Once in a Blue Swoon

My partner Sara and I met because of a dog and a disaster.


The sea swelled with tsunami in 2004, and in the wake of that waning wave in Asia, I swooned, so to speak—first for a dog—then for that canine’s companion—the woman who has given me the amazing years of my life.

This week was our six-year anniversary.  And here’s the history that made that happen.

In 2006, Sara was still directing a major international NGO’s response to the 2004 tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands in Southeast Asia, while I was working in Lexington as an artist-in-residence, facilitating creative learning opportunities for disabled adults. These employment realities brought us together, my needing to supplement my measly artist’s income by pet sitting and Sara’s needing to travel while at the same time caring for her dog.

However, I didn’t fall for Sara right away, as least not until I dreamed I was in love with her a couple of months after we met and woke up the next morning with a passion for her that has yet to wane.

Sometimes things are meant to be and lives are linked in strangely synchronic ways. For example, neither of us was aware of when we first met, that our mothers had been dear friends for a number of years before either of us knew anything about the other. We never met in the context of that friendship.

But sometimes love is meant to be. Sometimes there’s a cosmic and uncanny rightness about a relationship and the romance that brings two people together.

So today, in honor of our anniversary, I thought I’d share why  Sara impressed me six years ago this week and why I’ve been swooning ever since.

And if you can tolerate my unabashed pride in this woman I love, please come with me on a photographic journey through Sara’s work—a path that brought us together—my partner’s path in action.

A path that involves rocking:

weight of the world?

And rolling:

leveling the playing field


lots of eating

Talking :

in unusual settings


with tribal leaders in Afghanistan

Sometimes her work involves children:


And camels:

being Sara’s partner–one heck of a ride!

Sometimes it involves Clintons:

Hangin’ with Hillary

And Carters:

jammin’ with Jimmy

Sometimes it involve speaking:

Ke Sat Village, Vietnam

Always it involves pulling your weight:

not another tug of war!

Even bringing out the heavy artillery:

Soviet era warheads in Afghanistan

But often we do the heavy lifting together:

building a solid future

Yes, sometimes I make Sara want to pull her hair out:

Is crazy contagious?

But basically we live our lives like everyone else–loving one another.  We just sometimes do it from far away places:

like Thailand

like Vietnam

Loving one another:

Lexington, Kentucky

And the dog that brought us together:

Sara, Kathy, and Ralph

Not to mention our other dog:

Lucy, who insists of silly hats–

There’s nothing as amazing as this woman and the passion we share.  A love like ours only happens once in lifetime—yes, once in a blue swoon.

I love you, sweet Sara!

Happy anniversary, Baby!

Do you associate love in your life with any particular color?  What brought you and your partner together?

(To read an article about Sara that was published this past year in the “Lexington Herald Leader”, click here.)

Note:  This piece is written in response to this week’s daily post challenge, asking bloggers to use color as a jumping off place for the post that follows.

93 thoughts on “Once in a Blue Swoon

  1. Sweet, sweet, sweet! That rascally Ralph and his matchmaking skills! As if I needed another reason to love that pooch!

    Alas, the color for me is red. As in pizza sauce. Jim and I met at a local pizza joint we both worked at. In the beginning he was just a creepy set of eyes peering at me through the chip rack, but eventually he melted my heart with his “Jim-ness.”


    • Ha, why does it not surprise that for you the color is red! I actually thought it might amuse you to learn the role Ralph played in our meeting–your boy! And the Jim-ness—-love that term! Hugs to you, dear Sista!


  2. What a fabulous love story complete with photo journal!!! I loved seeing Sara in action and the shots of the two of you together paint the story even more. You are both so blessed to have found one another and it is obvious that you treasure one another which is fabulous. Happy Anniversary to you both!!! As for a color for my own relationship with my husband—I think it may be the color of concrete—sturdy and strong!!!


    • Love that your color is that of contrete–solid, sturdy, strong. That’s perfect. It’s also true that Sara and I adore one another. Can’t wait till we have shared as many years as you and Chris have. Heck your story made it to the Huffington Post! Pretty cool, right? Great to hear from you, Beth Ann. Hugs to you!


  3. Happy anniversary! I just LOVE love stories, and yours sounds so beautiful. (And holy shit, Clintons and Carters and Tsunamis oh my!). I absolutely love that you fell in love in a dream and had the artist’s heart to follow your passion. I love that it was a pet who brought you together and that you’ve followed your hearts around the world. I LOVE that your mothers were friends (Scott’s and my Mom share a birthday) and you never even knew it. And that article is awesome. Sara is KICKASS and so are you!


    • Jessie, thank you for this precious comment. I needed this today. It is a good story, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so easy to lose track of the really good things that happen to you. I wrote this as much to remind myself as anything else. Sara is an amazing woman, for sure! Thanks again, my friend.


  4. Happy anniversary! Your post made me cry with the obvious love and admiration you have for one another. The pictures show it all but your words definitely struck a chord. Thanks for sharing all of it and enjoy every second together (life I have to tell you that)!


