Connecting through adventure


Last updated 4/26/2022 at Noon

“Love is the whole thing. We are only the pieces.” As the poet Rumi described, love is the culmination of its parts. A relationship is only as strong and wonderful as the individuals who together build and create it.

This column is about people and their path to finding love. We will meet local couples in Sisters and discover their love story — from how they met, to navigating life’s challenges together, and their advice for maintaining a happy, loving relationship. Along the way we may discover new date night ideas, tips to keep a relationship young, and learn more about

our neighbors who call Sisters Country home.

I’ll begin with my own love story.

Sitting down together, my husband, Zack, and I fumbled through my list of questions. Was that really our first date? What does keep our relationship fresh and young? It was fun to look back at where we started and how we have grown as a couple over the years.

Our meet-cute occurred during an entry-level college government class. We were young, enthusiastic political science majors ready to tackle the world. What started as group study sessions evolved into friendship and eventually dating. From the beginning, we clicked. Spending time together was comfortable and effortless.

One aspect of our relationship that I have always admired was our approach to dating. Instead of traditional dinner-and-movie dates, my husband found unique, adventurous outings. We hiked and biked the Chuckanut Mountain trails or watched sunsets while picnicking on secluded beaches in Bellingham Bay. Hands down, the most unforgettable date was a night of stargazing. Between pointing out planets and constellations, a meteor lit up the night sky before hitting the ground with a loud boom. To this day, we are still in awe that we caught such a rare sight together.

After six years of dating, Zack surprised me by proposing during a waterfall hike in Costa Rica. Six months later we gathered one warm summer evening with friends and family in Portland to say our vows. Now, with almost 11 years of marriage and 18 years together, we have learned a few things.

We still love spending time together and maintaining our friendship that started it all. This has been especially helpful during difficult times. When we each lost a parent, we had one another, our best friend, to lean on to get through it. During big life changes we have always counted on each other, supporting and acting as cheerleader for the other.

Humor has been a significant part of our relationship. Not taking each other too seriously and being able to laugh about the crazy things life throws our way has helped us keep our marriage young and healthy. We have also learned that communication really is key. Talk out issues as they arise and listen to what your partner may be needing at that moment.

Eighteen years later we still love hiking together, except now it’s in Central Oregon. Walks along the Metolius River and evening picnics at Suttle Lake are favorites. And of course, we still stargaze, hoping to glimpse another dazzling meteor together.

Interested in sharing your love story? We would love to hear from you. Please reach out to me at [email protected]


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