Monday, October 3, 2011

How I Met Teri - Part 1

So all this alone time, packing up stuff and working on the house has made me particularly reflective. As I wrapped up our art pieces for storage I couldn't help but think about my wife, Teri. Our 5th wedding anniversary is coming up in less than two weeks. The time has gone by so very fast. It's been the happiest I've ever been in my life.

I thought I'd write about how we met. It's a bit of a long story, so I'll break it up into parts. The first part will be a bit of back story and will begin in the oddest of places, a rodeo arena.

In early 2006 I was on the verge of heading off in a new direction in my life. After years of working at the Carnegie Museum in the exhibits department I was ready for a change in career paths. I'd fallen in love with photography and was actively seeking a way to do so fulltime. It wasn't just work related changes though.

My 30's were my "bachelor years." They were adventurous times, with a mixed success rate as far as relationships went. As I approached 40 I'd reached a point where I no longer wished to be in poisonous entanglements. I just wanted to be alone for a while. I had a few different female "friends" and it was all I wanted at the time. I'd accepted I'd be going solo and really stopped worrying about dating, etc. Of course, my friends wouldn't hear it. They started trying to get me to "meet" a friend of theirs.

All of my focus was on shooting, to the point were I was looking for any sort of crazy project I could assign myself. Through I friend I was invited to spend a weekend traveling with an ex-Omish bull rider. Who knew there was an entire indoor rodeo culture here in Pennsylvania? I sure didn't!

I spent a couple of days traveling with an ex-Omish rider named Aaron and his girlfriend and buddies. It was quite the adventure into the PA cowboy culture. I swear, I had no idea there was one! Indoor arenas filled with blue smoke, smelling of manure and chewing tobacco, carousing in bars after an arena event, crazy antics late at night on small farms, and the sounds of people "knocking boots" filled my weekend in very unusual ways.

Needless to say it was a weekend I'll never, ever forget as long as I live. I met some interesting people, as well as saw a lot of interesting things. It was a trip into a culture I hadn't experienced before and I felt honored to have been given such intimate access to.

How does this relate to how I met my wife? I'll explain that in a later post...