During the late seventies, early eighties I worked at an ad agency in downtown Vancouver. E was going to school. We were broke. I commuted by bus downtown via Oak street to our apartment near Max’s Deli. Max’s Deli isn’t really integral to the story but I wanted to take a minute to remember fondly their giant melt in your mouth eccles cakes.. sigh, I miss living next to a deli.
Back to the story. It was December 1981 and we had been living together since April. E had met me downtown for drinks after work on a Friday. heading to the Oak Street bus to go home, he pulled my hand and suggested we cut through Birks at Granville and Georgia. As every red blooded girl, who had found the love of her life and who grew up watching Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s knew, cutting through the Birks store with their sparkling gems and their blue boxes could be a good thing.
He slowed down near the engagement rings and casually asked which ones I thought were pretty… I was thinking to myself .. this is it!!
The next Monday at work I am telling my friends that I was positive he was going to ask me to marry him at Christmas. What better time than Christmas morning.
The next week, it was Christmas morning. We got up and went to the presents under the tree in our tiny apartment near the deli and he suggested that I open my stocking first. In my stocking was a small blue box..
Well, you can imagine how excited I was. I opened it and there was a note. A small piece of paper with the the words any girl who wanted to marry the love of her life wants to read. “Go look on the balcony”
I went to the balcony and there was a huge gorgeous rocking chair which he had sanded and stained. A very nice rocking chair. No ring, no marriage proposal. I went back to work on the 27th and shook my head in response to my girlfriends’ eager questions.
Yesterday, a shared barge came with some of the building materials we are going to need for the bunkie. I think there is another shared one today. One more at the end of the month and that should be everything E will need to finish. The biggest challenge building on an island is just getting the materials here. Once that is done it’s just the matter of E puttering away on the project at his own pace.
Our grand daughter is here for the week so there hasn’t been much building going on. Just a lot of reading Mortimer and running up and down the hill at our door. And rocking, plenty of rocking with her in the rocking chair next to the play pen where she is sleeping this week in our guest room.
Ah, so you see where I was going with the chair story. Forty years later, I sit in the dark holding my baby grand daughter on my shoulder. I rock her to sleep in the rocking chair E gave me in 1981 at Christmas in our apartment next to the deli. I see now what maybe he was telling me with the chair. We had no money for engagement rings but we were going to spend our lives together and one day I would sit in that chair rocking back and forth with
our grand child.