Monday, February 14, 2011

Change of Seasons

I am posting this blog entry again in celebration of Valentine's Day
I am linking up with:
Go and visit her blog to see many more inspiring love stories

This fall will not only bring a change of seasons in the weather, but also a change of season in my life. The cooler, darker days seem to keep me cooped up inside with more time to think, read, and reflect. At this point in my life I feel blessed for what I have - a roof over my head, a good family, a great husband, and a full life. But, there is always change...some good, some bad and some just different.
The change of seasons in my life had begun just last month when we brought our youngest to university. No more children at home anymore...empty nesters is what they call it. I call it time to reflect and think back to the time before we had children...it seems so long ago when we didn't have children. And, in fact, from the beginning of our marriage there has always been a little one underfoot. You see, when I married my husband I had already had my son and he was 2 1/2 years old.
Let's go back to where the story began:
Many years ago (I was 18 at the time) a girlfriend and I had sub-letted a condo for the summer from this couple that was going to visit family in Sweden. It was going to be the first time that both of us were on our own and we were ready to experience everything about being on our own too. That summer was a blast - we could get up late if we wanted, go to bed at ridiculous times, eat whatever we wanted, and just love life being two girls on their own.
One day we decided to spend the day in San Francisco. We visited Fisherman's Wharf, shopped at Gunne Sax factory (a favorite of ours), and ended the day with shopping at Pier 39. Our last stop was eating at an ice cream shoppe before we headed back to our apartment.
Here we are in some photo shots (circa 1980):

Me enjoying my ice cream...

And Koryn enjoying hers...

As we headed down the road passing all the other piers that would lead us to the highway, we spotted a blue corvette and a motorcycle in the middle of the road with 3 guys flagging down anyone who would stop. Yep, we stopped (you must know that I would never do this now, but this was 1980- things were safer then - at least that's what I tell my daughters now). Once we stopped and started talking to them we found out that they were from Canada and that they had just graduated from high school and they were on a summer trip. They were looking for a place to stay and asked us if we knew of any hotels. We then had them follow us back to the Fisherman's Wharf area and when each hotel we went to said "No Vacancy", we asked them if they would like to come back to Campbell and stay with us at our condo. Needless to say their answer was yes and we then were on our way back home (to our condo).
It was an exciting part of our summer (meeting not only guys, but guys from Canada!) and we crammed a lot of things into the few days that they were with us. Movies, Great America theme park, the beach, etc. My girlfriend and I both played hooky from work so that we could have fun in the sun with these guys. Time came for them to leave (they were venturing on to Los Angeles to go to Disneyland, beaches, etc.) and we were sad....but, they came back on their way home to Canada. They spent another few days with us...we learned a lot about them...what Canadians are all about...what these guys were all about. There was a connection between one of those guys and myself...and, by the end of their trip he had professed his love for me and wanted to "spend the rest of his life" with me. I laughed at him because I thought how could this be possible?! Never could I have imagined in a million years that it really would happen!
Here I am with "the boys"...

My future "hubby" showing me the car functions...

I got to take the corvette for a spin...

At Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara, CA...

The boys posing before they left to go on to Los Angeles...

Such a strong man...

This was a photo I sent him later on in those "Flashdance" days...

