... that I met my sweetheart, best friend, playmate, manly man, wise one, biggest fan, partner for life. I had no idea, when I walked into Wildlife Room 206 that Tuesday evening in 1969 that my life could change in an instant. I thought it was going to be just another meeting of the Boot 'n' Blister Club -- the wonderful hiking club at Humboldt State College. I was expecting nothing more than the usual short trip planning meeting, the slide show, and donuts. But there he was, standing at the front of the room, tall, skinny and bespectacled, wearing a red plaid Woolrich shirt, smiling out at the world, and at me. Freckles, wire-rimmed glasses, outy ears and the cutest grin. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Neither one of us is sure where 40 years has gone. One day at a time, apparently. There've been a few surprises along the way, of course. Unbeknownst to me, he turned out to have Bicycle Disease. Surprisingly for him, I developed Gardening Disease. Luckily, we still get to hike together, and that's my favorite part. In the top photo above, circa 1969, it's all about the hug. In the other one, taken on a hike in Scotland in 2007, I am thinking about the blooming heather all around us, and he is thinking about the mountain bike trail beckoning to his left. But we're together. And that's the way we want it, for the next 40 years.