on rings, not picnicking, and seven years of marriage…

August 23, 2013 · 17 comments

Henry and Camille Storch // Wayward Spark

Seven years ago, when Henry was on his back changing the oil in his truck, and I was sitting on the steps of the cabin talking to him while he worked, we decided to get married. I don’t remember exactly how it came out, but there was definitely no flashmob, no diamonds, and not even a guy down on one knee. It was distinct, though, and later that day we drove into town and told our parents what we had decided. No one was too surprised, but it was still exciting. We were 23 years old.

Before the wedding, I decided that I wanted to buy “real” rings, not something out of a candy machine or tattoos or whatever. I didn’t need them to be fancy or custom made. My only specifications were round and gold, but they had to have “value” in some way that, even now, I can’t quite explain. On a weekday morning, we walked up to the jewelry section in a Fred Meyer store, but the gate was down because they didn’t open until 8, and it was only quarter ’til. We hung out until the saleswoman arrived and ushered us in for our 10 minutes of ring shopping. As we were about to leave with our purchases, the saleswoman admitted that she thought we were trying to buy watch batteries because that was the only reason anyone ever showed up so early. I think we picked Fred Meyer Jewelers because the idea of buying a gold ring at a grocery store seemed as irreverent as proposing while under a truck or getting married on the county courthouse lawn, which we did a couple weeks later (August 22, 2006 to be exact).

Maybe it was because I lost some weight after we got married or maybe the thing wasn’t the right size to begin with, but my ring never quite fit tightly enough. When I was nervous or bored, I’d slide it on and off my finger absentmindedly. Then one day it flew off my finger without warning and landed on the floor. I started to say things like, “I should take it to someone to get it tightened,” but I never did. On a dark evening two or three years into our marriage, I was feeding my goats, and my ring fell off and landed somewhere among the piles of gold-colored hay and goat poop. I brought out the flashlight and searched for a good long while, but it was really no use. My ring was gone (or at least really really lost), and even though it was completely my fault and even though I really didn’t think it should be a big deal, I cried.

My parents have been married for over 35 years now, and they had wedding rings custom made back in the day. Β In the years since, my dad’s literally wore through from working in the dirt so much, and my mom took hers off permanently when she developed some kind of skin irritation on her finger. After being ringless for a couple months, my mom offered me her own wedding ring, and it fit me perfectly. I’ve been wearing it ever since, and it feels a lot more special than some corporate jewelry store ring. (Henry finally took his off, rightly concerned for his finger that swells considerably after being stung.)

Storch family // Wayward Spark

Dreamy photos of girls going on picnics with their boyfriends/partners/husbands pass through my Instagram feed from time to time, and I ogle at them, wondering what kind of alternate universe those people (some of them actual friends of mine) are living in. Henry and I have never and will never picnic (at least not the shoes-off, blanket down, bread-cheese-wine kind of picnic). When we first got together, we took an overnight road trip down the southern Oregon coast, and I packed a big bag of snacks and sandwich stuff, thinking we’d stop somewhere to assemble a proper lunch. Ten minutes into the drive, Henry had one hand on the wheel and the other pulling out wads of sandwich fixins and stuffing them into his mouth. That was probably the end of any picnic pipe dreams I ever had. Henry and I will also never stroll hand and hand through some cute downtown while window shopping or take a romantic, sprawl-out-by-the-beach/pool vacation together either.

But you know what? This thing that is Us, that’s also a family now (“It’s our anniversary!” Charlotte squealed yesterday.), it’s okay. We’re good, in fact. The everyday is messy for sure, but the sum of the parts adds up to seven years of (mostly) happy memories and good times.

We had a little too much fun with my tripod and the self timer on my camera yesterday even if the photos show us to be the frumpy, partially pajama-clad hillbillies that we really are.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lacey August 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

This is great. Thanks for being real! Marriage is so different than what we normally see on Instagram/the internet in general. Happy anniversary!


