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Our Engagement

Shorel at the Engagement Dinner table on Mt.Tam
Shorel’s Story

It all started Monday morning. Actually, it started earlier, but the fun stuff happened this day. I woke up and immediately knew what I had to do.


Second…get a hair cut.

The first was easy. The second should have been easy. Except, unbeknown to me it happened to be international barber’s day.

I went to one nearby barber.

Not open.

I went shopping for salad and dinner fixin’s.

I went back to the barber shop.

Still not open.

I went back to the dorm and called eight other barber shops.

None of which were open and it was 11am.

So I race up the road to Supercuts, which seems to hold the same hours as the local 7-Eleven convenience store for some reason. I can’t imagine anyone needing a haircut at 3 in the morning, but whatever.

So hair cut done, I go to the grocery store again and then back to the dorm. There I gathered everything needed for the evening’s big events and then go to the shower room to start what is known on the Discovery Channel as “the crooning process”.

After finishing, I load the pick-up with the equipment and head up the mountain.

Engagement Dinner table on Mt.Tam Engagement Dinner table on Mt.Tam

View of the Pacific from Mt.Tam
Now the plan is to bring a table, chairs and nice place setting up to the highest mountain near here and set them up on the bluff with a panoramic view of the sunset lit ocean and the city of San Francisco. (That’s the table set up on the hill in the distance.)

Sandra, unbeknown to her, was going to meet me halfway up the mountain at the scenic Mountain Home Inn. A colleague of hers was going to call me on the cell phone when she left the building.

And after meeting her I would then take her up to the “reserved” table, have a nice dinner, watch the sunset and then I would…well, she tells that part best.

All went well, but for one minor problem. The cell phone doesn’t quite reach out to the bluff overlooking the ocean. After we had set up the table and walked back to the pickup, the cell phone beeped saying I had two messages. Both were of the colleague frantically saying that Sandra was on her way up the mountain.


We literally screamed down the mountain, with nothing but the grace of God keeping us from skidding off some precipice.

We pulled into the Mountain Home Inn parking lot two seconds before Sandra pulled up three spaces beside us.
She hadn’t spotted us yet. While she was busy gathering her things, I sprinted across the street at approximately the speed of light.

She got out of the car just as I stepped inside the Inn.

Sandra at the Engagement Dinner table on Mt.Tam
Sandra’s Story

So, my boss told me I had to drop off tea samples to Lisa at the Mountain Home Inn. I arrived at the Inn just after  4:30. I walked in, but there was no one there. Then I turned to my right and I saw Shorel. He said, “Happy ten month anniversary.” I was so surprised…speechless, in fact.

Shorel asked me if I needed to sit down. As we sat, he told me that the Mountain Home Inn was closed so he found another restaurant where we could celebrate our anniversary. I still couldn’t organize my thoughts. I needed to call Karen at the office to tell her I wouldn’t be coming back to work. When I called, Karen said, “Congratulations!” I thanked her for her good wishes because I thought she knew about out anniversary. I was clueless. Shorel and I got in the car and headed to Mt. Tam.

Now, there is a spot on Mt. Tam that Shorel and I spent our six month anniversary. It’s a small plateau just before the top of the mountain. To the far left is the San Francisco skyline. To the far right is Stinson beach. Out front, it the ocean spanning forever as the sun sets upon it. I love this little piece of our planet.

As we walked down the trail to our spot, I noticed a table, two chairs, a rose, candles, plates and a piece of paper that had “reserved at 5:15.”  I was shocked that Shorel had carried a table and chairs down a mountain path.  I also knew that the evening was special because Shorel had never given me a rose before.

We had a lovely meal. It was quiet. The sun was going down. After dinner, Shorel held my hand and started talking about all of our anniversaries. He said sweet things about how great the last 10 months have been.

Then, he said, “I want to have a family with you. I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?” “Yes,” I said with no hesitation.

He put a gold band on my finger and said, “I love you.” I replied, “I love you too.” Then, I lost it and started crying. Shorel had
never said that to me before since he was waiting for this special moment.

As we drove home from the mountain, I said nothing. I kept thinking, I’ve waited 26 years for that moment.

It was so worth the wait.

So, these days Shorel and I are busy with school, work and planning a wedding for June 15th. Hope to see you there!

Shorel and Sandra on Mt.Tam

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