Some background: For a couple of years, I had the most fantastic carpool ever.
When I moved to Portland in 2003, I got a job an hour south in Salem. One problem: Chris and I owned one car and his job was significantly north of where we lived. Moving close enough for him to walk would have added a half hour to my commute.
Luckily, through carpoolmatchnw.org I found Dan. Dan worked in Salem and had a car. Not only that, since his job involved encouraging "transportation alternatives," he was so thrilled to get a carpool mate that he was willing to do most of the driving during those first few months that I didn't have a car. Eventually I got to the top of the Prius waiting list and helped out more with driving. Shortly after this, we found Glenn, then Allison. We were four Portlanders shlepping to Salem to work for State government. We clicked immediately and had as great a time as someone can be expected to have on an interstate at 7am.
Our carpool was many things to us: entertainment, solace, a bad-pun testing ground, therapy.* Our group went through numerous personal changes during our time together, including more than one break up, a wedding, my struggles to get pregnant, and Bethany's decision to leave Oregon to pursue a relationship with an old friend who inconveniently for the rest of us happened to live in South Africa. We were sad to say good bye to Bethany, but supported her decision to move across the world for love.
Since she moved away, the rest of the carpool has kept in touch with Bethany, and she's visited us on her U.S. vacations. Earlier this month we got an email from Bethany with the subject "We're Engaged!" We, her Portland carpool mates, were thrilled and used the happy news as an excuse to get together to eat, drink and take pictures. And speaking of pictures, see this charming evidence of Andrew's proposal. Oh, and the carpool's attempt to show Bethany how much we love her and how glad we are that she and Andrew will be getting married.
before taking Bethany down for a walk
(photo credit: A&B)
(But not before I snapped a fuzzy cell phone image of him as we sped by)