The other day, my friend Anna and I were reminiscing about the great snowfall of February this year. Having seen some of her breathtaking pictures from the day, I promised to post some of my less experienced shots. However, the day was memorable for me for reasons besides the snow, and I can't really give you the pictures without the story behind them. Bethany, follower of my previous blog, may have heard this story before, so please bear with me...
Like a million parachutes, the snow's coming down
I'll lock up the front door and dim the light's down
In the glow of the street lights I see them descend
Like a million parachutes, small men on a mission
Sixpence None the Richer - 'Like a Million Parachutes
The first snow fell the night before Spud was due to arrive. We were talking on the phone, and I had been gazing out of my window into the dimness of dusk, when the first snowflake drifted across my line of vision, visible in the light of the street lamp. Snow is scarce in my part of the world, and so it was with much excitement that I acknowledged the descent of a whole cluster of flakes that began to settle, and paint the street white. Spud expressed hopes that the snow would remain for at least another twenty-four hours, but my silent prediction was fulfilled, and although we had woken to white, the thin blanket had rapidly vanished before his arrival.
Our first evening together was quiet, but joyful as always. I went to bed feeling unusually cold. The following day I woke up with a heavy cold, and although I made the effort to get up and go out, my condition deteriorated, and by the second day I was housebound. Spud decided to catch the bus into town, confessing he needed to buy a couple more presents for my birthday, and so he left me for an hour or so, lying on the sofa with Wuthering Heights, awaiting his return.
That night, it was bitterly cold, and to our amazement it began to snow again. While we were cleaning our teeth that night, we watched the snow piling up on the window sil. Spud was hopeful, but I remained sceptical. It won't last for long, I warned him, when he proposed a walk in the winter wonderland for the following morning. Wait and see, he replied.
The snow continued to fall when we eventually went to bed. It was a real effort to tear ourselves away from the window, where we could have watched the snowflakes billowing for hours. Even I had to admit that they were settling, coating everything in sight, and forming a thick blanket of white.
I felt slightly better the following morning, and although I was meant to have lectures that day, I had already excused myself, as I knew I would not be up to the hour and a half long journey there. However, I had no intention of letting illness keep me for enjoying the novelty of the snow! Spud and I woke early, and set out for our walk before the snow was spoiled by a multitude of children's footprints. My brothers, too, were home, school having closed for the day because of the weather.
We walked, hand in hand, to the end of the road, and continued into the fields, the snow still falling steadily around us. We left our prints, amongst our predecessors, who had already made a beeline for the fields with their toboggans and sledges.
We walked as far as the highest point, from which we could see the whole city spread out before us. A bench stands there, where we have often sat together, enjoying the spectacular view which I have always cherished. For a long time, I've thought of the bench as ours. For a while, we watched the tobogganers, descending the slope, a short distance from where we stood. I was in complete awe of the view, and took several photographs, wanting to preserve the memorable day forever...
I was delighted that we could enjoy the snow together. Despite my illness, the day so far had been perfect, and I had no idea that it was about to take another turn...
I suspected nothing. Even down to the very last moment I was oblivious. I turned away from Spud, and gazed across the expanse of white once more, enjoying the view. I have tried, countless times, to reconstruct my chain of thoughts from when I returned my gaze to him. He dropped to the ground, and I wondered if perhaps he was going to make a snowball. I prepared to duck, should it come shooting in my direction, but when, a split-second later, I recognised the content of his hand for what it was, I froze, suddenly overcome by surprise. He took that opportunity to ask me to marry him, and gaspingly, I replied, yes!
Shock had caused me to lose complete control of my actions, and barely giving him time to rise, I swooped down on him, kissing him frantically, feeling the snowflakes settle on my face. During that kiss, I tried to process my thoughts, and make sense of what had just happened! When we broke apart, he asked, So, are you going to put the ring on?
I didn't wish to break the news to anyone outside of my immediate family until my parents were told. My brothers were the first to know, as we happened to pass them in the fields on our way home. When we returned home, we told my mother, after which Spud phoned his parents. I couldn't tell my father until the evening, when he'd finished work. It was agonising 'keeping mum' all day, when what I wanted most to do was get on Facebook and change my status from 'in a relationship' to 'engaged', or even walk through the streets with a megaphone, announcing my news to the whole neighbourhood!
On the other hand, there was plenty to do to keep me occupied! We found our sledge in the garage, and returned to the scene of Spud's proposal, this time to join the tobogganers out on the slope. Then, my brother Matt, Spud, and I, built a snowman between us. It was the biggest we have ever made - usually our snowfalls are insufficient for building a snowman that is a foot high!
Although the timing and location of Spud's proposal were both surprises, the proposal itself had been expected. Since the beginning of our relationship, we knew we wanted to aim for marriage, and we were also sure we were meant to be together. We've always talked avidly about our future together, and we had a date for our wedding long before the proposal occurred. Still another two and a half years lies ahead of us before we tie the knot, but I know that there are so many adventures for us to enjoy together, before and after marriage. I know that our wedding day will come around soon enough.
I hope you enjoyed the photographs and the memories, from one of the most memorable days of my life so far. (Note: photographs 14, 15 and 18 were taken by my mum).