Our Engagement Story

It's late Friday night, the road has been recently plowed and we're on it. The drive has lasted approximately five hours. Time seems to be slowing down the closer we get to Yosemite Valley or maybe I am driving slower due to the conditions. It is here that I realize my car has a sense of humor. The green practical joker occasionally deciding to go limp like a child in the candy aisle only to spring back to life at the least expected moment. My hatred for ice patches grow. The only difference, we're a hundred feet from the Merced river and the "child" weighs a literal ton. Alas! My superior driving skills win out; we make it to her brother Dean's cozy apartment.

Rebecca's Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring

It's early Saturday, Dean is talking about something I cannot seem to concentrate on. It is far to early in the morning. There was something about a half day and I can't seem to shake the feeling that I had something important to do today. Sleeps grasp has me once again.

Rebecca After Asking

It's noon, we are in the lodge cafeteria with Dean. He managed to get a half day off at work, so we're getting lunch together. Earlier in the day he got a glimpse of the precious's cherry wood box, stared for several seconds trying to decipher what I was showing him, and literally jumped back a foot once he realized; classic. Everywhere I look the snow is shining back at me. We walk among the trees for a while with the massive waterfall overhead. A large amount of water is flowing down Yosemite Falls for this time of year. I stop to check if this is the spot. My senses do not tingle properly and I slowly move on. The Merced River is rapidly intertwining islands of snow. Trees protrude like pins along it's ice covered edges. I would call it all pristinely glacial if I did not know any better. Despite the immense beauty, my mind is drifting on with time and the Valley floor is getting darker.

It's early evening, the sun is no longer visible from the Valley floor. and shadows are creeping through the meadow outside our Awhanee cottage window. Dean has gone and we discuss the probable success rate on the Mirror Lake hike. I can feel the precious growing heavy in my pocket and the desire it holds to change owners. We spent too long wandering the valley floor and now the plan may suffer. Should I ask here in the cottage? It is romantic, secluded, has an amazing view, and heated. "Don't be lazy" echos throughout my head in a familiar voice. My precious has spoken.

It's evening, but still light enough out. The shadow of the valley floor has almost reached halfway up the granite walls of the Valley. Reflections of the sun's passing bounce off the the southern flowing tip of Mirror Lake. We made it the two miles, uphill (both ways!), in the snow (barefoot!) and people...are...everywhere! The panic is rising, the precious is getting heavier, and the beauty of sunset will be gone soon. Should I do it now with all these people? Should I have done it in the cottage? "Don't be lazy!" the voice screams. It was only a two mile hike, what is a little more. We proceed further along the trail.

Frozen Lake Behind Josh

It's late, my senses are screaming "something is very wrong!" and I stop cold in my tracks. She stops as well asking me what is wrong. I do not have to say anything. She knows me too well. I take in the surroundings as I file it into the back of my mind; God, I love her. Things are beginning to get checked off the mental assessment list as I attempt to find what is wrong:

Why is the trail over there? What am I standing on? Why have so many people made tracks in the snow here? Why is there a rock wall there? It is almost as if park services did not want the trail eroded. Erosion?! Oh...

It's late...later, we are standing on the frozen lake, Mirror Lake, with no idea of exactly how thick the ice is beneath us. The area is very open with a smattering of footprints in the snow, but this was not the plan. Half Dome is changing colors as the real sunset tickles the granite chin. Delicately, we decide to find a place to rest.

It's late...still, we are sitting near a small group of trees growing out of a mound in the middle of the frozen lake. The bottle of mead is breathing in a pile of snow. Half Dome is a blur of reds, greens, and oranges. Beside it a star, probably a planet, winks into the sky next to the moon. The Universe has aligned, brought us here, together, and it is impeccable.

It's...the proposal. The phone is recording and she thinks I am just messing around with the gorgeous scenery. The cherry red box is in the snow beside me. I cull the million things I want to say to her. Finally, after nine years, eleven months, and some days, I get onto one knee with my precious in my hand and the other precious right in front of me.

Notes to Everyone

Halfdome at Moonrise
View on the Lake

It's a very unusual feeling. I was not nervous about asking. Simply wasn't satisfied with our surroundings, until I was. Things come together the way they need to.The trick is knowing when that is. As I spoke, the ring in my hand, my vision grew darker and sound muffled. I was on the brink of passing out from the excitement. For what seemed like several minutes, I concentrated on everything I wanted to say. This was a futile effort and I ultimately have no clue what did actually come out of my mouth. Finally, I remember thinking that I need to just shut up and ask the question. Do you know the great part about all my concentration and probably mumbling? She heard none of it!! She was so surprised and mesmerized by the ring that very little registered until she had to respond to my question. That is just another reason why I love this woman and know she is the right one for me.

Short Video of the Proposal

I was not expecting him to propose at all. I thought we were just going to have a nice romantic night out together. That was all. Two things happened very fast.

That is when things got extremely exciting for me! The funny thing is, as soon as I saw the ring, all I could remember was waiting for those words: Will you Mary Me!. All I wanted was to get up and say YES!!!. The proposal was set in a beautiful place and I could not have asked for anything more. This was truly the best weekend I have ever had. I will always remember it. I must have done something right in life to get a man like him; I am the luckiest woman ever!