One extremely important element in our marriage is to occasionally spend time together alone. Thankfully, we have two sets of grandparents who are always willing to watch a whole house full of children for whatever reason, so it isn’t hard to find babysitters. The hardest part is for Mark to get the time off from work. We are notorious for taking whatever opportunity possible and making it into a date. Like the time Mark had to go to the northern part of the state to look at some farm equipment. He suggested that I go along and after we looked at the chopper we could stop somewhere for dinner. Sounded great to me! It was a very busy time of year (September) and I was thrilled with the prospect! I had nooooo idea what I was getting into…
The drive up to the farm was uneventful. Essie was 7 months old and was along with us. I kept her company in the van while Mark looked over the chopper and talked with the owner. He decided that it was a very worthwhile deal and ended up buying it. When we hooked it up to the van, we realized that set the chopper so that it stuck out far to the right of the van, making the van and chopper to make up the space of about a lane and a half. We had taken the interstate up and it was a good, straight road (about an hour and a half drive). The chopper on the back of the van made us a slow enough moving vehicle not to be able to take the interstate. That left the winding, narrow back roads home. It was Friday evening and would be dark in a little over an hour. Wow, it was a stressful ride home. LOL! We were afraid to stop for dinner, knowing that it would take up the rest of the daylight we had. (No lights on a chopper!!) It was the most memorable date I’ve ever been on. It was only by the grace of God that we were able to fit down some one lane streets in the biggest city in the state. I have to say that I am hesitant to accompany Mark on any equipment searches after that. LOL!
When we were first married and before we had children, I loved spending my summer afternoons in the field on the tractor while he did his field work. Or if I didn’t go for the whole afternoon, I would often pack a picnic lunch we would eat in the middle of a half planted corn field. At that time we lived in town, several miles from the farm and it wasn’t an option to stop at the house for a snack on the way to the field. I am really thankful to live between the barns and the fields now, especially that with 7 children I don’t get to spend much time on a tractor anymore!
Our anniversary and my birthday are only 4 days apart and are at the end of the fall rush. We often take a trip or plan a special outing during that time. This past year we flew to Oregon for Austen and Lindsey’s wedding. We hadn’t ever been on the west coast, so it was a good excuse to make the rest of the trip into an extended date. We had a great time seeing the coast, stopping at coffee shops and doing a lot of local things. Before our trip I had noticed a beautiful waterfall that I had pinned on my Pinterest board of places to see that was in Oregon. We knew we wanted to visit that sometime during our trip.
Multnomah Falls is located on the Hood River in Oregon, about a half an hour east of Portland. The day we went was cool and extremely windy. While we were stopped at a gas station along the way I heard a couple of men talking about roads that were closed because of all the trees down as a result of 70 mph gusts.
The falls were breathtakingly beautiful. It was so awesome that it didn’t even look real. We stood at the bottom and looked up in amazement. We took the short hike on a nice pav trail up to the bridge for a closer look. Seeing that there was a trail that continued over the bridge and all the way to the top of the falls, Mark was intrigued. I was frozen from the wind and from the cool spray of the falls. I knew he really wanted to hike to the top, though and knowing we might never return, I decided to be a good sport and go. I had no idea what it was like. LOL! It was an extremely steep mile and a half trail up the side of the mountain, on an excessively windy day. I’m not terrified of heights, but I’m not crazy about them, either. The trail was crazy switchbacks with not rails all the way up. You could almost look over the edge of the trail and see the whole thing you had just hiked! The trail seemed to go on and on and on. The longer it went, the faster I hiked. I just wanted to get to the end. LOL! Needless to say, I was quite warm by the time we reached the top. The view was amazing. You could stand on a platform directly over the falls and look right over the edge to the bottom. Even Mark didn’t really want to get that close. It was certainly something I will never forget. He loved it. 🙂
Most of our dates have been much more uneventful, relaxing times of just talking together over a cup of coffee. But the occasional crazy date does stand out as particularly memorable.
See the switchbacks? If you keep looking down you can see the trail double back many tinmes. Crazy! Especially with the wind whipping through the trees making you unsure when one might come crashing down at any moment…
Me excited to be hiking DOWN! Yes, in my cowboy boots. I didn’t know I was hiking almost 2 miles up a mountain when I got dressed that morning. Don’t be deceived, most of the trail didn’t look anything like this.