We’ve been watching a lot of the 2010 Winter Olympics this week. As someone who grew up in the tropics, I love watching those silly people dance around the ice, defying death as they fly down frozen mountains, and acting like frantic janitors. (Curling: pure awesomeness!) And as we’ve watched the snowboarding, every once in a while I hear a little sigh of nostalgia coming from the other side of the couch.
Steve used to snowboard when he lived in Hungary. He even owned his own board, and has lots of stories of snowboarding adventures in Slovenia and other Alpen places. Winter sports are huge in Europe, as you can see with one glance at the medals table.
In 2001, I was living in Lithuania for fall semester, attending Lithuania Christian College. We’d started dating in July of that year, but due to travelling and living hundreds of miles apart, we had only seen each other for a week before I left for Lithuania in August. Steve had been planning on going to Budapest for Christmas to see his parents, and we started talking about the possibility of him swinging by Lithuania for my last week in the country. (I was going to straight to South Asia at the end of the semester to spend Christmas with my family, and wasn’t going to return to the US until January. In fact, for the first seven months of our relationship, we were only in each others’ presence for two weeks.)
But plane tickets are pricey, and surprisingly enough, missionaries don’t have a lot of extra cash. So Steve decided to let his parents sell his beloved snowboard to pay his way to Lithuania. After his semester was over, he flew to Vilnius, and I met him at the airport. Our emotional greeting made a nearby lady say, “Just like the movies!” We spent a wonderful week together, where I took him to my favorite haunts, walked around medieval old towns, and just enjoyed being together in a beautiful, albeit freezing cold, place.
And when he got to his parent’s house in Budapest? “Mom, she’s the one.”
Thanks for selling your snowboard, babe. I owe you one.
Awwww! Steve took this one of us in the dorm.
And this was taken one year later, right before we got engaged. He proposed to me at a palace in Vienna, Austria. Yeah, he’s awesome like that.