Thirty-three years ago, deer season was opening in Groveland. It was one of those crisp, sunny autumn days that follow on the heels of the first cold snap of the season. Our friends -- many from the San Francisco Bay area -- gathered in Groveland to support us as Ray and I were married.
We chose a spot we both loved -- under an ancient oak tree shading the front porch of the historic ranch house once owned by Edmund James, later Sol Ferretti, and finally Dunn and McLellan before it was sold to Boise-Cascade and incorporated into the Pine Mountain Lake subdivision. The house and barn were moved from their original location along Big Creek to an elevation where they would sit on the lake shore of the last manmade recreational lake in California: Pine Mountain Lake.
Kimo, then 7, sat on the deck snapping the lid of the ring box -- still containing the wedding rings. I had visions of the rings dropping through the spaces between the decking and into the sand beneath -- and the need to crawl around under that deck to find these all-important symbols of our love. I'm still wearing mine, so disaster was averted.
After a casual lunch and some wonderfully fruity punch created the night before by our favorite priest, we headed out through Yosemite National Park and Tioga Pass to Utah where I would meet Ray's family.
Give thanks for real love, the kind that strengthens over time, bringing out the best in each of you. Give thanks for those precious memories.
Don't forget to pray!