Some days I want to say, “Four years? It’s already been four years?!” Others it’s more like, “Only four years? Feels like a lifetime…”
I met Husband almost exactly four years ago, when I first moved to Virginia. I was working as a writing coach at the university where I was just beginning my master’s program. He was working as a chef in the university cafe, managing the place in the evenings. We both worked the late shift, getting off at 9pm.
I barely remember the first time I met Husband. He came into the writing center to visit with a friend. We were introduced, but by the next time he came in I had already forgotten his name (oops).
He also made friends with another writing coach, my friend Rachel. More often than not, Husband came wandering into the writing center looking for Rachel, with a snack for Rachel, or a proposition for Rachel. Funny, though, how often he came looking for her on the nights she wasn’t working.
“Oh?” he would say. “She’s not here? Then, here, you can have this salad and garlic bread.”
It was good garlic bread.
A few weeks later he made plans to teach Rachel how to surf, and then asked if I wanted to come along as well. Funny how he scheduled the surf lesson for during fall break, when Rachel was making a trip home.
A few days after the surf lesson, we went kayaking. I was ecstatic to be making a friend in a local, not a transient student, but someone who could tell me where the best spots were and the best things to do. And he had kayaks, that didn’t hurt at all.
He was testing me, or so he would later admit. We kayaked for four hours that day, him wanting to see if I could keep up. Me just enjoying the opportunity to be out on the water.
That’s how it all started. Our friendship. Over the next few months there were a number of fun outings, breakfasts, and many, many late conversations at work.
Eventually I caught on. He asked me out. I made him wait three weeks for an answer.
Two weeks later we were talking about wedding dates.
Three months after that we were engaged.
Six more months and we were married. Exactly one year after that first surf lesson and kayak paddle.
Maybe that’s why the past four years feels like both an hour and a lifetime. Because it has all gone so fast, things have changed–are changing–at a rapid pace. And because of that, life today is so vastly different than it was four short years ago that it seems it must have always been this way.
I’m afraid the next four years will go just as quickly…more changes await us. Our first house, to start.
I want to stop and savor the moments. I want to go camping more. I want to sit and share a glass of wine more. I want to take long drives through the country just because. I want to do less and be more.
That seems my ever elusive goal.
Did I mention Husband first met my parents in the middle of a snow storm? In West Virginia? And we were all snowed into a tiny cabin together for three days? Another story for another time…