It was almost nine years ago exactly to this day that I looked at this man, and promised that I would be his and he would be mine, forever. We had met on a blind date back in the days when internet dating and chat rooms were still in the realm of science fiction. I was recovering from a broken heart and looking for distraction. He was recovering from glacier climbing in the Tetons and looking for a beer. He proposed after we had scaled a volcano in Mexico (a process normally known as hazing in the fraternity world). And still heady with mountain sickness, he made a magnum of champagne appear out of his backpack. Just a week after our honeymoon, we picked up and left to live in Nepal. From there we moved to Namibia and from there to Morocco. Not a typical journey, I know, but one that made perfect sense to us in that odd kind of way that only we could understand.
In addition to this fixation that he has to climb mountains of the very high variety, my husband, Chris, possesses many other skills. For example, he is the ultimate fixer and solver of problems. My Croatian friend married to an Italian diplomat told me a story about how while traveling recently with another couple, a red light in their car dashboard started flashing and then the car broke down. The two men poured over the car manual but got nowhere fast. It was at this point that my friend exclaimed, ‘Where is Chris when we need him?’ Not that Chris is a mechanic or knows more about cars than the average guy. But rather because Chris is the one who manages to always figure it out, whatever it might be.
An architect by training, Chris has never been satisfied with just designing houses. Oh no. He really needs to get into the heart of a house and understand what makes it tick from the inside. From plumbing to wiring, from septic tanks to solar heating. He can build a house from the ground up. He reminds me of one of those strapping guys that you used to watch striding around Little House on the Prairie – the kind who would gather a few men ‘round and raise an enormous barn in an afternoon (while the women-folk were in the kitchen forever preparing roast turkey, their prairie dresses immaculate).
And so on this almost-our-wedding-anniversary-day, I dedicate this blog entry to my husband, Chris -- my favorite homebuilder and only sweetheart. You’re still the first person I would pick to be in my lifeboat. (I know you would be simultaneously fighting off sharks while figuring out how to convert the ocean into drinking water.) Thank you for marrying me. I’m one lucky woman.