NOTE: For those of you who may have missed my previous post “Wayne Finds His Blankie” the above reference won’t make much sense so you may want to click on that link and read that post from the beginning of January before you read over this latest and most exciting update.
For those of you who want the shortest possible refresher, I saw this posting Christine put up, or should I say that Barney her Yorkshire Terrier/Terror put up on her Write on the Water blog and thought it was very clever and perhaps I should create some like it with Ruby the Wonderdog. So I sent a note to Christine asking her what software she had used to create this fun talking video. She sent back a quick note to let me know she was extremely busy putting the finishing touches on her latest book “Dragon’s Triangle” (available for pre-order now, shipping June 1st) and and that she had used an app called “My Talking Pet”. I sent back a short note to say Thanks, she sent a slightly longer note back because she says she almost never receives a Thank you note when she answers such Email requests and one Email response led to the next, which led to Skype calls, which led to Christine jumping on a plane to fly over and meet for our “first date” in Fiji, which turned into being a very special dinner on Christmas Eve, which turned into us making the 3 week, 2000+ nautical mile passage from Fiji up north of the equator to Majuro atoll in the Marshall Islands.
For those of you who would appreciate the option of reading some well written accounts of our adventures for a change, you can read some of Christine’s post on her weekly postings to the Write on the Water blog such as:
Since Christine flew out to Fiji back in December to join Ruby and I aboard Learnativity, we’ve been learning, loving and living life extremely well every day. Both Christine and I enjoy living on what we refer to as “the no plan plan” in that we live with no expectations or plans and instead we have unbounded intentions and hopes. After spending the first two weeks and Christmas in Fiji we spent the next three weeks sailing north to Majuro with one stop at the small island of Rotuma which you can read more about in the “Blankie” post I noted above.
If you’ve got more time than good sense you can review ALL the other Learnativity Updates at http://learnativity.typepad.com for Dec 2013/Jan 2014 where you will find the daily updates from our three week passage north from Vuda Point Marina in Fiji north to Majuro in the Marshall Islands. It was a phenomenal adventure for both of us as sailors and as a couple and in spite of some challenges along the way such as losing the use of our rudder we had a truly awemazing time throughout, I was finally able to swim across the equator and we sailed onto the mooring ball in Majuro sans rudder but avec the biggest grins you can imagine.
For the more sane of you, let me start with a quick synopsis (remember who is writing this!) of our adventures leading up to this latest development.
Once we arrived in Majuro we enjoyed the next few weeks introducing Christine to the fascinating atoll of Majuro, getting the rudder removed, welded and replaced (thanks Philip!), attending to lots of other boat jobs and took a small test run over to the idyllic islet of Eneko which is only about six nautical miles away from where we are normally moored. Time flew by and it was soon mid February and time for us to transform ourselves into “land lubbers” for the next few months as we switched from sailing North at 5 knots to flying East at over 500. After a quick hop through Honolulu our first stop was near LA to spend a few days with my amazing daughter Lia, hubby Brian AND our new baby/grand daughter to be! Yes, that’s right folks Lia is expecting a little girl about the middle of July and so I’m about to become a Grand Dad for the first time!!! I have not had as exciting a time with Lia & Brian since being the Father of the Bride at their wedding back in 2009 and lucky for you I’m not going to start gushing about my feelings about all this but do let me issue an early warning of upcoming prolific postings from a very proud Grand Dad come July.
Since then we have continued hopping our way mostly eastward with stops in the Orlando area just long enough to all too briefly meet up with Christine’s son Tim and his fiancé Ashley and some of Christine’s best friends in the Fort Lauderdale area and move Christine’s sailboat up to my land based home in New Smyrna Beach (thanks John & Michelle!). Then we were back on the next flights over to St. Martin for a week of fun with my “second family” the Alonso clan on their fabulous PowerCat. Ruby decided she would rather continue to be a boat dog and stay there where she had six new people to attend to her Princess needs, tropical climate preferences and join forces with their dog Amy and cat Calypso while Christine and I jumped on the next jet over to Europe for two months. Primary purpose here is to do the fascinating style of what I’d best describe as “serendipitous research” which Christine does for her books and to also take advantage of the opportunity to visit with some dear friends and family we each have in various parts of Europe. We initially flew into Malta as that is where Christine’s next thriller (as yet untitled) will begin and where the story I want to tell today also begins.
