A Lot Can Happen In Five Years

Wedding Day - John Winchurch & Elizabeth HarperThis photograph was taken a few minutes before John and I married five years ago today and despite all that is happening in the background, it remains one of my favorites.

I use to moan about the car, and the way our family and friends are all doing their own thing in the background, particularly the two people right behind us. I even tried to edit the couple out with Photoshop, but it never looked right.

John hates feeling like he’s the center of attention so when he asked that we forgo a professional photographer, I agreed thinking if we had one decent photo of the day that would be enough for me.

I figured if a handful of folks were equipped with a camera we would surely have a few we would like from the collected effort. I wrote about the outcome of that decision in a post titled, Everyone’s a Wedding Photographer and there are loads of images there if you’d like to see more of our day.

Because I know how much a professional photographer can add to your wedding day memories, the photographer in me has been a bit wistful occasionally when looking back at the images we have especially the one above, but five years on I can see it from a different perspective and I don’t mind the activity in the background so much.

A lot can happen in five years and some of the people in the photo are no longer in our lives.

The couple that I tried to edit our photo who on that day seemed destined for a little wedding day happiness of their own, they got engaged a few years later, but decided to go separate ways a few months before their wedding.

The woman in purple with the white hair was our friend MIJ.  She died a year after this picture was taken from a reoccurrence of breast cancer after having been in remission for 20 years. She had no idea she was even ill until a few months before she died. I wrote about her several times in The Last Walk – Measured Steps, and Memories and Music in a Full House.

I’ve written a great many posts about John’s granddaughter always masking her identity with the name, Jersey Girl.  She’s the little four – year old girl you can see in the arms of John’s eldest daughter. JG has a little sister now who will be three not long before JG turns ten. Some of my favorite posts have involved fun times with Jersey Girl so click here to see a list of some you might enjoy.

I told John today that nothing has ever seemed as easy as the decision I made to marry him and while not all of the 620 posts at GOTJ are about us, there are more than a few that show why it was the right one.

Feeling The Sun From Both Sides

 To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides  – David Viscott

Young sunflowers follow the sun their heads turning as the day changes from morning to night powerless to resist the movement of the light, but mature sunflowers hold fast, firmly planted and permanently facing east. They stand like silent sentries content to feel the warmth as the sun passes over as if they know somehow the benefits that will come from feeling the sun from both sides.

Three Years

Today is our third wedding anniversary. John would say getting married was a piece of the puzzle necessary for immigration which sounds decidedly unromantic, which he is not.

He would say that the date we met online and the date we met in person are more significant for him and more noteworthy than our wedding day and I can see why he would feel this way.

Wedding Day - John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper - 2/2/2009

Our wedding day was our most public declaration and more of a celebration than the deeply moving experience of some marriage ceremonies. It was a period at the end of the sentence that meant I could stay forever.

Snowy Wedding Day - John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper

While all three dates have their place in our history there’s one we note more privately which is how it occurred. We both see it as the most significant of the three and the one that marked a defining moment in our relationship. I’ve written about it before, the look that passed between us while standing on bridge built in the 14th century only eight days after we met in person.

This photograph of me was taken almost immediately after that moment occurred. I’m standing on Helland Bridge with no doubt and no fear, loving the man and the moment, ready plant my feet and face permanently east. 

Taken only minutes later, this is one of my very favorite photographs of John. There are a million reasons why, but this act that came later is just one of many that confirmed what I already knew that day.

Much has changed since I wrote my first blog post, but as you can see from the title if you follow the link, some things are exactly same.

If you’d like to share a sweet story of your own either through a comment or link, I’d love to read it.

A Day At The Beach Shown In Reverse

Thanks so much for all of your good wishes and kind thoughts for our anniversary. We had a fun day out despite the weather and the rain held off until we made it home from our beach walk and a special lunch at Fifteen.

Some of you may remember that John took me to Fifteen for our first anniversary (click to see) last year. It can be difficult to get reservations unless you book well in advance especially during the warmer months of the year, but he was able to secure a table with a window view with as late as last week. I’ll say more later since the photos are in reverse today. You can get a glimpse of the building that the restaurant is housed in by looking over the top of John’s head.

John headed down the beach ahead of me after lunch.

I tend to lag behind taking photos and often have to run to catch up like you see in the image above.

Now we’re just trading shots across the beach with John trying to get back to the car because it’s chilly and he did not bring a heavy coat.

The wind was pretty fierce and you can see by double clicking on this photo that the little boy in it is looking up because he’s lost something to the wind. It kind of looks like a baby bib to me … what do you think?

John got this picture of me with Fifteen in the background. Our table was about midway down the upper level of windows. I think I was photographing the family with children in this shot.

Inside Fifteen - Watergate Beach, Cornwall

John tried to get a photograph of our waiter/server, Nick so I could put it here with my review of his service. He was fabulous and I would recommend if you book a table at Fifteen in Cornwall, ask for Nick. Not only was he fast as you can see by his blurred image above, he was very food knowledgeable and a surf instructor too.

There was someone outside doing something called Kite Surfing(new to me) and Nick took time to discuss the challenges of kite surfing as well answering my questions about the best beaches in Cornwall for a novice like myself to learn to surf.

You might think this strange information for him to be chatting about while taking care of our food needs, but I asked him a few questions as I usually do when meeting new folks and before I had attacked my main course I was thinking about my wet suit and wondering if I might still be able to learn to surf.

You are looking at a yummy dessert John and I ordered. It is chocolate cake obviously, but what it not so obvious is that it has beets in it. See the red layer …  it’s what they call beet root here.

This was our cake before we devoured it. An amazing feat as stuffed as we were by then.’ Stuffed …’ you might ask, then why order dessert? Fifteen has a fixed price lunch option that includes three courses, so full or not, I was not skipping dessert. Plus it’s my favorite part of a meal!

John began his meal with fish before moving on to Cornish pheasant and I had a Tuscan bean soup that was so rich I wanted scoop it up with the thick slices of bread Nick brought to the table. I followed my soup with the lightest, best tasting gnocchi I have ever put in my mouth. I’m afraid I was too busy eating to photograph my food.

Here you can see the kite surfer I mentioned earlier.

Finally, we are back at the beginning where I took a quick photo of John just before we walked down the steps to have lunch.