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Feb. 29 a special day with special memories


Thanks to some forward thinking and planning, Lee Osmond should spare himself that awful feeling some men experience when they’re forgotten one important day – the wedding anniversary.

In fact, the “there’s something I’m supposed to do” kind of thinking was what he had in mind when he decided to propose to his wife Renee — on Feb. 29 eight years ago.

The Grand Falls-Windsor couple went all-in on the special date, which comes around only once each four years, and said their “I dos” in a Caribbean wedding ceremony exactly four years after the engagement — also on a Feb. 29.

The notion still comes across as a good one when Osmond reflects on the day he asked for Renee’s hand — but he admits the execution of the proposal left him befuddled at a few junctures.

Even choosing the ring, traditionally one of the earliest and most significant parts of the process, was a challenge and probably an omen of the hiccups to come.

Not wanting to be too direct and tip his hand on the entire proposal plan, Osmond hinted on a few occasions that she choose a ring. He even narrowed it down to a select few.

She kept putting the selection off and as the big day — Feb. 29, 2008 — neared, his hand was forced. In a style befitting the sense of humour that was obvious as he related the story, Osmond headed out to the local Claire’s store and chose a ring from a 10 for $10 costume jewelry bin.

With ring in hand, Osmond laid out the rest of his plan: babysitter arranged — check; dinner at the Dockside Restaurant reserved — check; sleigh ride at Jigg’s Farm booked — check.

Everything was set and the date was getting underway, albeit challenged from the outset.

As he informed his wife-to-be about the dinner plans, he discovered Renee’s mom (who doubled as the babysitter that evening) had prepared macaroni and cheese for dinner — her daughter’s favourite. Of course she ate two helpings!

“I wasn’t hungry at all, but I went anyway,” Renee said, as the couple reflected on the evening. “I ended up taking a doggy bag.”

Cell phones weren’t as common then and Osmond had to sneak away during the meal at the Botwood restaurant to call and check on the status of the sleigh ride, during which he intended to pop the question.

Late February in central Newfoundland can be frigid and, as if on cue, a cold front hit. What he heard from the Jigg’s farms operators is not what he wanted to hear — at minus 29 it was too cold to take the horses from the barn.

Now his ingenuity was being put to the test for a Plan B.

What about the theatre, the site of their first official date? Then he remembered that he had actually stood her up on that first date.

After dinner they cruised around Grand Falls-Windsor, his mind swirling with possibilities, Osmond recalled their first real date was at Church Road Park.

That would do.

He should have expected the unexpected at this time — and there was another glitch in store.

Once at the park, Renee wanted to head straight to the duck pond and in particular the island she hadn’t visited since back in her days as a Brownie.

Normally the island is inaccessible, except by boat.

But the pond was frozen, so she had her suitor in tow, heading straight to her destination.

One problem — hubby-to-be is petrified of ice.

He’d gone too far to back out now, so Lee swallowed the lump in his throat and trudged on.

As Renee admired the surroundings, Lee pulled the costume jewelry engagement ring from his jacket, went to one knee, and as she turned to face him, uttered the questioning words that were practically freezing as they left his mouth.

“Yes.” was included in the hasty response to his proposal, and that was enough for him.

They snapped a hastily arranged photo of the special moment (both are avid photographers) and it was back to the warmth of the car to spread the news.

She did eventually choose a real ring and even that exchange turned eventful as he decided to revisit the proposal, this time at Leech Brook in April.

It turned out to be another matter of poor timing as the snow still remaining was “rotten” meaning that trek was far from a leisurely stroll.

Rolling up in their first official anniversary, the couple can chuckle about the speed bumps they encountered leading up to the nuptials.

There’s an occasional correction of minor details as the humorous stories are related, but there is one other thing they certainly agree on.

“We’ve been married four years, but it feels like one,” Lee said. His wife of 1,460 days smiles and nods her approval.

randy.edison@tc.tc

@gfwadvertiser

 

 

In fact, the “there’s something I’m supposed to do” kind of thinking was what he had in mind when he decided to propose to his wife Renee — on Feb. 29 eight years ago.

The Grand Falls-Windsor couple went all-in on the special date, which comes around only once each four years, and said their “I dos” in a Caribbean wedding ceremony exactly four years after the engagement — also on a Feb. 29.

The notion still comes across as a good one when Osmond reflects on the day he asked for Renee’s hand — but he admits the execution of the proposal left him befuddled at a few junctures.

Even choosing the ring, traditionally one of the earliest and most significant parts of the process, was a challenge and probably an omen of the hiccups to come.

Not wanting to be too direct and tip his hand on the entire proposal plan, Osmond hinted on a few occasions that she choose a ring. He even narrowed it down to a select few.

She kept putting the selection off and as the big day — Feb. 29, 2008 — neared, his hand was forced. In a style befitting the sense of humour that was obvious as he related the story, Osmond headed out to the local Claire’s store and chose a ring from a 10 for $10 costume jewelry bin.

With ring in hand, Osmond laid out the rest of his plan: babysitter arranged — check; dinner at the Dockside Restaurant reserved — check; sleigh ride at Jigg’s Farm booked — check.

Everything was set and the date was getting underway, albeit challenged from the outset.

As he informed his wife-to-be about the dinner plans, he discovered Renee’s mom (who doubled as the babysitter that evening) had prepared macaroni and cheese for dinner — her daughter’s favourite. Of course she ate two helpings!

“I wasn’t hungry at all, but I went anyway,” Renee said, as the couple reflected on the evening. “I ended up taking a doggy bag.”

Cell phones weren’t as common then and Osmond had to sneak away during the meal at the Botwood restaurant to call and check on the status of the sleigh ride, during which he intended to pop the question.

Late February in central Newfoundland can be frigid and, as if on cue, a cold front hit. What he heard from the Jigg’s farms operators is not what he wanted to hear — at minus 29 it was too cold to take the horses from the barn.

Now his ingenuity was being put to the test for a Plan B.

What about the theatre, the site of their first official date? Then he remembered that he had actually stood her up on that first date.

After dinner they cruised around Grand Falls-Windsor, his mind swirling with possibilities, Osmond recalled their first real date was at Church Road Park.

That would do.

He should have expected the unexpected at this time — and there was another glitch in store.

Once at the park, Renee wanted to head straight to the duck pond and in particular the island she hadn’t visited since back in her days as a Brownie.

Normally the island is inaccessible, except by boat.

But the pond was frozen, so she had her suitor in tow, heading straight to her destination.

One problem — hubby-to-be is petrified of ice.

He’d gone too far to back out now, so Lee swallowed the lump in his throat and trudged on.

As Renee admired the surroundings, Lee pulled the costume jewelry engagement ring from his jacket, went to one knee, and as she turned to face him, uttered the questioning words that were practically freezing as they left his mouth.

“Yes.” was included in the hasty response to his proposal, and that was enough for him.

They snapped a hastily arranged photo of the special moment (both are avid photographers) and it was back to the warmth of the car to spread the news.

She did eventually choose a real ring and even that exchange turned eventful as he decided to revisit the proposal, this time at Leech Brook in April.

It turned out to be another matter of poor timing as the snow still remaining was “rotten” meaning that trek was far from a leisurely stroll.

Rolling up in their first official anniversary, the couple can chuckle about the speed bumps they encountered leading up to the nuptials.

There’s an occasional correction of minor details as the humorous stories are related, but there is one other thing they certainly agree on.

“We’ve been married four years, but it feels like one,” Lee said. His wife of 1,460 days smiles and nods her approval.

randy.edison@tc.tc

@gfwadvertiser

 

 

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