Neither of us had ever been to Malta before and it turned out to be truly magical with its stunning natural beauty and extraordinary history as well as providing the perfect setting for something I’d been waiting to find just the right moment for. And so it was that on yet another stunning sunny Spring day we wandered our way over to the colourful and ancient medieval little fishing village of Marsaxlokk. We spent the morning wandering through the Sunday market they are famous for that was filled as you can see in these pictures with stall after stall of every kind of fresh fish and seafood, veggies, fruit, nuts, candy, baked goodies and crafts. As is our daily habit, along the way we picked up some still warm fresh bread, olives, cheese, dried meat and a bottle of wine and headed over for the hills out on the point we could see were blanketed in spring flowers and would give us a great view back into the circular little harbour the market rings.
I think you might agree when you look at the picture to the left here, that we found just the right spot that was sheltered from the still cold wind in the midst of a rainbow of new flowers springing up all around us and also provided us with a panoramic view of both the little town harbour and all the boats out at sea behind us. So we spread out all our treasures from the market, fresh bread, olives, cheeses, meats and I popped the cork and poured us each a glass of the latest bottle of Maltese wine we found. If I had any doubts that this was going to be perfect “Goldilocks” moment where everything was just right, a flock of doves suddenly flew right over our heads and that was it! NOW was the time.
I was going to use a poem I’d been working on but I decided to just speak spontaneously from my heart instead. As you might imagine Christine was by now very used to my verbosity but I asked her to let me get to the end of what I wanted to say as I told her how completely my perspectives on life and love have changed and been enriched since we serendipitously found each other.
Christine and I have both been fortunate enough to have had previous wonderful marriages so we have known the joys of a great loving relationship with a great spouse. We have also both have the unbelievable loving experience of being parents; Christine has a son Tim (29) and I have Lia (29) and Skyler (27) so we know what that kind of love feels like. As you can see then, I have lived a VERY full, rich and wonderful life and yet I was now 61 years young and experiencing all new highs and all new feelings of true LOVE every day.
A few days earlier I had managed to find the most exquisite little filigreed round box with a hinged lid that was locally hand made out of silver. This is a special craft of a few villages in Malta which dates back to medieval times and Christine and I had both been entranced of some of the examples we had been seeing of the delicate and intricate patterns these artisans are able to create out of silver. So when I finally found one little shop tucked away in a tiny alley of one of the towns we visited a few days ago that had this tiny jewel like box, I knew it was just right for what I had in mind. We walked a few blocks further in the old fortified city and with the excuse of needing to go find a WC, I dashed back and bought the little silver box.
And so as I talked to Christine I pulled out this little box which I had carefully been carrying for the past few days, hidden away inside a little “secret pocket” in my jacket and presented it to Christine as I asked her if she would marry me. Inside the box I had previously placed the diamond I had been wearing in my left ear since I was in my twenties and which I explained can be inserted into the ring I am in the process of designing and making.
The way a proposal works for me is that I get to make my decision and ask the question when I’m ready to do so and then Christine gets to make her decision and answer when she is ready to do so. It wasn’t a complete surprise as we had been talking along these lines for some time. This is after all about THE most important decision and commitment two people can make! So I reiterated all this to Christine as I handed her that little silver filigree box, that s he needed to be careful what she wished for or agreed to in this case as she just might get her wish and that there was no rush and she could take as much time as she wanted to respond to my proposal.
Maybe it was that Spring was so strongly in the air that day. Or maybe it was another momentary lapse of her otherwise excellent good judgement, such as when she agreed to fly over to Fiji to go on a month long “first date” that included a non stop sailing passage with some crazy Canadian she had never met! Or maybe it was that Maltese wine? Whatever the reason, after only a slight pause and a long loving look, she quietly said YES!!! instantly making me the richest, happiest and most fortunate man in the cosmos!!!