We said our goodbyes, exchanged addresses, telephone numbers, and then went about our normal lives not thinking this relationship would have a future. We kept in touch through letters and pictures...him busy with his business, me busy being a dental assistant. We were young and carefree. We of course were only 18 & 19 at that time so life just went on with our daily routines and jobs. I would get the occasional letter from him and get a glimpse of what was going on in his life and I would send him a letter back and let him know what was going on in mine.
Our lives went on and in 1983 I found out I was pregnant (another long story) and my life certainly took on a different focus and future. I was still working as a dental assistant up until I had my son and then I went back to school at night to become a word processor. I lived part-time with my parents and then with my grandmother so that someone could watch him while I attended school at night. When I finished with my schooling I got a job in a bank in downtown San Jose as the word processor for the loans department. It was a good job and the people I worked for were great. My goal was to eventually save up enough money for my son and I to have our own place to live in.
Fast forward to 1986...World's Expo Fair held in Vancouver, B.C. An opportunity came up for my mom and myself and my son to go to the World's Fair Expo in Vancouver (her boss had free tickets for the fair). So, I knew that "my guy" still lived in that area of B.C., so I sent him a letter and filled him in on my life (you know, job, life, and the little fact that I had a son) and said that we would be coming to the fair and I would like to visit him. Well, he sent me a letter back filling me in on his life...the fact that he owned a house, had some chickens, oh, and he had a wife! He said that he would love seeing me again and that we were welcome to stay with them. So, we made our plans and looked forward to August when we would be flying north.
Our plane tickets purchased and plans put forth, I called him a couple of months before just to make sure that it was still okay that we stayed with him and his wife in case we needed to find other accommodations if it wasn't. Well, it seemed that things had changed in his life - he and his wife had recently split up (she found someone else at work) and we were still welcome to stay with him. We were excited about the trip and I was looking forward to seeing “him” again.
Getting off the airplane in Vancouver was exciting…I hadn’t flown anywhere in a long time. The thought of seeing new things, new people, and new sights thrilled me and to experience a different country was cool too! When we both saw each other at the airport I felt the sparks between us once again. This was going to be a very memorable trip indeed!
We spent the next week sightseeing the different places surrounding Vancouver. We went to the Expo a few days, shopping, and I even went to one of "his" friends' weddings. It was a whirlwind week and we tried to fit in a whole lotta stuff in such a short amount of time. It was indeed a great trip.
One of our last days was spent in Victoria, BC. We visited the Buschart Gardens and had a really enjoyable time. The day was sunny and "his" sister kept my son for the day so that we were truly able to have an uninterrupted day as adults. Little did I know that the ride home on the ferry was to be one of the most memorable ferry rides I would ever take!
As we headed back that night, "he" asked me to take a stroll outside on the deck. My mom stayed inside while we walked and talked outside. The night was cool and the waters calm. We sat down for awhile and this is where the memorable part comes in...he proposed! Yes, I was getting married...
The next year and a half was a whirlwind with either me flying to Vancouver or him flying to San Jose. It took a year and a half for his divorce to become final (in those days there were no "quickie" divorces) and I also had to go to our immigration office to file on my own to move to Canada. Since "he" couldn't aid us over at that time, Canada wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to become a statistic and abuse the system. Therefore they had to make sure that my occupation was "in need" in Canada and that I would be able to find a job once I landed there. So, this process took a l..o..n..g time and a lot of money (the airplane companies got a lot of it) but on January 1, 1988 the wedding between "he" and I took place. It was a very simple wedding with just immediate family at the reception. A small group in an intimate setting. It was perfect as I reflect back on it now.
The morning of my wedding...

At the Bedford House Restaurant in Ft. Langley, BC (the sight we had our reception dinner at)...

Many years have passed...many trials...many joys...many dreams. But one thing that remains is our love. Three children, five houses, many holidays, many birthdays...and more to come.

Now as we spend our lives as "empty nesters" it is our time to bring back the focus on us as a couple (along with our many dogs!). We will always be "parents", but now it is just the two of us in the home and only our needs to meet. Making meals is so different now. Laundry is a breeze (gotta love that!). And those little messes around the house have dwindled in comparison to what they used to be. I can get used to this!

So, here's to us and the life we've led and the future we will be part of. To many more years of "living our life" to come!

Love you honey...

11 comments:

shabbyscraps said...

oh my goodness rochelle, this love story of yours brought tears to my eyes! What a definition of destiny! I wish you and "he" many many more happy years, even as empty nesters, perhaps it is time to feel young and frivolous again!
xoxo, Tiffany

Koryn said...

OMG! This cracked me up! Check out my feathered Farrah hair! Well, I was trying to be Farrah but never even came close! I remember that day in San Francisco like it was yesterday! God had us do that crazy thing and let those guys come home with us cuz he knew what a great guy, husband, father Tim would one day be. How could we have ever known? I'm just impressed you still had these photos! Thanks so much for sharing memory lane with me - it made my day!
Love ya Shell!
Koryn

Cheryl said...

What a great story Rochelle! I always love how God brings special people into our lives. Have a wonderful fall and being an empty nester isn't that bad!
xoxo,
Cheryl

Jennie Marsland said...

Just popped over from the Desert Cottage. You have a beautiful love story. Thanks for sharing.

And oh, the 80's hair - I remember it well!

Victoria said...

Awwww, that was a great story!!! I say we bring back those short shorts for men, wooohooo!!! I remember Gunne Sax, I always wanted a dress from there but never got one. I really enjoyed that story, here's to the next chapter in your life as empty nesters:) Happy Valentine's Day!

Shirley said...

How wonderful to have this all documented for the rest of your future together. I would have it framed or put into a wonderful album. The pictures are wonderful.
I guess it truly was the good old days..
Oh yes, I loved your dress and your hair..beautiful.
Yours Sincerely,
Shirley

Daniella said...

Thanks for sharing your great story!
xxDaniella

Leah C said...

Such a beautiful love story:)

Roxanne said...

Rochelle, I"ve missed you and was just thinking about you yesterday! I'm so glad you came by and left such a sweet comment.
I loved this precious love story and your new blog too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your story.

Lynn said...

Beautiful love story. Love the pics, brought back memories of "back in the day", lol. Your wedding photo is beautiful and you make a beautiful couple today. Blessings.

Karen Valentine said...

That was a perfect love story!! I loved seeing all those pics from the 80's. Wow did they bring back memories! Thank you so much for joining the party! I really had fen here!
xo,
Karen