Monday, October 18, 2010


Ten years ago today...

D and I met while we were working for the same international firm.  I was based in Portland, Oregon but traveling nearly constantly.  He was based in the Cayman Islands.

We met at a company lunch on Grand Cayman, and the story goes that after setting eyes on me, he said to a co-worker, "She's a babe!"  He calls me Babe to this day.  I don't consider myself such, so I love him for the fact that he does.  He's a Brit and his accent charmed me immediately.  It's backed up by an acerbic, rapier wit that keeps me in stitches all these years later.

As a former bridge officer on large ships, he's extremely well traveled, having crossed the equator and transited the Panama canal numerous times.  He's sailed six of the seven seas and set foot on six of the seven continents.

I told him once that the chance that we even met, let alone crafted a relationship that led to a marriage, seems so astronomically unlikely it must have been fated.  I imagine us as little pinpoints of light on the globe... his circling the earth, transiting the seas... mine orbiting within the confines of my country, occasionally brushing Canada or Mexico.  Then one day our points of light collide in the Caribbean and turn into a shower of sparks.

At first, the distance thing seemed insurmountable.  We enjoyed spending time together for the remainder of my visit to the island.  And both of us were sad when it was time for me to leave but it seemed a brief island romance destined to become a pleasant memory.  This was before Skype, and it cost $0.25/min for me to call him on the Islands, and over $1.00/min for him to ring the States.  So even keeping in touch seemed an expensive proposition.

He sent me the sweetest e-mail the day I left.  He told me that he was listening to David Gray's "Please Forgive Me" and it made him think of me. Not that he had anything to apologize for - here is the lyric, which still melts my heart when I hear it:

Please forgive me if I act a little strange
For I know not what I do
Feels like lightning running through my veins
Every time I think of you

He had a business trip to the States the day after my departure, and I remember that we decided to take advantage of the low cost phone calls and had a few marathon overnight conversations.  Somewhere in those calls we decided on his visit to Oregon at Christmas, sacrificing his holiday visit to England to come see me.

So two months after those first idyllic days on the Island, I was nervously waiting at the Portland Airport - back when you could still meet someone at the gate as they stepped off the plane.

The sparks were still there.

We spent the week between Christmas and New Years Day completely absorbed in each other.  One evening, curled up on a sofa in front of the massive stone fireplace in the great room at Timberline Lodge, we noticed that when we were together, it was like we were in an insulated bubble for just the two of us.  I wanted to stay in the bubble forever.

Three years and three days later - across the international date line and on another island in the sea, we did this:

Happy Ten Years, my love.  You've made the world my oyster
and I'll never see it the same way because of you.

Photo: Miles Holden

Our wedding album:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Silvery-Pink and Orange Lining

"It's 0600... what's the "o" stand for? Oh, my God, it's early!"
        -Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam

You know back in 2007, Congress changed the start and end dates of Daylight Savings Time, to extend the DST period by an extra month each year?  I'm definitely a fan.  I think it's great that the precious daylight hours after work are conserved for a few more weeks.  But in recent days, the start of my morning commute has moved from "Oh, my God, it's early" to "O-dark-thirty."  I literally leave the house at the butt-crack of dawn.

I welcome fall, snuggling in as the heat dissipates and the leaves turn fiery colors.  It's time for nightly cozy fires in the woodstove and looking forward to Christmas - I love Christmas.  But as the days get shorter - darn that rotation of the earth around the sun! - it starts to get a bit depressing to leave for work and get home in the dark.  I used to work in cubeland where I couldn't even see a window... and if I worked through lunch during a busy time, days would go by where I'd barely set eyes on sunlight.  Last winter, at least, I enjoyed my very own office with an exterior window - a luxury indeed.

With the new job last spring, I'm back in cubeland.  But the enlightened designers of our company premises have placed all the execs in offices on the interior of the building, ringing them with low-walled cubes, some of which face right out the windows.  It's only fair that those who make the big bucks cede the windows to us schmucks toiling away in the cubicles.  It makes such a difference to have daylight flooding the workspace, and although I don't like leaving for work in the dark, if I get to enjoy this view as the sun rises over the city when I get there, it's a definite plus to the shorter days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on Miracle the Kitten

A few weeks ago I told you about the kitten we rescued who was dubbed Miracle.  After contacting, Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals, I received this message from the lovely Marilyn who coordinates the cat adoption program:

Miracle did come in this morning and is negative for FIV and Leukemia!  She is being fostered with my current kittens that are her size so she has three buddies, October, Prada and Boston.  She is a little out of sorts as all kittens are at first, a few grrrr's at the others but she will be just fine by this time tomorrow.
I cannot imagine how little and fragile she must have been when "the incident" occurred.  She is about 5-6 weeks old and weighs 1-10oz.   She is not shy or frightened and she is even trying to play in my office with the toys all around the room.  You are welcome to come visit any time. 
Thank you for caring - - I will follow with pictures but she needs a bath first.  Maybe tomorrow.......???

So the kitten is healthy, receiving excellent care, and now has a bunch of little buddies.  I'm so glad because I'm sure she was probably missing her littermates after her terrifying adventure.  The mental picture of this 1 lb handful of fluff growling at her new roomies cracks me up though.

D and I went over one evening to visit the kitten and meet her new crew.  There were eight kittens of various ages being fostered by Marilyn and her husband Steve at the time of our visit.   I'm restricted from taking them all in by my much more sensible husband, but if I was on my own, I could easily become a crazy cat lady. I would love to foster kittens - though Marilyn did admit to a bit of sadness when a cat has stayed with them for a while or required a lot of care and it's time for them to move to a forever home.  I'm so sentimental I would just be setting myself up for heartache.

But you guys, if watching a bunch of sweet little kittens at play doesn't make you grin just a little bit, well then you must be dead inside.  I love how Miracle's got these cute little turned-down walrus whiskers, a leopard spotted tummy and permanent bed-head fur.  Check her out here:

Now I only have to wait for the news that she's been adopted to a forever home.

UPDATE 11/19/2010: I found out from Miracle's foster home that she was adopted this weekend!  She went to a really nice family, a mom with two early-teen boys who have another young playful cat.  This news totally made my day.