French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 184-A (31 December 2010) – 20 Years Ago

Today’s occasion deserves a rule being broken. And I’ll do it in one of two ways. Either I’ll post twice, starting with this one, obviously. Or I’ll make this posting and then delete it, putting up another later.

You see, Melinda & I were married 20 years ago today. We did it in a style that most define as “eloping,” given that we didn’t really tell anyone of our plans. But unlike the stereotypical elopement that involves deciding on the spot to go off and get married, Melinda and I made the decision two months earlier. We spent the ensuing time planning exactly how we wanted to get married and how we then wanted others to learn of it. Critical to this plan was “kidnapping” the two people responsible for us meeting, our buddies Kevin and Bruce, so they could be our witnesses. We managed that, then drove to the Justice of the Peace for our pre-arranged wedding time, 4:30pm in Seattle. After that it was a quick sip of champagne in the parking lot, the cork flying high into the night sky and then coming back to earth to be caught by Bruce before hitting the ground. We drove to tell our parents, including a 45 mile drive in the snow to reach Melinda’s parents at Alpental in the Cascade Mountains, before finally arriving at a New Year’s Eve party Melinda was supposed to be hosting with her sister.

This is really the only photo that came out of our wedding itself. If you look closely, you’ll see I’m wearing “our” (read: Melinda’s) wedding ring. That’s a story in itself.

Tonight we are having dinner with Frédérique and Laurent in Nantes. What a wonderful 20 years it’s been, time that includes two wonderful children and the creation of a school. And get this. We really like each other.

December 31, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Awesome! What a sweet story! Congratulations, you are one lucky couple!

    Comment by raquel mello | December 31, 2010 | Reply

  2. Congratulations and may you have at least another 26 more which is what my husband and I will be celebrating tomorrow night.

    Comment by linda taylor | January 1, 2011 | Reply

  3. Congratulations! I am so glad the two of you got married … how else would I have gotten to know Chloe, Ella and PSCS?!! So thank you and keep up the good work!

    Comment by Anoo | January 1, 2011 | Reply

  4. A night that will live in Smallman infamy !

    Comment by Granny | January 2, 2011 | Reply

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