I bailed work at 3:30 to go grab a nice bottle of wine and some specialty cheeses I was going to pair with the wine for a very special picnic with Tricia. The first stop light I got to was out. When I got to the shops I learned the power had just cut out all over San Diego County. The wine shop almost wouldn’t sell me a bottle of wine in the dark; and my cheese shop absolutely would not sell me cheese without power, not even a special marriage proposal picnic cheese. So it was over to Albertson’s. Soon Tricia was calling saying she was off work with the power outage. I emphasized the traffic was really bad with the power out, really I had to buy time to go up the hill and hang the swing up, I had meant to do it that morning, but I needed flowers. I quick hung up on Tricia when I saw a roadside stand, this was poor planning, I had no cash. Luckily the guy took the few bills I had and whatever change I scrounged up and he even threw in some savory chocolate covered strawberries (which I presented to Tricia when I picked her up).
I arrived home, loaded up my mountain bike and drove to the gate. I rode up the dirt rode trying to hurry but not sweat too much, hung the swing in the ropes and placed the flowers over the letters of the important question. It must have been 7pm when I finally knocked on Tricia’s door with the chocolate covered strawberries. I was frustrated with my tardiness but excited because of what I had in my pocket. Tricia looked beautiful, really dressed for the occasion, not too formal, just perfect for a rustic picnic and a wedding proposal.
We drove the car up the weed covered road with no difficulties and I parked the car a little ways off in order to have the charm of a bit of a walk over the meadow. As we came in sight of the swing I was ahead and I said something like “what’s that hanging there?” and let her go ahead. She walked up to the swing, without saying anything, and picked up the flowers. I wish I could remember that moment more clearly, her reaction, her expression, it all is blurred now. I fumbled in my pocket for the ring trying to get on one knee with the ring in hand before she finished reading the sign. Then I repeated the words I had carved into that swing, “Tricia Lynn, will you marry me?” Of course she said yes and I slipped the ring on her finger watching her smile the whole time. We hugged and enjoyed the moment, then we sat on the swing, which I had sized “cozy for two” and enjoyed the last rays of sunlight, even snapping a couple of pictures before night fell around us. The moon was soon shining brightly and we picnicked in the moonlight, dining on an assortment of cheeses with a baguette, sushi, and a fine Pinot Noir forgetting completely the blackout in town. It was finished off with a dessert of strawberries dipped in magic shell. Unforgettable.