The Engineer and I are getting married!
Remember when I said our spring break was lovely? That was a bit of an understatement.
At his insistence, I had gone up to visit the Engineer’s house on the peninsula, even though I could only stay for one day. We went for a walk on the beach at Salt Creek, which was nothing unusual; since it’s one of our favorite places, sometimes we go there every single day of my visit.
Once a group of college students left, we had the whole beach to ourselves. It was a delightfully “west side” type of day, a little breezy and overcast but nothing like the freezing weather we’ve been having in our little college town. We meandered down the beach and back again, chatting and pointing out pretty rocks or a bird on the water.
I didn’t notice at the time, but the Engineer was making sure to keep me on his right side and wouldn’t hug me too closely, because the ring was in his left coat pocket! He wouldn’t even let me put my hands in his pockets to warm them, as I sometimes do; he just held my hand and kept choreographing our movements so I wouldn’t notice the box.
Finally, when I stopped to
take an Instagram picture peer through the tunnel formed by a driftwood log, the Engineer followed me with something slightly more than his usual amused expression on his face. He hugged me, fumbled in his pocket for a moment (“Don’t be ridiculous, it’s just his phone,” I told myself), then pulled away and got down on one knee (“That is not a phone.”).
Holding up the ring, he asked if I would marry him.
“Of course I will!” (Then I asked if he was serious, because it’s good to check, apparently.)
We walked back along the beach, both grinning, when a family of bald eagles flew overhead. Two of them landed in the top of a nearby tree and started squawking to each other. They stayed perched there for nearly an hour while we sat on Our Log (the log that we sit on every time we go there, where we first had a conversation about getting married years ago) and talked. The solitude of the beach gave us a bit to process what had just happened and enjoy our shared excitement before we had to start telling people.
We still had another week of grad school visits ahead of us before going back to school, so we spent the next few days calling friends and family and swearing them to secrecy so we could tell certain people in person when we got back. Those reactions were well worth the wait, most notably the Commodore, who was in town for her spring break as well, setting down her coffee in order to scream and jump up and down; my current roommate, who sent her parrot on a panicked circuit around the room when she leapt up to hug me; and our other friend C., who took a full ten minutes of small talk to notice the ring before stopping midsentence to stare, count my fingers to be sure that yes, it was the correct ring finger, and jumping up and down. (A lot of jumping was involved here.)
I’m very excited for our newest adventure to start. Can’t wait for September!