I landed upon these shores back in 2007 and soon after one of the moderators sent me a welcome message and pointed me towards the industry sub forums and asked me a few questions about myself.
Had to admit... thought her avatar was one of someone who was very attractive and just a little mysterious.
After answering a few questions we started a somewhat regular dialogue via PM's and found ourselves talking about all kinds of things and found that we shared a lot of the same thoughts and values about life as well as a love of utilitarian cycling.
Months went by and we continued to talk via PM and then by email and live chat and I found myself really liking this lady but thought that with the two of us living 1000 miles apart in different countries, and the fact I planned to join a monastery, to be a good reason for us just to be good friends.
When I mentioned that I was going to live a monastic existence her reply was, "that would be a waste"... it took me a little while to get that but realized that the feelings that I had for her were reciprocal.
One November night we were having all kinds of issues with the interweb and I asked if she would like to hear my voice and we exchanged phone numbers and that first call lasted through the night until we both had to get ready for work.
It was so nice to hear her laugh and apparently... she thinks I am rather funny.
Anyways... it was on those evenings when circumstances kept us from sharing our days that I realized that there was no-one else I wanted to share my day with and since we both felt the same way decided that perhaps we should meet as our feelings of friendship had moved beyond that.
My initial plans to go to Portland were stalled when I fragged my back and was not allowed to travel and our first meeting ended up being here... it took a while as she did not have a passport and had to do all that paperwork.
We agreed to take things slowly and I wanted to make sure she was not a guy named Bob... it was Easter of 2008 that I met The Girl at the airport.
A thousand pictures could not have done justice to how truly beautiful she is and I was indeed gobsmacked when she stepped through the gate... and she was definately not a guy named Bob.
Was wonderful to find that one could be so comfortable with meeting someone for the first time and knowing so much about them... finding that she fit in my arms like she belonged there, and that her first kiss was as sweeter than anything.
I have never felt so comfortable with anyone... no matter what we were doing it was just so right to be doing it together.
We had a wonderful time over those first weeks and my daughters adored her as she adored them... it took no time at all before my youngest would take her hand on walks or curl up with Donna on the couch. My oldest, who is more reserved about these things took an extra day to warm up but saw from the outset that she really liked her.
It was a sad day when we had to say goodbye but already made plans for me to go to Portland in the fall and again... it felt like being home.
So for the next couple of years we talked constantly about our plans for the future and kept travelling back and forth and counting the sleeps... last Easter I asked this beautiful lady to marry me (over doing dishes) which was more of a formality as we had already talked about getting married.
Nonetheless... she started crying... and said, "of course".
Then she said that she did not want an engagement ring but that a custom tandem would be nice... that tandem is in our shop now.
If I had any question about how perfect The Girl was (I really didn't) this really sealed things...
I spent last January and February in Portland and have never been happier or felt more like this was the person I was meant to spend my life with... The Girl had surgery in January and I stayed to take of her while she recovered and to make things easier.
Last Tuesday The Girl and I became man and wife in what was a rather different ceremony... we can tell out kids we got married by a voodoo priest in a donut shop but the light hearted nature of the ceremony did nothing to diminish the depth of feelings and devotion we have for one another.
This is serious stuff.
Now we have to count a few more sleeps until the immigration paperwork is approved and before I get to hold my wife in my arms as she is in Portland and I am back in Canuckistan... October seems such a long ways away.
My beautiful wife on the waterfront in Portland... just after our wedding.
She still takes my breath away... and has my forever.
Best day ever... and we have so many days ahead of us.