Today is the eighth wedding anniversary for me and Keen.  Coming up in February this year will mark 17 years from our first date!  (Our first date consisted of a movie after work together and making out in his car but still… it counts.)  Over our getaway trip we figured out that in another 3 years it will not only be our unofficial 20th anniversary but at that point we’ll also have spent half our lives together.  (Whoa!)

Metrodad had pointed out recently that us bloggers don’t tend to talk about our spouses much and that stuck with me.  So for our anniversary I’d like to share a little story about Keen.  I think it says a lot about his nature and our relationship. 

How Keen Proposed

I have this strange karma that delivers more than the average number of lost and/or abandoned pets into my keeping.  I have found/rescued quite a few cats and dogs of all ages, and even the occasional hurt bird that needed to be delivered to our local Wildlife group.  Me being not just an animal lover but also a big sap it’s impossible for me to turn any of these animals away.  I’ve even found animals on my way to work and taken them into the office with me (which strangely, made me quite popular on those days). 

Keen pretends to complain (he needs to keep up appearances, you know) but deep down he’s just as big a softie as I am when it comes to animals.  Once we saw a three-legged dog with the sweetest eyes at a pet adoption stand and he worried all day that no one would adopt that poor dog.  He would have taken him home in a second if we lived in something bigger than an apartment.

The weekend that Keen had planned to propose to me was one of those pet karmic moments.  On Friday night, right after I got home from work I discovered a pit bull puppy galloping up and down our street trying to play with anyone who happened by.  She was probably only three months old and she had been abandoned.  One minute a lady had been “walking” her (without a leash) and the next the lady bailed.  I took the pup in to give her some water and food.  Since our apartment balcony faced the street I watched for several hours for that lady, or anyone, to come back and no one did.

The pup spent the night with us and I started looking for options to get her to a good home.  However, we soon discovered that if we took the puppy to the pound they would immediately put her down because she was a pit bull.  This was one of the sweetest dogs I had ever met.  She would roll over submissive for our CAT!  There was no way I was going to give her over to the pound and I didn’t know anyone who was looking for a puppy. 

Keen had wanted to make an impromptu day trip up to Yosemite on Saturday.  Instead, he drove me around most of Saturday (and didn’t grumble at all!) until we found a rescue group that specialized in breeds that the pound normally destroys.  Our sweet pit bull pup went to a very nice lady for future adoption, among a number of Dobermans and Boxers. 

After that was taken care of Keen, surprisingly, suggested that we go up to Yosemite the next day.  Now understand, this was not only Sunday (with work the next day) it was also a three hour drive one-way up to Yosemite from where we lived. This was pretty far for a day trip.  I started to feel really bad – Keen had been such a great sport about the latest in my pet rescue adventures and I started to think, “Wow, he must be feeling really stressed at work if he wants to drive all the way up to Yosemite to get away.” 

Keen and I have a special history with Yosemite.  Keen’s family has gone camping there every year since Keen was a small child, and his father had gone camping there since he was a small child.  It was a tradition.  His family knows trails that have been closed for a very long time. They remember seeing the firefalls live, and they are the first group to start yelling for “Elmer” at night (another Yosemite tradition). I had started camping in Yosemite in high school when our Astronomy Club would go up to star watch (yes, I am a nerd), and when Keen and I started dating I went along on all the Keen family camping trips. It has very special memories for both of us but it also became “our place”. 

The Sunday that we drove up for our day trip as we passed Bridalveil Falls I casually mentioned that it was one of the few waterfall trails in Yosemite I hadn’t climbed. Keen immediately pulled the car off the main road and said, “Well, we should go up then!” 

The day was beautiful.  It was late summer so even though there was still water coming down the falls it wasn’t as much of a torrent as it usually is; Bridalveil Falls is a very tall fall so that when the water is heavy it froths and mists extensively coming down, so that it looks like the lace veil it’s named after.  There is a little bridge a few hundred yards from the bottom of the fall where it’s very picturesque and you can take pictures without getting wet, but we hit the trailhead, a series of rocky switchbacks to the very base of the fall.  It was also still early in the morning so it wasn’t too hot.  Keen and I took our time going up the trail until we got to the base and then (being kids) we scrambled out until we were standing on a rock in the middle of the pooling water.

I turned to Keen to give him a hug.  He said, “I’ve got something for you…” and as I was giving him a perplexed look Keen pulled out a ring box, opened it, and proposed to me standing on a rock at the base of Bridalveil Falls.

Of course, I said yes.  A dumbfounded and dazed yes, but one without hesitation.

I had had NO IDEA this was coming!  He had it planned for weeks, apparently most of our friends knew about it, and I almost ruined his plans by making him drive me around to rescue a puppy.   

That three hour drive back home flew by.  Later on, we received a gorgeous print of Bridalveil Falls as one of our wedding gifts.            

Happy Anniversary, babe.  I love you.                – the weirdgirl