For being a news hound, I must confess that I have been keeping a bit of big news in the Sarah world from you.
I got married!
You might have noticed my new moniker, and it is still the Elmquist Sarah you remember. Itís new for me, too; even my husband Chris sometimes still asks for the olí Elmquist when he rings the office.
I have started writing this column about eight times, and for some reason I just wasnít ready to finish it. I couldnít figure it out for the life of me, and it just felt like I didnít have the whole story yet.
But I realized a couple of weeks ago what that feeling was about, combined with the common ĎI canít believe itís overí syndrome. While the wedding might have come and gone, what I wasnít realizing is that this is the kind of story that doesnít have an end. Itís simply a beginning, the two of us locking arms and heading out into the world. Itíll have a dot dot dot for an ending until weíre both pushing up daisies. So I will start the story for you.
The scene is one of the most beautiful spots I know, and itís also our back yard. Merrick State Park, another one of John Latschís gifts, is right behind our house, fitted with thick forests and riverbanks, and picnic pavilions crafted with ancient logs and huge native stone. I often imagine Latsch lugging his canoe through my yard to get down to the river, and I couldnít have picked a more perfect place.
Our actual ceremony was on a little sandbar island in Kiesel Horse Bay. Chris, along with my mom and our officiant, took a little john boat down to the island and the rest of us floated there in Captain Smithís pontoon. Iíll never forget sitting anxiously in the boat, pulling closer and closer through the glassy backwaters, getting my first glimpse of Chris standing on the beach in a glowing white shirt with his hands clasped patiently.
Even though the day flew by, that moment seemed to crawl forward, and I had a second to reflect about how lucky I am. When I first moved to Winona, not only was I met with a town rich in history and art and culture, one that felt like home right away, but I met Chris. Heís a local guy, intelligent and well read, loyal and funny and kind. His family is absolutely amazing (theyíre my family now, I must brag). And in so many little ways, we click perfectly.
I think he would get mad if I got too mushy, but Iíll get myself in a little bit of trouble to let you in. On our special day in September, after the boat ride and ceremony, we were back in the park and had a few minutes to ourselves to talk. I made some comment about my hair, which is the kind of hair that just wonít do anything at all, telling him that we tried to curl it but it just refuses to oblige. He said (listen up here men, this is good stuff) that he was glad. He said he didnít want me to look too different because he loved me just the way I am, uncooperative hair and all. (Maybe Iíll just hide the weekend edition and see if I get away with this one!)
We ate lots of great food, had all kinds of friends and family there -- some had traveled really really far to be a part of our day and we were so thankful for all the love and support we had. Some people camped in the park for the night, with bonfires blazing and people ushering in the night with the strum of their acoustic guitars. It was absolutely amazing, and I know it was the best day of my life.
Iíll tell you a couple of other little known facts about this love of mine, too. When you get married, you make some promises, and I thought that a few of ours were the kind you better remember, every day. We promised to have fun together and love one another (duh!). But we also promised to share our adventures, to laugh, for the rest of our lives. So I like to think of each day as a little adventure, an adventure that is all the better for having a cohort, coconspirator if you will, at my side through the good, the bad, the fun and the folly.
So now you know the story behind the Sarah Squires, at least the beginning of a hopefully long and happy tale.