about our life together and how happy he was...and then he said "so, I was wondering"...and suddenly there he was, down on one knee in front of me with a beautiful ring in his hand!  The words "will you marry me?" came out of his mouth, and I immediately started to shake and cry.  I was so utterly, completely surprised, I even said "are you serious?!" more than once - and he likes to remind me of that repeatedly.   I finally said yes, after what felt like forever, but Mr. C says wasn't really all that long (I'm glad one of us was calm!)

Also unbeknownst to me, he had arranged for friends of ours to be behind us photographing the whole thing, so we have a whole series of happy photos to document the event:

Surveying the harbor:

In shock as he puts the ring on my finger:

Many, many hugs: 

I have to say, Mr. C isn't usually a romantic, but what an amazing memory he created for both of us by proposing the way he did.  The photos make it all the better - he knew just what I would love the most.  

How did your engagement happen?  Was it a planned event?  A simple question?  Do you have photos, or just sweet memories? 

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