Thursday, September 4, 2008

and they lived happily ever after

With grateful hearts and calloused feet, we turn our eyes toward home. Speaking of eyes, am I or am I not staring at Wanida in the photo above? Hold that thought. You see, we've bittersweetly come to the end of our story here, and closure calls for revelation and resolution, so time travel with us back to the beginning in February--no, not six and a half months ago, but eight and a half years ago in February of 2000.

What's the punchline? That the ingredients of our relationship and adventures started coming together not on February 19th when we departed LAX, nor a year ago when we began charting a course around the globe, but on Valentine's Day weekend in the year 2000 when, over a year before we ever met, our hearts shared the same camera space! Once upon a time well into our relationship, Wanida caught a glimpse of the serendipitous pic above before she lost it, but this summer she worked hard to track it down again. What you see are the two of us from our college years--two strangers at the time living in different parts of the state--at Hume Lake Winter Camp. I just happened to be in the vicinity on this particular night when she and her friend posed for a photo op. I suppose we could have met, could have connected, but we didn't. It wasn't until sixteen months later when I moved to San Diego in June of 2001 that we were finally introduced! Revelation: We were on a collision course with each other, so from early on we started practicing how to be in photos and make memories together. :)

As far as finding resolution goes, I'll ask again now: Am I or am I not staring at Wanida? We disagree. Wanida believes it to be obvious that my eyes are gazing at her, while I argue that it's oh so hard to tell, especially with blue jacket girl and her beige hat clearly in my line of sight. :) Let us know your verdict. In the meantime, we'll debate the issue as we conclude this fairytale and fly home in a few hours. The end of the story is that we lived happily ever after.

The end.

8 comments:

Irene said...

I don't know Joe...it kind of looks like you were wanting to get her attention. And I'm not saying that cause she and I were friends before I even knew you. But who cares, you've traveled to how many countries now together...and YES LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

Zac, Hillary, Malakai &; Kiana said...

Goodbye my fellow travelers! I am trying not to shed a tear as I am sad to loose my ever so easy skyping friend, but am sooo excited for you guys and what you have in store as you return home. Give yourself lots of grace, time and don't forget about the little people (back on your old time zone:) Love you guys and proud to know you!
Hill
PS You'll be proud to know I am staying up until 11:34pm to read your blog, but I can't find you on skype- you better not be sleeping:)

Melissa said...

Wanida will hate this, but joe... I think you are looking up. BUT that does not mean that you were not looking at her a split second before the photo was taken and then moved your eyes up... I guess we will never know.But what we do know is God had an awesome plan for you both, and it is unfolding very nicely.

Miriam Maneevone said...

Joe, You have eyes only for that incredible beauty! What a great beginning and adventure you both have embarked on through these past months which will impact your coming years and has blessed all who know you. I am SO glad God helped you find each other and are living out your forever years in light of eternity. Dad and I pray for you daily and even several times a day. We delight in you. We are so pleased with you both. We love you. Love, Mom

Miriam Maneevone said...

PS We are so excited to see you in a few hours... here in San Diego! We will have Manoah with us. I want to see all the pictures you didn't publish and hear the stories first hand!!

Stuarts said...

Welcome home! I just went through a bunch of your pictures again. What an adventure you guys had. Hope you're resting now.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The picture is only a tiny fraction of the time you two shared the same room that day. Perhaps Joe was watching Wanida the entire night and at this particular moment couldn't find where he had been sitting. Looks a little glassy eyed, if you ask me...

The fun we'd have writing "talk bubbles" above your heads.

Joe and Wanida, many thanks for taking us on your journey. We are all "hooked" and will miss these updates. I have also enjoyed the comments of all of your wonderful friends and family. That, too, has been such a fun part of being along for the ride.

Love and best wishes for the next chapter . . .

Aunt Debbie

Katester said...

I'm so bummed I missed the partay . . . I can't wait for face-to-face! Welcome home!