Jun. 17th, 2006

ciroccoj: (family)
Our tenth anniversary dinner last night could not have been more different from our wedding dinner if we'd tried. That one was in Kingston, Ontario, on a budget - a small one. Friends and family at Queen's Meds House, some munchies provided by a local restaurant and the rest provided by our friends, and paper plates (no, we weren't total cheapskates - our fancy sit-down dinner was lunch, about half as pricey as dinner).

Last night was us and our kids at a Luau in Kona. There were Hawaiian tattoos, hula lessons, and palm-leaf crafts. There was some Hawaiian history, stories about King Kamehameha I, a royal procession, and incredible food (including imu-roasted pig, poi, and coconut pudding). And cheese, lots and lots of cheese. From the MC, not the buffet. And dancing, from Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji, and Samoa. The boys were thrilled to finally see a real Haka, having heard about them from the Lord of the Rings DVD Extras. BTW, anybody who knows where that comes up in the DVDs? You're a great big geek, and I love you deeply.

Kind of weird, to think we've been married ten years. It seems longer, somehow. Chris put it very well a few weeks ago, when we realized the date was coming up: "Yeah, ten years married to you. Ten... well, really awful years, actually."

We had to laugh, because otherwise we'd cry. Those ten years brought us a lot of wonderful things: our kids, good times together, degrees earned, good jobs, good friends... but they also included residency, Chris' motorcycle accident, severe depression for both of us, a hysterectomy for me, the deaths of my grandmother and all four of Chris' grandparents, and my mother and Guy. It's not exactly the stuff glowing nostalgia is made of.

Though it's great fodder for gallows humour, which Chris and I have in abundance.

Here's hoping the next ten are a little less laden with trauma-drama. Um, please.

***

No trauma-drama on the first day of our second decade together. Today we went horseback riding near Waimea with Hawaiian paniolos (which, we have learned, is a Hawaiianization of EspaƱoles, as the first cowboys who taught Hawaiians how to handle horses and cattle were Spanish vaqueros. Faily amusing to this Paniola.)

So we went horseback riding, which the boys had never done, and Chris had not done since he was 13 and got thrown from a horse and picked up a major horse phobia. Which is less debilitating than a hose phobia, which is how I spelled it the first time. Especially for somebody who loves to garden as much as Chris does.

Sure wish I'd had a camera. The boys were so happy. Quote of the ride was from Justin: "I would rather go horseback riding than do my exchange!!" (exchange = 30 minutes of computer time)

I don't know who I was prouder of: the boys, for doing so incredibly well on horseback, their first time ever, or Chris, for getting back on a horse after having a phobia so acute that he didn't even want to hear about horses when I first met him.

Rather bittersweet moment for me, though. I think my dad would've been proud of Daniel and Justin, for carrying on a multi-generational tradition of horsemanship in our family. Both of my dad's parents were avid horseback riders. I believe (though the details are very hazy) that my grandfather's military/police-type career had a lot to do with horses. My dad grew up going to his uncle's farm every summer, where long rides were one of the main forms of entertainment. I was sent to riding lessons when I was a kid, and went on a couple of trail rides out of Banff, a dude ranch in... Nevada? And a two-day mule trek down the Grand Canyon.

And now here's my kids, thrilled to be on horseback, taking to it naturally their first time on, and asking if we can do this more regularly when we get back to Ottawa.


***

Tomorrow: up in a plane to fly over active volcanoes! The boys are very excited. They've got a bit of an unhealthy fascination with natural disasters - volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. They recently lived through a harmless earthquake (a bit of rumbling in Orleans a few months ago) so they're quite eager to witness a harmless eruption. Should be cool :)

November 2012

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