It has taken me a few weeks to put this more public announcement together because we both wanted to talk to our kids and a few close family and friends and let them know first and a wee bit more personally. And we both look forward to sharing this all with you in person when we are next able to meet up with you. For as many who are living in Europe, the USA and Canada, we would hope that will be in the next few months of our land lubber adventures there. We have already been able to meet with some of Christine’s special friends in France from when she was an exchange student there back in 1971/72 and with some of my family in Switzerland and dear friends in Antwerp. In June we hope to meet with many more of you when Christine and I take a big west coast road trip driving up the Pacific Coast Highway 1 from Lia’s place in Chino CA to BC and back again in time for the birth of little “Baby B” about July 12th. Watch for updates here and on FB as our travels proceed and we will do our best to be in touch as we get closer to you and know more.
As you can imagine, Christine and I couldn’t be happier and we both remain totally awemazed at the degree, depth and completeness of the love we have found buried away deeply within ourselves and each other. I won’t go on and on about it now (lucky you!) just suffice it to say that I am truly in awe of finding someone who is such a “perfectly imperfect” match for me in seemingly every facet and who feels the same way too. While life has taken us along extremely different routes to get here, Christine and I find ourselves to be so in synch in literally every way that matters; our outlook on life, our priorities, our sense of adventure, our perspectives and our attitudes. Each and every step along the way of our each of our 60+ years of life’s experiences have somehow made us into these two very unique snowflakes who awemazingly happen to mesh and fit together perfectly.
By far the best illustration of how this “perfectly imperfect” complete meshing feels to both Christine and me, click on the illustration you see here on the left. (it is too long to fit here) While this may be just a metaphorical illustration, this IS exactly how it feels to both of us to have so unexpectedly and serendipitously found our perfectly imperfect match. When we put Christine’s perfectly imperfect individual self together with mine, it is just like when you find the two halves of a ceramic plate that broke in half; they fit so perfectly together that the crack disappears completely and it becomes one new whole. In our case that new whole is called “WE”.
The best way I can synthesize my situation is that I am hoping to be one of the rarest of all men, one who gets to have loved two awemazing women and two great romantic marriages in his lifetime. The first one with Diana was the greatest love of my life for thirty years and we were blessed with the two best gifts a couple could have ever imagined; Lia and Skyler. For a long time I thought that having one great love in your life was all one could hope for, but a few years ago I came to see this wasn’t necessarily true and opened myself up to the possibility knowing full well that finding just the right “perfectly imperfect” woman a second time and much later in life was very rare. Add in my unusual single handed and remote lifestyle and it was in fact extremely improbable. However since Christine and I so serendipitously found each other last year it has become clearer to me each day that by trusting in serendipity and synchronicity I have stumbled upon the perfect matching woman and person for the man and person I’ve become at 61. And so with Christine’s enthusiastic “Yes!” to my proposal it would seem that I have somehow managed to become the rarest, richest and most fortunate of men upon receiving her gift of “Yes!” and becoming husband and wife and being the last great love of each of our lives.
I’m sure you have lots of questions and right now we don’t have many answers. We don’t know just when or where or how we will get married other than sooner rather than later and in some very special and memorable way. With our respective friends and family spread literally around the world it would be a challenge for the majority to get to the same place at the same time. PLUS, we have two other events coming up that are even more important to both of us; Christine’s son Tim is engaged to a wonderful woman and he and Ashley are going to be getting married in the Fort Lauderdale area on March 1st next year and Lia and Brian are expecting “Baby B” to arrive about July 12th and she will be the first of the Hodgins grandchildren! Suddenly there seems to be a lot of plans in our “no plan plan” life!
However, Christine and I are great problem solvers and we will figure out something creative, romantic and innovative for our wedding and let you know as we do. In any case, these are all just fun details for us really as we have already made our loving commitments to each other and that’s what matters most to us. What I DO know is that all of Wayne loves all of Christine. I love every facet of her more deeply and more completely than I ever knew possible. Best of all she says she feels exactly the same!
I’ll leave it at that for now and look forward to sharing our happiness with you in person when we next get to be with you in person.