Fifteen years ago today Victoria drove a borrowed truck, with her limited possessions into Brattleboro, Vermont to join me on what would be our first, longest, and most significant adventure together. I can still feel the crisp chill of the pre-winter air as I chatted nervously with one of the local crazies and awaited her arrival.
Separated by hundreds of miles, without money or transportation, our relationship had just barely survived what we now know to have been its darkest hour. In the weeks preceding her arrival we had actually split up. Our friends, family, and advisors were in accord that our love was destined for disaster. We knew with unflappable, unassailable conviction that there was something about the other that we needed to explore, to know, and to grow from. This confidence and desire to grow together, it turns out, has been the foundation of our relationship.
Our first three months were spent in the most gawdawful apartment. The ancient neighbors smoked and cooked disgusting smelling food and argued at high volume all the time. The drop ceiling was tinged yellow and we had nothing but love and a little bit of 99¢ Lipton’s Alfredo to nourish us. This relative hardship (contrasting the comfortable proto-freedom of College) did fairly little to overshadow our titanic happiness. We now only ever quibbled about who would do the dishes, and even that was short lived.
Within three months we were out of that lousy apartment, living in an enormous, drafty, Victorian overlooking the town and river. Our lives rocketed along, each new adventures surrounding us and carrying us briskly to the next. We moved once more to Westminster West (our best landlord/apartment ever), and then out to the West Coast. We now stand at the cusp of another great adventure, 10 years in the planning, with two amazing children to challenge and delight us.
Looking back on these 16 years together both Victoria and I agree that November 18th of 1995 was more significant to our relationship than even our wedding day (4 years later). It was when we committed to each other. It was when, without uttering a vow, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life growing with her, sharing with her, learning from her.