Hiking and Other Things

That title doesn’t have enough excitement in it, but it will have to do for now, because if I changed it to “Hiking and Other Things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I might lose all respect for myself.  I blame my mom for that.  She loves grammar.  Anyway, here’s a really good story (in my opinion, which is totally biased):

I woke up early on Saturday to go celebrate a belated Mother’s Day with Scott’s mom in Blacksburg.  It’s a long-ish drive, so I took a short nap complete with head-bobbing sometime near hour two of the drive.  During that time, I kind of half heard a phone conversation between Scott and his sister, who said that their car had broken down, and we would celebrate at dinner instead of lunch.

The plan* was to hike on the way home from Blacksburg on Sunday, but that was going to make time tight since I had to be back in Norfolk by 6 to help lead youth group.  After the change of plans for lunch, Scott suggested that we hike on Saturday instead of Sunday.  Sounded like a great idea to me, so off we went towards the trail.

The hike was nice.  There was plenty of cloud cover to keep things cool, and there was fog in the valleys that made views even more dramatic than usual.  It was a good time.  Then somewhere near the end of the trail, Scott started running.  I think he said something about, “See you at the top!” as he ran away, but honestly, I didn’t register that until we talked about it later.  I just saw him sprinting up a mountain.

My thoughts at that point were along the lines of, “There’s no way I’m running up that trail.  Surely he’ll stop.  He’s not stopping.  He’s not coming back.  [Shrug.]”  I kept hiking, taking the wrong trail at one point, then getting back on the right trail pretty quickly.  Then I saw a picture nailed to a tree.  It was a picture of Scott and me on our first date.  I started to understand what was going on, and my pace may or may not have increased.  There were more pictures–my front porch that we love to hang out on, the two of us hanging out in our respective hometowns together, hiking at Thanksgiving.  And near the end of the trail, there was a letter instead of a picture.  It’s a good letter.

I should have stood there and read the entire letter carefully like a good girl, but darn it, I wanted to get to the top of the mountain.  Instead, I read a few sentences, skimmed, and walked some more.  (In my defense, the letter jokingly told me to keep moving.  You could say I was just following directions.)  When I got to the top, Scott and one of his good friends were standing there together.  Josh looked up, saw me, said, “Oh, crap!” and ran off.  I wasn’t supposed to know he was there.

Since I hadn’t finished the letter yet, Scott and I stood together while I did that.  Then he asked me a pretty important question.  He asked me to marry him.  About a quarter of a millisecond after he finished that question, I said yes.

We celebrated with some prayer and my favorite beer, Shiner Hefeweizen, and we got to enjoy talking and being happy while Josh, who is a great photographer in addition to being a great friend, took pictures of the happiness.  I have no idea how those pictures will turn out, because the last thing I was thinking about was looking good for a camera.  I had just hiked 3.5 miles in fairly warm weather, then had a life-changing moment.  Double not thinking about smiling pretty or what I looked like.

After beer and pictures, we hiked down the mountain again with Josh and Eric, another friend who helped out with the preparation and picture-taking.  As soon as we started hiking down the trail, it started to rain.  Apparently, there had been a 70% chance of rain in that area all week, which made Scott less than relaxed about the whole hiking situation.  But it worked out perfectly, and I think the rain on the way down made everything more fun.  It felt like we were all on an adventure together.  Also, not much could have changed my mood from ecstatic.

Goodbyes with Josh and Eric happened at the trail head, and then it was on to The Homeplace, a delicious/beautiful/awesome family style restaurant between the hiking spot and Blacksburg.  I could gush about the good food and the conversations that we had about the afternoon and the fact that we’re going to officially be a family soon (Family style restaurant… get it?  It took me a minute.).  But you don’t want 800 more words about that.

We’re happy, plain and simple.

If you want Scott’s version of the story, I have a feeling that it might appear on his blog someday.

*There are lots of things about “the plan” that were faked to make important events a surprise.  “The plan” refers to the plan I knew going into Saturday.

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Communication 101

It has come to light in the last few weeks that Scott and I don’t communicate well with each other in one specific area.

That’s weird, because we can (and do) talk about pretty much anything.  That covers the spectrum from important life stuff to random embarrassing stuff.  It’s great, because I don’t need to worry about every stupid little thing that I say.  I don’t have to wonder if he’ll still talk to me if I tell him about spilling scalding cheese on myself at lunch (which isn’t a big deal as an isolated incident, but is made worse by the 100 other clumsy things I’ve done in the past week) or about the ridiculous life goal that I held from ages 5 to 20.  Not that those are the “worst” things we’ve covered, but they’re a couple of examples.

So where does this poor communication fit in?  In everyday details.  No big deal.  Scott and I can talk about everything, but we might be in different restaurants at different times, wondering where the other person could possibly be.

