Monday, September 19, 2011

10 years with my best friend

I meant to be posting little updates of our 10 year anniversary of this and that this summer... but honestly, we can't remember every date, and don't have it written down. In the summer of 2001, Adrian spent a lot of time out of Skagway for the power company, and I spent all my time in Skagway driving horse & carraige tours. We seemed to miss each other while apart, but didn't really want to admit that to anyone else. We emailed and instant messaged (via dial up) when possible.

Some long summer night we met for dinner at the Bonanza (Adrian asks if that was our first "date" but I didn't think so!). Afterward, we met up with some of his cousins and their cousins at the old haunted Pullen House. We had quite a freight as darkness fell. Another day we went out to lunch together, and he got back to AP&T much later than he was supposed to-- because my lunch "hour" consisted of unhooking the buggy, getting the horse his lunch, and then going to lunch myself. We went to the Fish Co that day and sat at a 2 top; me in my long hot velvet 1800's dress & felt hat. One Saturday in July or August, we hiked AB Mountain together. Keen memories and the embarassment of our descent lives on...

It wasn't until the end of summer (and after another road trip from Alaska to Montana) that we decided to admit we liked one another. That was prompted by one day in late August when we went innertubing on the Blackfoot River. We were with some of Adrian's childhood friends, and it was supposed to be a good time. At Thibodeau Falls, however, I flipped out of my inner tube and went under the cool water. In the commotion, with water rushing and rocks bulging all around my head, I couldn't tell which way was up. Even if I could, would I be able to propel myself that direction? The water was far stronger than I was, and the undercurrent was holding me down. I thought to myself, "so this is what it's like to drown"....

A few seconds later, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the waves. It was Jason, Adrian's childhood friend whom I had only met once before. I got dragged to the river bank, coughing and sputtering, having swallowed a bunch of the river. Adrian came and sat beside me, and I could tell he was scared. That experience opened a good opportunity. That night, I told him I had once before promised myself that I would never hold back expressions of love for someone (I had deeply regretted that before). And that I felt a "connection" to him and didn't want to ignore it. I can't remember if it was that conversation, or another during the same time period when Adrian had me listen to a Tom Petty song about "changing the locks". He was a Tom Petty fan anyway, so we listened to a lot of his music to/from Alaska. But I was quick to recognize that Adrian had plans to "change the locks" -- in other words, disappear and cut off contact with me (out of fear of hurt, I believe). I asked him directly if that was his plan, to which he replied "I don't know" (translated: yes)! I told him I hoped he would reconsider.

We drove back to Oregon, where we attended Boring 1 together; his cousin Denita snapped this photo, and it was on impulse that I put my arms around him for the first time ~

Then in September, I went on our Doland Family trip to Hawaii, a gift from Grandpa & Grandma for their 50th wedding anniversary. I used the time to pray about what I would do next, and felt like moving into Mary's would be a good idea. Our romance heated up while we were apart, and we decided we didn't want to be apart. I was on an island in Hawaii on Sept 11, 2001. The no-flight policy delayed one of our inter-island flights (not really an inconvenience in my opinion!). Once we were ready to leave Hawaii, planes were allowed to fly again. When I got back to Oregon, I quickly packed to move to Montana. Upon arriving there, Adrian was back at school in Bozeman. On the weekend, I was both nervous and excited to see Adrian when he made the 3 hour drive back to Bonner ~ and we sealed it with a kiss Sept 21, 2001.

So here's then & now ~ September 2001
and September 2011
do you think it looks like we've survived having 4 kids, many sleepless nights, and 10 years together? Yes, we're a little older, and a lot happier! :)


  1. I love hearing other people's stories on how they met/fell in love. Thanks for sharing yours. Benjamin and me met 10 years ago this summer also, corresponded thru out the summer,but Nov 2 was when it was 'sealed with a kiss'.

    Happy 10 years together. Time has a way of changing us. For the better, even if we do age.

    (blogger isn't letting me sign in for some reason)

  2. How fast these years have gone and how blessed I feel with gaining another daughter that fit in so well with our family! I remember Adrian being concerned at how well Anna & I got along during the time she lived with me! :o) Anna moved here to MT on 09/27/01 and flew away to AK on 03/15/02. So she had 6 mos to get to know her future mother-in-law upfront & personal! :o) Love you guys!! Mom Pheifer

  3. I think it's so great that your relationship started out as a friendship-a good foundation. So fun to hear your story! Congrats on 10 years!

  4. Thanks for sharing with glad for the day I gained "my 3rd sister"! Lots of love!