The Story Behind the Mic Drop

The Story Behind the Mic Drop

I dropped a mic a couple of blog posts ago when I announced at the end that I was marrying the guy in the picture. Haven’t said much since then. So here is our story, as written for our wedding website:

The Beginning

Jeff and Elise met for the first time in July 2018 at a local Purdue Extension meeting on agritourism. Elise was part of the speaker panel and talked about New Zealand. Jeff was looking for ideas for the Christmas tree farm on which he was working. The two bumped into each other a couple of weeks later at the county fair. Then, in October, before the melodrama at the local theater began, they ran into each other at the concession stand. He was buying a drink and attempted to strike up a conversation about her tour guiding experiences during the Covered Bridge Festival, but she had to tell the workers that her mother had spilled her Coke and it had surged all the way from the back row to the front row and ice was everywhere and could someone please bring a mop?

Christmas Time

A few days before Thanksgiving, Elise’s brother asked her if she wanted to use his extra artificial Christmas tree. However, she had resolved to always have a real Christmas tree and declined the offer. After Thanksgiving, she drove to the local Christmas tree farm to scout out the possibilities.

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My first Christmas tree in my own house.

She picked out the perfect Charlie Brown tree, a tiny Eastern White Pine. Jeff handed her the saw to cut it down, and she proudly carried it away.

When she loaded it in her dad’s diesel F-350 truck, she heard someone yell, “Is that truck big enough for that tree?”

She turned around to see Jeff with an amused smile. He had just insulted her tree.

But he was carrying a Christmas tree on his shoulder.

It was a Hallmark movie moment, really.

Or a Christmas play, which is where they saw each other next. Continue reading “The Story Behind the Mic Drop”

Five Favorite Photos from Ireland (So Far)

Five Favorite Photos from Ireland (So Far)

Ireland is a country that has danced through books I’ve read and songs I’ve sung for many years. Myths and legends grow here. So do sheep.

And I am finally here.

Here are my five favorite photos from my first five days in Ireland:

The first picture is from my first hike on this island. I walked to the top of Knocknarea Mountain in County Sligo where the cairn of Queen Maeve, who was buried with her spear, standing upright and facing her enemies, towers over the landscape. The trail wound through these trees. This was the view on my way back down the steep stairs. This was Ireland, the country in all the songs and the movies, the country where banshees and will-o’-the-wisps were real, the country where an informational placard on a house associated with the poet William Butler Yeats said, “The ghosts of smugglers used to tap on the window panes,” just matter of factly, no “Legend says” attribution accompanying the statement. Continue reading “Five Favorite Photos from Ireland (So Far)”

21 Hours in Singapore

21 Hours in Singapore

One Sunday morning while I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, I met two women from Singapore. We connected immediately over food and good conversation. Upon parting, we said that if we were ever in each other’s countries, we would be sure to catch up.

Three months later, I was searching for plane tickets from Perth, Australia, to the Philippines and discovered a route with a long layover in Singapore. I could experience two countries on one plane ticket!

So I contacted my new friends, and we planned a 21-hour Singaporean adventure.

But first, here are some photos from my last day in the Southern Hemisphere:  Continue reading “21 Hours in Singapore”

A Video from Kaikoura and Stories Behind It

A Video from Kaikoura and Stories Behind It

The title sounds like an elementary school “What I Did Over the Summer” essay, but Kaikoura has some pretty cool stuff. In this video, I put together several of my photos and videos from flying a plane, seeing seals and swimming with dolphins. Stories from Kaikoura follow below.

I once posted a picture from a day trip to Kaikoura toward the beginning of September where I was sitting in the front seat of a plane. Here’s how that happened: Continue reading “A Video from Kaikoura and Stories Behind It”