In the meantime, a romantic evening after flying caught me off guard and I asked Denise to marry me on a moonlit night atop Mount Tamalpais. Of course, Denise took me seriously and began immediately planning the occasion, offering up dates that made me swallow hard. We both agreed that we did not want a big fancy wedding, but it had to be something special. Two weeks before the Hawaiian vacation we decided that it would happen there, but we were to surprise my kids, Jake (18) and Melody (15), as well as the rest of you who are finding this out now for the first time.
went without a hitch and we managed to keep the secret until one hour before
we had planned the event. Lucky for us, the kids were in the habit
of sleeping in every morning, which allowed us to sneak out and get the
legal and preparation stuff done without them getting wind of what we were
doing. Melody took a wild guess when Denise bought the perfect wedding
dress at Hilo Hattie's two hours before the wedding and forced the issue
a bit early. So, back at the resort, I called a family conference,
(to which Jake asked, "who died?"), and requested that Jake and Melody
be witnesses to our wedding.... this evening.... like, in about an hour.
We caught the kid's reactions on video tape for posterity. So, Wednesday,
September 1, 1999 at 6:15 PM (sunset) we set out to become husband and
Even though it had been raining all day (much to our concern), it stopped just at the right time. We had previously picked out a beach with a private cove and white, shell ridden sand. We met the minister, the musician and the coordinator there and it went without a hitch.
The minister then walked us through the traditional vows, and then we
exchanged some of our own. In this picture, we have already crossed
a line in the sand representing an outward expression of an inward commitment
already at work in our lives. Just as the waves wind and rain will
wash away the line, so will our lives absorb and demonstrate the promises
The ceremony was unceremoneously (just our style) interrupted by the
tide insisting on moving in on our selected spot. The minister's
shoes got soked, but we all had a good laugh and promptly selected a new
spot to finish up. With a kiss of the bride, and the gentle hawaiian
song and guitar, our promises were sealed...
Time for pictures!
Denise got two kids "pre-grown".
Our reception was nothing less than a traditional Hawaiian Luau with lots of food and entertainment. We were a bit late, and we got rained on, but hey... ya know?