Welcome Home, Again

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of our marriage. We decided to make year nineteen The Wetsuit Anniversary. Bruce and Alene of s/v Migration said that we had to go to Steele's Discount Scuba for this. When folks who've started south again after a 12 year circuit of the Pacific Ocean tell you something firmly, we think it wise to listen, so we headed off to this magnificent Oakland-dive dive shop.

IMG_3456-2

Jim Steele's parents opened the store in 1939. Jim is incredibly knowledgable and generous with his knowledge, and his prices are fantastic.

IMG_3454-2

Before we went to Steele's, though, James looked at me all twinkly and said "Do you want to cry a lot early in the day or later in the day?" My eyes went round, my mouth fell open, and I said "WHAT did you do?!"

IMG_4307-2

We were married in 1999. We threw a picnic. Our friends brought food and helped us set out and clean up the chairs and decorations. My sister baked our cake, and was transported north with it in the Love Dodge. We walked down the aisle together and stood, just the two of us, for the ceremony, which we led ourselves. Our ceremony was Quaker-inspired, with a written heart, and long silence in which people rose and spoke as they were moved in the moment. We danced in the sunlight.

Our friend David photographed for us, shooting twenty rolls of film. We developed it into proof sheets right away, and there we stalled. How to choose what to print? We carried the big yellow Kodak box for close to two decades. A few months ago, James quietly sent it off to be scanned. The night before our anniversary, he sat up late and created a slideshow, inserting the written portions of our ceremony between the images so we could read our vows aloud, as we do each year.

Thank you to David Wolfgang-Kimball for this treasure, and for his decades of patience in seeing his work. We are glad that we waited; receiving these images now is a surprising gift, a time capsule of that glorious era and precious day. So much beauty and love! Many friends in these images have died; their spirits accompany us and their losses have inspired us to cherish life and freedom and make this journey.

There are over 700 images here; the order is currently imperfect. Perhaps in time we'll sort them further. Perhaps they will stay like this. We want to share them with you now, imperfect and perfect as they are.

Thanks also to Wayne, who shot the image which heads this post at our 10th anniverary backyard vow renewal.

Home. Together. Forever, forever, forever.