Yep, I'm getting married. Here's the story ...
I met a woman (Calix) last August through mutual friends, we started talking later in the year, and by February 2009 we were dating. Things continued to just get better and better over the summer.
My little sister was to be married on October 3rd down in Cocoa Beach, Florida and rather than deal with the logistics of flying, Calix and I decided to drive down and spend a week beforehand camping in Asheville, North Carolina. The camping was awesome and we did fun stuff like tour the Biltmore, attend the Mountain Heritage Festival, and visit the Arboretum. The final day of our camping trip I decided we should go horseback riding.
I opted for the three hour ride because halfway through we'd stop for lunch at an old garnet mine on the property and we were allowed to dig around and keep what we found. We had pretty good luck finding some large partials and some tiny whole ones. Back at the campsite I had Calix spread out the garnets on the cooler so we could inspect our find. I pointed out two decent sized ones and commented that they'd be the perfect size to get made into a ring. She concurred and that's when I knelt down, placed one of the garnets in her hand, and asked her to marry me. She was overjoyed and said yes.
I have an uncle who's a jeweler in Indiana so sometime next year Calix and I will pay him a visit to see what it costs to clean and polish the garnets and pick out a setting for the engagement ring. Everybody does diamonds, but how many people do garnets, especially one you dug up yourself?
We don't have a firm date set yet but we do like the idea of 11/11/11. Of course, 10/10/10 would be cool also since 101010 is binary for 42 which is the answer to life, the universe, and everything (Douglas Adams). But, we may just end up eloping when it makes tactical sense to do so, then have the ceremony at a later date like 11/11/11 and show a ridiculously dramatic kung fu action wedding movie to show what the wedding was "really" like.
We still have plenty of time to discuss and plan. One thing is for certain though ...
I'm getting married!