Aimee August 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

My dear, your pictures ARE dreamy of your beautiful life. I love seeing couples like y’all who obviously have a strong bond as their eyes both twinkle in the same way. Congratulations on a lovely world you’ve created for each other πŸ™‚


Alison Fennell August 24, 2013 at 5:23 am

A wholely satisfying read. How easily and honestly you write. It is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us – you are all looking good on marriage and the natural life! Alison


Marie August 24, 2013 at 7:22 am

That is such a sweet and genuine story. And for a reader who has watched your postings for over a year; it is good to see you! I know Henry form the many photos, and could probably pick him out of a crowd!

Congratulations on your special days!


aunt sue August 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

omg – you guys are SO PURTY! love you very much!


Karen at A Glimpse Into My Reveries August 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

A beautiful family and a wonderfully fresh breath of air.

I fear that all the beautiful pictures on Pinterest of storybook proposals and wedding days leads to unrealistic expectations on the part of our young ladies and has to cause dread of not living up to such ideals on our young men! It’s good to remember that a marriage is a bond of hearts and lives!


sarah birchmoon August 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I love this post of yours! I can relate in so many ways to your words. My husband of 7 years and I decided to get married when our first son was 1 year old just all of us hanging out on the back porch. No big deal, nice picnic wedding in the trees, simple, short, easy. I don’t wear my rings much, not very comfortable seems like; but my wonderful husband wears his all the time. Love your final picture, taking tri-pod pictures of the family can be very funny and for us often time consuming trying to get one where there are no tongues hanging out, or weird faces. take care, Sarah


Grampa August 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

What a lovely family! You all look so very happy!


Rachel August 26, 2013 at 10:44 am

Congratulations! We are closing in on our seventh anniversary, as well – it’s fun to think back on the proposal, our ring shopping experience and the wedding as well as everything that has happened since then. I laughed out loud when I read about your daydreaming/ogling over Instagram photos of romantic picnics, walks on the beach and window-shopping — there are so many, very different ways to be charming and sweet to the people we love.


abby August 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Oh my gosh, I love this so much! I love how you are, Camille. Love your sweet family too!


Katy August 28, 2013 at 8:40 am

Just came across your blog. Absolutely love this post. I feel a lil more right being out here so far in the left… πŸ™‚


Camille August 28, 2013 at 9:30 am

Aww…Thanks everybody!


Linnea August 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I’m late on this, but happy anniversary! You have the most beautiful family!


Camille September 4, 2013 at 7:57 am

Thanks, Linnea.


debbie hosaflook September 2, 2013 at 5:17 am

I came across your beautiful and real blog thanks to Amanda of SouleMama. I came over looking for your recipe for pickling beets and have spent every spare moment reading your posts and loving your beautiful pictures of your lovely life. This post especially made me smile because my husband and I have the same odd romantic life that you and Henry have. We have been together for 9 years and married for 3 and we have never, ever been on a picnic and only once, at my begging, have been to the beach (he is a country/mountain boy, not a beachcomber). Sure we have eaten plenty of times outside, but usually our hands were covered in dirt and we were grabbing food on the go while doing something else πŸ™‚ But, that is our life and how we both LOVE it. We are about 20 years older than you, but the life I am finally living now, is almost completely the life I have always wanted. I still have to work outside of the home but hope to be able to retire to working at my home in about 2 years. We do a lot of gardening and raise chickens, grow soybean and corn crops, trade our services for other’s services and just enjoy a pretty simple life which is filled with hard work, but still a simple life. I have 4 sons who range from 22 to 16 and they appreciate the lifestyle their step-dad and I have. We aren’t glamorous, we have a house that is way too big, but my husband and his dad built it together 20 years ago, we strive to be self sufficient, sustainable people who want to be responsible for the food we put in our mouths as well as our children and friends mouths. To us, nothing is more rewarding than working hard for a life we want.

Thank you for sharing your life and lifestyle. I am so looking forward to following you regularly and cooking up more of your wonderful recipes. And I think I could spend the rest of my life looking at the gorgeous photos of your mom and dad’s “farm”. What a beautiful place to have been raised and to be able to have your children enjoy on a regular basis. I hope someday, my sons will find our home just as magical and bring their children here to hang out and enjoy plain, old life.

Cheers to you and your family,


Camille September 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

Glad to have you following along!


Shana September 5, 2013 at 6:24 am



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