12 {Twelve} or 7 {Seven}


Twelve years ago I met a really great guy. He showed up on a vintage BMW motorcycle in Red Lodge. He was sunburn from rock climbing Wyoming’s peaks. I told him he should have taken me along for sunscreen reminders as I touched his tomato-tinted Icelandic-rooted skin.
He said, sunscreen sounds like a good idea. But, popcorn sounds like an even better one.

Hell yeah, I’ll have popcorn, I said enthusiastically.

Popcorn is still my favorite food group.

Just then, a friend drove up in an old Ford pickup and had rented The Wedding Singer movie. VHS, oh yeah. 1998.

Twelve years ago I met a really great guy who made me popcorn. I wore a blue shirt. This one:


I got the shirt from my first friend I met at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. And I’m pretty sure Beth got the shirt from her brother. It’s some New Jersey baseball league shirt. It was broken in, blue and cool so I loved it. Still, love it. Thanks, Beth. Maybe I borrowed it on some dorm day but, sorry Beth, you can’t have it back.

As he melted sticks of butter for popcorn twelve years ago he said, Nice shirt. IBEW is my union.

I’d worn the shirt for four years & hadn’t a clue what those letters stood for. Anyone who knows Luke knows he’s quite a union man.

For twelve years he’s made me popcorn at the drop of a hat. For that and so, so much more I love him.

On the day we were married seven years, together twelve, we left the girls with a sitter and stopped by Vic’s Burgers for take-out with onion rings and malts. Vic’s began in 1958 and has stayed an island staple ever since. I mentioned Vic’s wife Margaret and her red lipstick of the 1950s and how it was the secret to the success of Vic’s Burgers in my play Light at Limekiln. I love Vic’s.

We drove the 1966 Ford Pickup that once belonged to Luke’s grandpa (who bought it new) to the beach.

We sat on the tailgate, looked at snow-capped Olympic Mountains, watched for whales, slurped malts through straws, walked in sand, played with bull kelp.

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We left the driver’s door open and walked along the beach. We turned back around to glimpse our new ride just as a fox, this one, jump into the cab and sniff around. Unluckily, we’d left our freshly baked replica wedding cake – red velvet, cream cheese frosting, original topper – on the seat, untasted and uncovered. Well, the fox either likes me or doesn’t like cake since it was unlicked. Later, with each bite we’d joke about fox hair or fox slobber and how well it pairs with red velvet.

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Perfect us.

Perfect little girls. Perfect night. Perfect life.

And an evening with waves crashing over AM radio’s broadcast could only have been slightly better if it had serenaded us with our wedding song by Ms. Etta James, At Last:

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At last, my love has come along

My lonely days are over

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And life is like a song

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Oh, yeah, at last

The skies above are blue


My heart was wrapped up in clovers


The night I looked at you

A dream that I can call my own


I found a dream that I could speak to


I found a thrill to rest my cheek to

A thrill that I have never known


Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile

Oh, and then the spell was cast


And here we are in heaven

For you are mine

At last


  • Marlis says:

    Beautiful, Jenn. Reminds me of when Roger proposed–I lived in
    Ballard and we would see each other on weekends. One Friday evening, he picked me up at the ferry landing. We ordered burgers and fries to go, and headed to South Beach where we ate on the tailgate of his truck around sunset. It was there and then that he proposed. Luke's truck is a lot cooler though (-: Thanks for sharing this. I'm kind of a sappy gal. Happy Anniversary.

  • Jenn you are soooooo cool seriously you make me jealous. Your world is a beautiful place! You have a true gift with story telling and pictures! I know how hard it is sometimes with all the little babes but what you are capturing with this blog is amazing. Love it and love you! amber

  • Gorgeous night. Gorgeous photos. Gorgeous story. And man that cake is HUGE. I seriously adore the photo of the cake on the hood of the truck.
    Happy Anniversary!

  • Emily says:

    Why am I crying? I'm crying really hard. I love you guys:) Shut up, Luke.

  • Elissa says:

    you are way too hip, i tell ya, in just the best way. i hit 12 years of marriage this year. something cool and weird and crazy about a dozen. congrats!

  • Oh true love, good love, real love; such a blessing.
    Happy anniversary to the beach couple who charmed a fox!

  • OH, what an excellent story. Happy, happy anniversary.

  • Earth Mama says:

    I LOVE that truck! I LOVe that cake! How cool it is that you drove on the beach to eat a wedding cake replica on your anniversary…and the fox!! Didn't eat your cake. I don't know if thats crazier than the fact that it got in your truck, or not. Happy anniversary!!


  • Wow. I'm feelin' all the love. I also feel so lucky to receive such kind & thoughtful words from all of you. Thanks.

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