My mother called me on a lazy Saturday morning in April. I could tell by her voice that something was wrong. My father had a heart attack. He was in the hospital. He was expected to survive but he needed a triple bypass.
The drive to Spokane is a long one normally. It seemed eternal when this happened. Moments of my childhood flooded back to the present as the desert flashed by the car windows.
When you think about a year these are the moments that first come to mind. Not the countless Saturday mornings spent vacuuming or the evenings watching Netflix. It are the moments that shock, surprise, and humble you. These are moments that you remember.
It is also the moments that alter the course of your life. Like, the time I got engaged.
I proposed at Quinn’s on the day of our third anniversary of our first date. It was a moment witnessed by our closest friends. We toasted over wine I had been saving for a special occasion. I finally found that occasion. Soon after we had a caterer, a day of wedding coordinator, a DJ, a photographer, and a venue. We even have one of those silly engagement photos. We’ll get married in July. Our parents couldn’t be more excited.
We traveled from New Hampshire to Molokai. From Chicago to Salt Lake City. We ran the entire length of the Detroit airport until I realized that there was an indoor tram. We snorkeled in the vast Pacific Ocean. Rode a mule to a leper colony. Took a tour to Fenway. And we watched good friends get married in their childhood church, on a Vashon Island farm, and on top of a sun-drenched mountain ridge.
2015 was the year my car was broken into, again. It was the year we bought a portable air conditioner. It was the year that I saw one of my closest friends from high school. With his family. I hadn’t seen him in years. After my many proclamations of me visiting him, I finally flew down and we spent the morning and afternoon hiking around the Utah mountains. I had only seen Brian once or twice since his wedding in 2005. It felt like no time had passed. I felt like we were riding in his green truck again on the way to Dairy Queen.
This past year I decided to track all of the dinners I would eat in 2015. It highlights the mundane. Like, we ate 64.1% of our meals at home. And 13.2% of my meals were simply reheated leftovers. It shows that I spent 15 dinners (4.1%) out because of the Sounders. 20 dinners (5.5%) due to volunteer engagements and 7 dinners (1.9%) because of work events.
My epicurean data set also aptly highlights those outlier moments.
- April 28: Chicken Salad. Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane, WA.
- June 24: Chicken Fried Steak. Paddlers Inn, Molokai, HI.
- August 22: Cheeseburger with Pastrami. Rio Tinto Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT.
- August 14: Meatloaf Sandwich with French Fries. Beckler River Campground, Skykomish, WA.
- November 12: Beef Nachos. McLadden’s, Simsbury, CT.
But two meals probably best illustrate our largest accomplishment of 2015. It made a year’s worth of wedding planning seem simple.
- December 8: Rueben Sandwich with Tim’s Potato Chips. Columbia City Ale House, Seattle, WA – The dinner we had after we saw the house in Columbia City we would put an offer on.
- December 12: Cheeseburger with French Fries. Quinn’s Pub, Seattle, WA – And the dinner we had to celebrate after our offer was accepted.
If everything continues down this path, we will close February 5 and take possession February 9. A day shy of the anniversary of our first date and engagement.
I think I have prematurely said this before, but I feel like this chapter in my life is closing. I will think fondly of the nine years in Capitol Hill. Late night beers and shots at Smith. All of the dates on the Hill. All of the mornings spent in Victrola and Fuel Coffee before that. The cookies at Hello Robin. The walks to Elliott Bay. The grit. The grime. The dirty streets. The weirdos.
I cannot think of a better place to live in my 20s and early 30s than Capitol Hill. I cannot think of a better place to have met Alex and live with her for the past three years. If this moment is the start of the next chapter in our lives I welcome it. To all, I hope you have a happy new year.