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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Ring and a Napkin

A few weeks ago, Mr. Bear surprised me by suggesting a trip to San Juan Island to visit his relatives. We'd been there twice last year, and I loved it. Sadly, all our pictures from those trips were stolen along with my laptop last August. We agreed we'd take the opportunity to try and recreate some of them. The ones we remembered, anyway.

Being a sneaky Miss Bird, I decided to take the opportunity to create some brand new ones, too. This is the story of my surprise proposal to Mr. Bear.

I knew we'd be recreating our hike up to the communication station at Cattle Point, and chose that as the site for my sneaky love attack.

Looks like a good place to pop the question, no?

All I needed was a creative way to ask. I already had his ring. I decided to print my proposal onto a cloth napkin, fold the ring up into it orgami-style, and present him with the ring-in-a-napkin at a romantic picnic on the beach.

The hike started out innocently enough. Mr. Bear had no idea. Last year, when we hiked down to the beach, we found a rock cropping onto which someone had set up many beach rocks, and we added one of our own.

There were several driftwood structures people had built on the beach that we took advantage of.

This driftwood raft would figure prominently in my picnic proposal.

Tony was super excited to climb into this rickety driftwood hut. I was excited to take pictures of his rear as he disappeared into it.

All the while, he had no idea that I was a birdy with a secret...

Of course, Mr. Bear had to climb this outcropping, just as he had done last year.

And we simply had to recreate our pictures making faces at each other from across the rocks.

Just like last time, I was too scared to hoist myself up on that log.

Mr. Bear knows no fear.

I was coaxed onto another log spanning a drop, and Mr. Bear was coaxed into taking some beautiful shots. So we both played against type.

We found the same strange makeshift stone altar on the rocks below the station. We hiked up to the station, whose once beautifully crumbling foundation has been shorn up by ugly plywood, and then set off across the sand dunes covered in grass and seashore lupines.

This fence was one of my favorite photos from the trip last year. I'm glad we found it again.

We hiked back to our starting point, got the picnic basket out of the Highlander, and hiked back down to the beach. I suggested using the driftwood raft from earlier as a bench for lunch.

Tucked in the corner of the basket, under the sandwiches, was the napkin onto which I had printed my proposal. I forced myself to let Mr. Bear finish his lunch before handing it to him, but in my haste, I still had a huge mouthful of sandwich when I gave him the ring-napkin, so it was a good thing the proposal was written out for him, as I was incapable of speech.

Of course he said yes(well, actually, he said "Of course!"), or else I wouldn't be putting this entry up at all! I felt like I was going to pass out, I was so nervous. We found a passer-by to take our picture to remember the moment by.

And then my patient, long-suffering, indulgent Mr. Bear let me take back the ring I had just placed on his finger so that I could go take some glamour shots of his ring and my temporary ring together.

Mr. Bear said he wished he had a camera to take pictures of me taking pictures of our rings. Apparently I get more focused on what I'm photographing than how silly I look doing it.

I gave the ring back to him, eventually. The bow ring I wear was a gift from my grandmother, and I will wear it as my engagement ring until Mr. Bear proposes to me with a ring he finds for me. We had been discussing getting married for months, and being a modern couple we decided that we both wanted to come up with unique proposals for each other. I simply got there first!

If you're curious as to what exactly was printed on the napkin, it was this:

It took me about five tries to get it to print on the napkin without shifting so much as to be illegible. I spent the entire morning before we departed for the island freaking out about it and yelling at him to not come in the room as I was making it. He completely forgot all about that until I handed it to him on the beach. Thankfully my insane behavior in the days leading up to the trip didn't sour him on the proposal. Because he's my match.
The napkin is still not perfect, by Mr. Bear declared it beautiful and has been carrying it in his pocket ever since. It will eventually be framed and hung on our wall.


  1. What a beautiful story! I wish you many happy years together.

  2. sweet and thoughtful.... I loved it!
    btw- where did you get Mr. Bear's ring???

  3. LOVE!!! That ring is the bomb-diggity!! :)


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