I would like to blame Scott for this, because he’s an engineer, and they aren’t generally known for their awesome communication skills.  Sadly, I think it’s my fault.  Scott knew that my roommate had plans to go camping this weekend, and he even knew when she was leaving and where she was going.  (His roommate is my roommate’s boyfriend, so it’s not creepy that he knew all of that.)  I didn’t even know they were going out of town this weekend.

That officially makes me the weak link in the communications chain.  Like I said, sad.

I’m not sure where this lack of detail-oriented conversation came from.  Maybe I’ve lived alone too long, and I don’t naturally ask people where they’ll be every minute of every day.  Or maybe I’m a jerk who doesn’t ask about people’s lives.  I hope it’s not the second one.  I would much rather be a spinster who needs to readjust to social norms than a jerk.

So what are you up to this weekend?  Should I know that already?

Celebrating Spatulas

I’ve been faithfully not participating in Valentine’s Day for years.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a Valentine’s Scrooge exactly, but that statement would be bordering on truth.  You will absolutely not find me in a pink or red shirt on February 14.

In high school, I dealt with the holiday by celebrating Spatula Day instead.  It seemed like a pleasant way to avoid thinking about who was single and who wasn’t.  Besides, even if you don’t care about spatulas, you’re bound to like at least one thing that exists because of the use of a spatula.  Cake, anyone?  Pancakes?  Scrambled eggs?  Whipped cream?

Then during study abroad, my roommate’s boyfriend (now husband) who was on a different continent at the time asked me to get some flowers for her on Valentine’s Day.  It could have been a sad moment.  I could have been disappointed that my roommate was getting flowers and I wasn’t.  Instead, it was one of my favorite moments of that entire wonderful semester.

The combination of sun and mountains and cool weather and obnoxious hearts everywhere was just right.  As a bonus, I got to carry beautiful tulips through the street on a mission that I knew would make my roommate happy.  Those hearts expressed exactly how I felt about the time and place in which I found myself.  They were a little bit loud and over-stated, and they were definitely enthusiastic.  I practically skipped up the mountain to our apartment, and I wasn’t upset in the least that I was enjoying that moment alone.

That fateful day in 2005 helped me move almost completely past my Valentine’s Day Scroogeness.  Almost.

Anyway, tonight I get to hang out with my boyfriend (who I like just as much every other day of the year) and my spatula.  I’m making Nantucket Cranberry Pie, and you can probably guess what cooking implement will be used to get every last bit of topping out of the bowl.  That’s right, a spatula.

photo by _molly_

Maybe instead of being a huge dork, High School Hannah just had crazy insight into future Valentine’s Day celebrations.  It’s possible.

Truth in Advertising

Dating is one of the few topics that I try to avoid on ye ol’ blog.  If I am dating someone, it’s better not to jinx things by an online declaration of the situation.  If I’m not dating anyone for (let’s just say hypothetically) a really long time, there’s no need to share that fact either.  But maybe, just this once, I’ll vent a little bit about something in that realm.

I helped a patron find the cookbook section of the library earlier today (one of my favorite sections) and walked by the dating advice books on the way back to the reference desk. I always forget where they are, because no one wants to ask a librarian to help them find the dating books.  I get questions about weird medical conditions and romance novels (which, in my head, are more potentially embarrassing than needing relationship advice).  You would think that asking about dating books wouldn’t be a big deal, but it seems to be higher on the embarrassment scale than rashes.  Hmm.  The books get checked out, we just don’t ever, ever get questions about them.

Anyway, I walked by that section and the titles jumped out at me somewhat obnoxiously.  Things like Be Dateworthy! and Why are You Still Single? are kind of hard to ignore, especially when they’re hot pink.  The thing is that I tend to think of books as more or less trustworthy.  My job is to find reliable information for people in those books and other sources.  But in the middle of our carefully selected collection, there’s the literary equivalent of diet pills.

Sure, they promise to change your life, but if that were true, wouldn’t everybody be thin and in a happy relationship?

To be honest, it makes me a little bit upset that these books claim to know why I’m still single.  How do they know if I’m an emotional idiot or don’t ever wear deodorant?!  By the way, making sure to shower on a regular basis was real advice I saw in one of the two dating books I ever dared to open.   Awesome.  I never would have figured that out on my own.

If you’re going to badger me about being single, at least have the decency to introduce me to a nice man.  If you’re going to tell me to shower more often, at least make sure I smell bad in the first place.  If you’re going to claim to have the answer to my very specific life situation, shouldn’t you at least know my name?

You can now imagine me with librarian glasses on the end of my nose, arms crossed, head shaking slowly.  My lack of glasses throws the whole thing off, so instead, I’m just going back to work without any satisfying gestures of disapproval.