So let's see, it seems that the story of the summer that interests you most is the story of my engagement. Some of you may have known that I was dating someone, sort of, in Alaska before I moved back. The guy was wonderful but it just wasn't working for me so sometime in March I decided to split with him. After being away for so long I felt I had lost whatever "it" that was there. I felt terrible about it but one cannot manufacture feelings where they are not. And I was busy with my job and my new/old co-workers (I had worked here seasonally before) and friends. One of these new/old co-workers kept insisting I go x-country skiing with her and another co-worker, someone completely new to me. And so we skied, weekend after weekend as the light came back to the northern skies. On weekend new/old co-worker (who needs another name) was away on a trip to Hawaii but new co-worker and I decided to keep skiing together. I thought he was cute, I liked him, but I was new and trying to focus on my new job and blew it off as me making things up. Then he wrote me the sweetest card asking me out on a date.
I have to say I was absolutely flabbergasted on our first date. There were flowers (all the way from Los Anchorage) and a homemade meal, candles, table cloths, and champagne. I think he even intended a post but I had been in Alaska too long - long enough to not know what to do with a man who is really and truly romantic. And bold. Did I mention he was bold? The funny thing is, that both of us moved here thinking, 'dating is going to be slim to none but I'm going'. I mean after all, the community we live in has about 250 people. We were so wrong about the dating. We had a great rest of the spring and a great summer despite our crazy hectic schedules. And it just felt right. I dunno, I never used to believe people when they said they just knew someone was the one but we did. We just knew it. Of course, he loves the Disreputables. Retrospectively, he knows wouldn't have had a chance if he didn't. His friends didn't believe him that he's met someone until he sent pictures of proof. They were sure he was making me up. Guys don't meet girls in Alaska, right? Everyone knows that.
This fall my love, my parents, and I went on a backpacking trip north of the arctic circle. It's something I've dreamed about with my dad since I was in high school and we had been planning it for some time. It was sort of the end of the field season, enough so that we could escape. We had this amazing backpacking trip for 6 days across the tundra. Then, sore and bedraggled we hauled ourselves to a hot springs just north of Fairbanks. Under the new lights of the stars and the moon - new to us as the darkness was just returning - as the mist of the hot springs wafted around us and my parents were long in bed, he proposed. It was very romantic. Of course I said yes. We've had three distinct reactions: my family) what? you know what month already? his family) what? you don't know the date already? our co-workers) what?! you are going to wait a year?! Because we have decided to get married near the fall equinox next year when the workload slows, the colors are gorgeous, and even those scared of winter can love Alaska.