Being a little skittish, after my first marriage, my unofficial engagement to my 'eventually-to-be' second wife was rather long--seven years to be exact.
After holding off for six years, I decided to officially and traditionally spring the question while we were on vacation at our favorite place in the world; Mackinac Island. We had vacationed on the Island, known for it's tranquility and absence of motorized vehicles, for all of those six years and it seemed the most appropriate spot for my proposal. I purchased the nicest custom diamond ring I could afford, months in advance, and began to plan my presentation.
When Summer was just about over, we left on our yearly excursion to the island. I put the ring, in it's elegant, velvet lined box, in one of the shoes that I had packed in my suitcase. My plan was starting to crystallize, as we took the catamaran across the straits from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island. I decided that when we got to the island I would put the ring in my camera case, which I took with me everywhere we went, to maintain the secrecy of my plan.
When we got to the hotel, I was notified that most of our luggage had been misplaced. Panic set in. Every negative scenario ran through my mind, including the loss of an expensive, and irreplaceable custom made diamond ring. Our favorite employee at the Iroquois Hotel, a great fellow named Keith, got on the problem immediately. He assured us that he would locate the luggage and have it brought to the hotel quickly. His confidence was infectious, and I left the matter in his hands.
Very soon after, the luggage was in our room (it had gotten on the wrong boat) and, when my Bonnie was in the washroom, I put the ring in my camera bag.
Traditionally, we took long walks from our hotel to St. Anne's Church, on the motor vehicle-free streets, taking time to stop by a small general store for a drink or snack. Across from the store, was a little green bench in front of the old Congregation Church. I told Bonnie that I needed to rest and get something out of my camera bag. When we sat down on the bench I took out the little box and handed it to her, without saying anything. My proposal of no words was immediately accepted by the surprised and pleased look on my Bonnie's face.
For the duration of our stay, it was a perfectly idyllic and serene vacation.