When I met her I was a Captain in the Marine Corps on leave after coming back from Somalia and in the process of resigning my commission. I was profoundly depressed over my failing first marriage (which I wholly accept the blame for) and my failure as a father to my two boys. I had been in the Marine Corps since my 17th birthday and had spent over 7 years overseas without my family including multiple combat zone tours and I now know that I was suffering from some psychological issues that left me feeling empty of just about every emotion except rage. We initially didnt care much for each other, I was way too wild for her and she was a young divorce' with no money, and 3 young children and in no way was I looking to ever get married again or take on another family when I couldnt even deal with my own.
But a few years after meeting, we became best friends and she changed my outlook on life forever. The pictures below are just a few from our now long happy life together and I dedicate this post to my beloved wife and partner. Our kids are all grown, we are grandparents, and I couldnt ask for a more supportive and loving spouse and family. Thank you Holly and happy anniversary.
Our first vacation together was to Puerto Vallarta Mexico; we were young, thin, and tanned and we spent 2 weeks para gliding, horse back riding and living large. During this trip I realised that I needed to turn my life in a new direction and I began to feel whole again.
I proposed after a Christmas party...we looked so young.
We were married on Halloween and had a great wedding and reception with lots of friends and family and we encouraged people to come in costume. Our wedding annual is unique to say the least but it was fitting for us since we both love life and like to have fun.
Holly is a good patient mother who is much loved by our combined brood. These two little boys are now all grown up. Matt on the right was a Police Officer and is now an IT tech and Al on the left joined the military and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is now finishing up his degree at UNC and prepping for law school. Where has the time gone?
My two girls..
We have always been mutually supportive of each others dreams and aspirations and though it was a long haul, I was never more proud of anyone than I was when Holly graduated from the University of Alaska.
We are also fishing and hunting partners though I must confess she can catch a fish with a bare hook in a mud puddle. Both of us are very competetive and neither gives any quarter no matter what we do.
Soon after 9/11 I felt the need to give up a fairly high paying career in civilian life and go back into the military, this time into the Army. Her support during a couple more years deployed overseas and another combat tour will never be forgotten.
We both love motorcycles and fast cars and had three when we decided to move to the farm. But after a racing accident and several close calls (I am a self confessed speed demon) we both decided to give them up and concentrate on tractors. But we do soup up the tractors and even our push mower has a few tweaks....ever seen a velocity stack on a 6hp Briggs push mower?
We travelled all over Alaska in our various boats and trucks...
Spent a wonderful week in Destin Florida prior to my last deployment to Iraq...
Crabbed, clammed, harvested sea weed.....
Travelled all over the Washington and Oregon coast looking for property...
And thoroughly enjoyed our fish camps on the Taku River in Alaska courtesy of Tom...thanks Tom.
The skinny blonde I thought was more eye candy than anything when I first met her turned out to be quite an adventurer and a great partner. I have always had to try everything, experience everything and see everything and I met my match with Holly. But she wont bungee jump with me yet...still working on her though.
And here we are all these years later living the farm life. Its been a great life and I look forward to many more decades of adventure and companionship. Thanks Holly.