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And Then... !!

The drive was simply magnificent! Sunroof open, windows down, she basked in the sun streaming in. Its supple touch relaxed her, warmed her. Soft breezes caressed her skin and danced away. The forests, the river, totally fresh and alive, invigorated her. She felt a jauntiness, a freedom so great she wanted to sing aloud! The scenery was just awesome! She breathed deeply of nature's fragrance -- the pine trees, the river, lupine blooming on the mountainsides. The air as she neared 3,000 feet was fresh, and pure. She noticed small things, like the tiny red flowers growing along the mountain's face, their light fragrance filling the air. The sparkle of quartz in the mountain face as the sun hit it, magnified the brilliance of the day. As she crossed the Mokelumne River, full and gorgeous, she whispered to herself, "I'm on my way, I'm almost there!"

He was out in the sun, shirtless, with a blue kerchief tied around his forehead. Everything was so green and fresh. As he helped her from the car, flashing that terrific smile, she knew she had made the right decision in driving up. This was indeed a special and precious place to be shared. The afternoon was spent in laughter and conversation, sharing his photographs and slides; brilliant shots of sunsets, sunrises; great stones ages old; forgotten, intriguing buildings and old barns; amazing shots of the ocean, of white beaches; old gnarled trees back-lit with the copper brilliance of a dying sun, its magnificent moment captured forever.

There were magnified shots of common things, like rocks, elevated to works of art in a single click of the shutter. Celluloid proofs hung in sheets around the bedroom, each a piece of magic captured forever. He took her to places she had never been. Showed her wonders she never knew existed. She saw the miracles in a field of wheat, the sand on the beach, the fiery glow of a sunset through a magnificent old tree. She was touched by this man who saw beauty in the every-day, who found magic in the velvet darkness of night. Magnificence captured forever by his camera. Charmed by his concern for the environment, the land, the forests and its critters, she was linked forever to his spirit and he to hers. That same evening, when he set a simple, lovely table for dinner in his small house, with a lovely old lace cloth and flowers, she could not imagine anywhere on earth she would rather be.

And So It Began...



Then that wonderful day came when, almost three years later, we drove to the Sacramento River on our lunch break and in the midst of a beautiful, grassy meadow with white daisies, the golden Tower Bridge in the background, he got down on one knee and proposed...  he wanted to continue to share his life with me as I was the One he had been waiting for, that special someone he knew he would one day find; and that all his life he had been waiting for me. So in the midst of all that beauty, the sun sparkling on the river's surface, a soft breeze in the trees, and meadow flowers at my feet, I told him, "Yes!" my heart so full, I could hardly speak. 

In June of 1991, we were married at Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. Tim had gone there often with his family and thought it would make a lovely spot to join our lives, surrounded by friends, family, and well-wishers, publicly announcing our love for each other. And so it was, the most special day of our lives. From then on we have enjoyed sharing everything -- our days working together, commuting together, working our land, and caring for our farm. We have great hopes of having a nursery business someday, and perhaps even a little flower shop for me to enjoy, one that would feature specialty items, little wonders that would be irresistible. And oh! how wonderful if we could turn our little cottage into a weekend retreat for others seeking the good life, a spin through real mountain country and clean, fresh air. A chance to play with the farm animals and ride the horses. So many possibilities await us, and getting there together is half the fun!

Hope you enjoyed our little story. The people are real, and the facts true, although this writer may have embellished the Santa Cruz story a bit! The photo below is the bridge crossing the Mokelumne River which we crossed each day in our commute to work in Sacramento. The road rises sharply on both sides of the bridge and the roads are narrow and winding. Glad I could share my memories of the sweetest of times--the day I met my husband, Tim. The main players in this story may be found at Dunn Farm, enjoying life in the mountains, raising the critters, watching the starry night skies for shooting stars, and making wishes. Because, as we all know, Wishes DO come true!

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