From culinary student, to cook, to whatever the future holds
Each year, our family makes the trek down to the Oregon Country Fair. Just outside Eugene, OR, tucked in the outskirts of Elmira. This being something like my 28th or 29th year attending, I know the way by heart. I can get in the car and know every turn, every exit, and the exact point when I can roll down my windows to let the delicate scent of pennyroal waft in.
I always love OCF, regardless of how the weather fares, what shows I see or miss, and when everyone arrives or leaves. But this year easily found itself chosen as the BEST year at OCF in memorable history. Why?
I got engaged!
Aaaaaaaahhh! (cue genergic girly freakout, squealing, muppet-style arm flailing)
While Alexir and I had discussed the prospect, I hadn’t necessarily expected it to happen during our vacation. It happened after the fire show, which we elected to attend on a whim instead of going to see Beats Antique perform. Alexir hadn’t seen the fire dancers last year (his first year) so I thought it would help round out his experience.
The show was good (as always). The dancers choreograph their performances to all sorts of fun and interesting music. There was a live person playing the digeridoo over some elcectronica, they played a Lorde song. All the while Alexir held me tight as the sun set behind us and the faces of the crowd were lit with firelight.
As the show drew to a close, everyone got up to disperse. The public who had attended slowly started the trek to their respective campgrounds. Staff began to split off to their areas. It was so dark, you could only really make out shapes of other people walking around. But when you looked up, you were met with the most perfect array of stars you could imagine. There is no light pollution on the fairgrounds, so you can not only see hundreds more stars than somewhere like Seattle, you can actually make out the path of the milky way. It is (and has always been) one of the things I look forward to most when I attend OCF.
And just like that, at my favorite place, under my favorite stars, Alexir stopped walking and started talking. He said he had something for me back at the tent, but that he didn’t want to wait. Next thing I knew, he was down on one knee. No big wordy speech, just his adorable, awkward asking me to marry him. Of course I said yes! And just like the understated but perfect nature of our relationship, we got engaged. People walking by us, yet not a single person noticed. Doing our own thing in our own bubble. This is a constant theme.
We shared the news with my family (immediate and some extended) and proceeded to party for the next few days. A LOT.
I may have gone a little overboard, but I didn’t ever *actually* think I’d be a bride-to-be.
Also, I’ve used the word “fiancé” about 5,000,000 times in the last 3 weeks….
And so now we have the added adventure of planning a wedding over the next year. It’s been a trip already, because there are a unlimited number of people in your face about what etiquette demands, what tradition demands, what is fashionable, etc etc. Luckily, I couldn’t give a damn. I bought a book that helps keep me on track and remind me that this is our event to hold in a manner we see fit. So far, our concerns are figuring out logistics of cooking a whole pig on Alexir’s great aunt and uncle’s property, or purchasing an already smoked one from a hawaiian place. Remember folks, we’re talking about two cooks here, our biggest concerns are opening the wine before the ceremony so folks can relax and having some TASTY ASS FOOD. Everything else we’re pretty flexible about. Flowers? Meh. Dress? Umm….Can I eat pulled pork in it? Perfect. Wedding party? We’re not going to play popularity contest. Our dog, Rocky, is going to be our ring bearer and we’ll work out the details beyond that. Eventually. Maybe. Did I mention there’s going to be awesome food? Who cares about the rest?!
As Alexir said when I started asking him about his opinion on all sorts of wedding questions, “As long as I’m married to you at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”
It’s happening, people! #twocooksonewedding!