Monday, February 23, 2009

One Week

There are those stories that get passed down, generation to generation, with no need for embellishment or flourish because they are just so amazing. You know the ones, the stuff movies are made of, the kind which inspire the scenes in The Notebook, Bridges of Madison County and When Harry Met Sally. The ones which leave one sitting in her jammies on the couch, popcorn eaten, cozy pants on and big, giant tears taking up residence on the front of one's shirt...those scenes.

We all know them.

Some better than others, a'hem.

I am a sucker for a good love story. I cry every time I watch Definitely, Maybe. I cry every time I watch Sleepless in Seattle. Don't even get me started on Love Actually for you will, perpetually, find me with a wet face and unable to breathe during the end. Every. Single. Time.

It isn't a pretty sight.

But these are the movies. And I know this, really I do, yet there I go - falling into their magical trap as if I had no warning at all.

Once upon a time, in a hick town in Eastern Washington, there lived a girl, a barmaid, of not yet 24, who was finishing up her college degree. It was the kind of place with rustic wooded floors and Naugahyde booths. There may or may not have been a pool table or two.

She met his dog first, an aging Golden named (appropriately) Brandy.

Although the details are for only the two of them to know, really, the story goes something like this:

He walked in and we began an easy conversation, discovering early on that we were both transplanted "west siders" (that is what people who come from the west side of the mountains are referred to in hick towns east of the Cascades). It was just before President's Day weekend and I was going to go home to Edmonds to spend some time with friends and family. He mentioned that there was this party he was going to in Fremont and asked if I'd like to go.

It was a date.

I met him in Seattle a few days later, bringing my little mutt Abby along with me, and we talked and talked and talked. At some point in the evening, Abby was lost. It was snowing and I was scared I'd lost her forever. He stayed out all night with me, looking for that little dog and it was then that I knew I'd found someone special. I mean, who spends an entire snowy and cold night looking for a girl's dog that he hardly knows?

We had decided to drive back to Ellensburg together, after the weekend. Just after Snoqualmie Pass, at the West Nelson Siding Road exit, he pulled over.

My heart knew he was the one. And we made a decision right then and there, after only a few days, to keep on driving to Idaho to elope. It felt like the most perfect thing in the world to do.

We called and told my brother (your Uncle). We called and told my sister (your Aunt). We called your future godfather to ask for some money to be wired so that we could pay for the ceremony, but later decided we could "do it on our own." We made it to Idaho and had to wait one extra day because of the holiday and then, on the 7th day, we were married! And we have been ever since.*

This is how I remember my mom telling me the story of how she and my dad met and were married.

37 years ago.

37 years after only one week.

Reckless, silly, irresponsible! I used to think. I, who was with my husband for 7 years...not 7 days before we were married. How could they know? I used to wonder. How?

After they eloped, my grandparents held a reception for them, in which I am sure more than one person muttered, "This will never last." I mean, who wouldn't think that? What person in their right mind would believe that this kind of love, the kind that makes you have butterflies for 37 years, the kind that brings you through all that life throws in your direction, good and bad, the kind that truly does endure...who would have thought that this kind of love could be found and more importantly, recognized, after only 7 days?

I know now that it doesn't matter how, what matters is that it is. It is.

Happy 37th Anniversary Mom and Dad.

Thank you for giving me a love that I can believe in, and a love story that still makes me cry, no matter how many times I hear it.

*Edited: Mom is clearing my mistakes up in the comments...thank goodness we have it all down in writing now! We will never forget.


Momisodes said...

I am such a sucker for love stories, too.


This has me in tears.

Beautiful :)

Wishing your parents a happy anniversary!

Every Day Goddess said...

What a beautiful story!! Happy Anniversary to your parents!!

Dan said...

Happy Anniversary to your parents!

Jen said...

Well, you know that I'm a hopeless romantic (The Notebook is my favorite movie, with Titanic and Love Actually tied for 2nd).

I really believe in just knowing when you are meant to be together. I knew that I was going to marry my husband right from the beginning.

I really enjoyed this story!! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

oh, Carrie.


Anonymous said...

Sister Joan, we were just reminiscing with our Mom tonight about something else.. how when we called you, you offered to come on over & witness our wedding! I know we said "no".. but to this day I feel you were there in spirit.

Brother Deane.. fret not. We got the $$$ from Carrie's future godfather, Duff. And for some weird reason, promptly sent it back. Decided we could do it w/out help.

I AM still laughing about how we called you in the middle of the night, to tell you that you had a new brother-in-law.

I hope this doesn't turn up on Myspace someday.


OH.. Dad says it was the West Nelson Siding Road. All I remember was "yes". But I didn't tell him that until the East Nelson Siding Road????

Remember, it HAS been 37 years.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

One more thing..

Abby was named after Abbie Hoffman. The original "Yippie"* She was a terri-poodle mix, before there were designer dogs. Curly coat that wouldn't stop growing.

see "60's Radicals"

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Best. Love. Story. Ever.

LindaJ said...

This story never gets old. Love you guys!!! A true love story.


Linda Brandon Braydon Ellie Lila

Ashley said...

Wow! How cool. I wish my family had a story like that buried somewhere in its history.

I'm also a sucker for the love stories. I just watched P.S. I Love You for the first time the other evening and bawled the entire time.

Jaimie Mohan said...

This is one of my favorite stories Carrie! Everytime we head over the pass to my parents house and we go by West Nelson Siding Rd, I think about your parents and share the story with whoever is in the car with me :)


Jaimie Mohan said...

This is one of my favorite stories Carrie! Everytime we head over the pass to my parents house and we go by West Nelson Siding Rd, I think about your parents and share the story with whoever is in the car with me :)


alice c said...

7 days!! What an amazing story.

But perhaps the 37 happy years are even more amazing - congratulations and wishing you many more happy years.

Ann(ie) said...

um dude? You are making me cry at my desk. stoppit! OMG...that is the sweetest story ever. I have thought many times how cool your family sounds and this is just the icing on the cake. What adorable parents you have...then and now. xo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carrie's blogfriends.

You realize, I hope, that I don't recommend this for everyone........

but then again.........


Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Awwww. That is an awesome love story.

Happy Anniversary to your parents.

Auds at Barking Mad said...

What a brilliant love story...and the photo at the end...perfect.

Thank you so much for sharing your folks' 'love story' with us. It really is a beautiful thing.

Dammit, where's the Kleenex?

Anonymous said...

Carrie, they really aren't "mistakes".. more like misremembers.


John Wahl said...

Happy Anniversary Jane and Del!
Hey Carrie you do just know; it's pretty cool! JW

Joanna Jenkins said...

A dog! It all started with a dog?!?!? OMG-- I'm telling all my single gal pals to get a dog and they too can find a husband in just seven days. Who knew! I LOVE THIS STORY. It's so romantic. THANKS!

monstergirlee said...

Happy Anniversary! (late)
What a wonderful story, warmed my heart. The pic at the end is perfect.

Anonymous said...


I missed this one until your cousin/sister read it to me yesterday morning and made me cry. (It was a good cry.) I well remember the "middle-of-the-night phone call". So does your Uncle. :) What a lovely story. I never tire of hearing it. Your Uncle and I have 41 years tomorrow, so we all have pretty good genes! thank you my dear, once again, it was very good cry!

Aunt C

Cindy and Co. said...

I have to say how wonderful I think this story is. I met my husband and knew in moments that it was forever. And it still is. We haven't made it to 37 yet or better yet your Aunt C's 41 (WOW to both though)we hit 8 in Feb. '09. But we are well on our way! Congratulations to your parents and to your aunt and uncle! And many many more!