Staying open to surprises

Twelve years ago I was traveling around Europe for a couple of months by myself, taking everyday to look at art. I lived on a small budget, spending money I had saved in college (I was lucky to leave college without debt -- the nerve to be an artist would have been a lot harder to bare, had I not had that gift of a no-debt college education from my mother). Anyway, I spent 8 to 12 hours in museums everyday. I stood or sat in front of paintings sometimes for up to an hour. I filled 4 huge spiral notebooks full of notes on the backs of postcards.

I was in heaven.

Then, one day, I met my husband.

No joke. He was staying at the hostel I was staying at in Rome. He was traveling around for a month watching bike races. He had just left a job in Seattle (where I was moving home to when I returned) and he was planning on moving to New York. He had also gone to school in Colorado. We had lots in common. But he really caught my eye because he was reading James Joyce in the common room of the hostel. I knew I could talk books with somebody who was reading James Joyce. We talked about reading. I was enamored. We didn't have a date or anything that evening, just great conversation.

Then we both left Rome the next day. I've met hundreds of interesting people traveling. I don't usually expect to ever see them again.

Only I ran into Bryce again in Venice. Then we met up on purpose again in France. Our first kiss was next to Claes Oldenburg's Buried Bicycle Sculpture in Paris. So to make a long and pretty interesting story a bit too short, after he returned from adventures in Europe, my now-husband took a crazy 4-day long grey hound bus ride back to Seattle (bringing back only one bag of clothes, his bike and his electronic keyboard) and begged for his old job back for a temporary basis. We were engaged a year later and married a year after that -- 10 years ago last Thursday.

What a surprising outcome from my dreamy trip to look at art.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Bryce! Thanks for a magical decade.

"Then we sat on the edge of the earth with our feet dangling over the side and marveled that we had found each other" -- Erik Dillard