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Last Thursday, Rich and I celebrated our ten year “civil” wedding anniversary. In 2002, we had a “shotgun-like” wedding a week before Rich left for Austin, Texas. Two months later, we had a formal wedding at the Broetje House, in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Prior to leaving for Texas, Rich was getting push-back from IBM about our not yet being married. He feared they won’t my home furnishings unless there was a wedding band on my finger. Hence, three weeks after we’d jointly proposed to each other, in rinky-dink Mexican restaurant in a strip mall, Rich call me at Intel where I managed and wrote the Intel Home Computing website. He was going to pick me up in an hour to get our wedding license, and he’d made arrangements for us to get married the following afternoon at the county courthouse in Hillsboro, Oregon.

To this day, I don’t know how he had the correct paperwork, such as my birth certificate. Needless to say, I giggled all the way to the courthouse, and didn’t stop until the clerk handed us the license.

The next day, June 21st, summer solstice, was sticky and unusually hot. After work, with two hapless co-workers in tow, I changed into a sleeveless, green dress with large rust-colored roses, twisted my hair into a chignon, and firmly clutched my grandmother’s wedding ring and my father’s wedding band, which I’d taken out of storage the night before.

Rich wore a pale green, patterned silk shirt with off-white pants. He’d zipped by grocery store on the way to the courthouse to get a bouquet of flowers, sprayed green, and a matching boutonniere. They were tacky and fabulous at the same time.

Having forgotten his camera, Mike Jastad, his friend from IBM, and best man at both of our weddings, purchased a disposable camera.

We were married by Judge Don Letourneau who was gracious and understanding as we fumbled the rings (my grandmother’s was a bit too tight for my finger). Fifteen minutes later, we were husband and wife. Eck!

We thanked the three people who witnessed the wedding, celebrated by having Thai food, rushed back to Rich’s house, put on grungy clothing, and then stayed up until the wee hours, preparing for a yard sale we had the next day. As a married couple, our first order of business, which we achieved, was to sell stuff we didn’t need, including my beloved 12-year old Red Toyota Corolla. It didn’t have air conditioning so we decided sell it and not bring it to Texas.

Ten years later, we’re no less harried.

On Thursday, I’d planned to leave work earlier, but at the last minute had a call with a company who was making me a job offer (stay tuned for the details). After accepting the offer, and squealing in delight, I drove home.

Pinkabella cupcakesEarlier in the day, I’d stopped at Pinka Bella Cupcakes in Redmond Town Center to purchase ten different cupcakes to celebrate ten years of wedding bliss. Okay, ten years of adventures. Pinka Bella makes the most decadent, delectable, imaginatively decorated cupcakes in the entire Seattle/eastside area.

As I’m approaching our house, my cell phone rang. It was agency I hired to help with my mother. They’d had a home visit that afternoon and wanted to discuss the visit. I pulled into our driveway and started talking. As soon as I hung up, the woman whose been helping with my mother for the past few years called, wanting to report on what took place that afternoon.

Rich, realizing I was in the driveway, jumped into action, pulling my car into the garage and unloading my bags, including the cupcakes, which I had planned to present on the crystal platter that once held our wedding cake. I’d cleverly placed the platter in the back of my car the night before!

Deciphering Rich’s hand signals that we were running late, I said “good-bye” and rushed into the house. Rich then instructed me on what to wear for our celebratory evening. He was pulled clothes off the hanger, as I removed one set and put on another… jeans, two shirts, jacket, Converses…

We then scurried out the door, camera-in-hand, and headed towards downtown Seattle. When we parked near the water, I knew we’d be taking a boat. Sure enough, after scrumptious chowder in a hollowed-out sourdough bowl from Ivar’s, we walked to Pier 54 to take a sunset cruise on the 70-foot Obsession sailboat.

It was a beautiful night so I knew it was going to be a great experience. What I didn’t know is they’d allow Rich to sail the boat… for most of the trip! He had an amazing time, sailing in strong winds, through the Thursday night sailboat races near Shilshole Bay Marina, and then back to Pier 54.

After getting home, we split two cupcakes, raised our forks, and toasted ten years of adventure, accomplishments, and most of all love.

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