  5. You know our story, so I won’t rehash it here.I do think it’s an interesting parallel that you dreamed you were in love with Sara and I dreamed I was in love with Tara! Happy anniversary, you two. 🙂


  6. What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful Sara! She’s quite an amazing woman……and you two make quite an incredible pair! Love the pups (and the hat! lol)! Happy Anniversary to you both! Love and blessings to you all! xoxo


  7. This story made me tear up, Kathy. It is always such a blessing to read about how others found true love, and you and Sara have that gift. Congratulations on six lovely years together, and may you have decades more of them.


    • Thank you, Andra! You’re right to use the word “blessing,” I think. That’s it exactly. Sorry it’s taken me a day to respond to this comment. It’s been a CRAZY week! Hope you and MTM have a wonderful weekend.


  8. Happy Anniversary. I love your story. Wow Clintons and Jimmy Carter, Afghanistan and Haiti…

    I just realized I have the same theme as you – Coraline – and see that your photo header changes with each post. I don’t know how to change the header photo. Can you explain it? You have my email and can send it that way if you prefer.


    • Thank you so much, Rosie. (Hope that is, indeed, your name! LOL) Yeah, Sara has met and worked with a lot of interesting folks. I have to say, the Carters are a delightful couple. However, Jimmy is beginning to look a little frail these days.

      Changing the feature image is easy. When you are writing your post, there is place near the bottom right-hand corner that allows you to set a feature image to go in the header. For Coraline it has to be at least 1024 wide and 100 and something tall. I don’t recall the exact dimensions. Let me know if you have any further questions, but, actually, I’m too computer illiterate to explain it, probably. Wish I could be more helpful.


      • my reply went woosh and disappeared!
        Yes I’m Rosie. I feel as though I know you because I’ve seen your gravatar at so many blogs I follow.

        Thanks for pointing out the very obvious button in the right hand corner. I’m also computer illiterate and when I had to chose a theme I had no idea why I’d choose one over the other. I chose Coraline because I’d just listened to the audio of the book and loved it.


      • Thank you for your explanation Kathryn. I went to the place at the right hand corner and saw “the Set a featured image to go in the header” chose my picture and clicked the set featured image but it didn’t work. What didn’t I do?


      • It may be that you have the dimensions of your photo wrong. I forget exactly what they are for our theme but it should be the same as your overall header image, the one on your blog’s home page. I wish I knew more, Rosie. It took me almost a year to figure it out for myself. You might try the help forum for insight from others who are less ignorant than I. Sorry it’s not working!


  9. Happy Anniversary Week! And geez, how could anyone NOT love her?????? I see all kinds of wonderful things about her in those pictures, in addition to love: strength, courage, patience, kindness, spirit, generosity, etc…. This was just down right beautiful. Like the two of you.


  10. Great photos, great love story, all the better because it’s true. Love the “small world” feel of your mothers knowing each other. Sara looks beautiful in blue and I especially like that last photo. Happy Anniversary to you both!


    • Isn’t the mother thing funny! My mother is the one who pointed it out to me whenever she heard Sara’s name and that she worked for Habitat for Humanity. It is a small world, indeed! Thanks for your comment and all you’ve done to make the Race 2012 blogging such a great success!


  11. I’m in-between partners at present (or so I think), but the usual ingredients that draws me to my special vixens is alcohol and thought provoking attire. The color might be green for Go For It as well as for the mountain of cash I’ll surely be out once I do Go For It. Yes, I am such a romantic … Happy sixth anniversary to you and your beloved Sara. When you kids celebrate your next six years together, I hope laws will have finally changed so you will have a legal union by then.


    • Isn’t that the truth! How insane that we can’t marry in Kentucky. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your comment. My uncle has been visiting from Brussels, so I have been away from my computer a lot. And, yes, you are SUCH a romantic. JEEZ! You always manage to crack me up, buddy!


  12. Lovely post. My boyfriend and I got together two years ago and it’s a bit of a long story but I’ll try and shorten it. We met in our first year of uni. I had fallen out with my flatmates and was going to be homeless for the following year. I managed to find a friend of a friend who was looking for a girl to join her in a house of 5 guys. I met them and sign the contract on day one. One of those guys was Tom but we were just good friends that year, plus I was in another relationship. Then that relationship ended, things went a bit pear-shaped in my personal life and I took a 6 month break from the dating game. Then in third year, on the first day back, Tom asked me to come for a drink with him and his new housemates (we’d moved into different places). As the night ended I was talked out of walking back to my house which was in quite a nasty area. I ended up staying at Tom’s (NOTHING HAPPENED) but it was the first night I realised I really liked him and a week later we were in a relationship.


  13. Pingback: Snapshots of Artistic Expressions in La Paz. Part I: Paintings. « 3rdculturechildren

  14. This is so sweet, Kathy. I always enjoy your tributes to Sara–you can feel the love radiating between each and every word. The photographs also speak volumes. May you continue to have one passionate anniversary after another…


  15. I hope that someday (sooner rather than later), I get to write a post like this and boast such a beautiful love. Thank you for sharing this. I adore the synchronicity of it all and that you both have one another. It looks and sounds like you are truly partners.

    I hope your anniversary was wonderful and I’m wishing you many happily ever afters on your journey through life together.



    • Oh, Currie, I AM so, so happy to hear from you. Hope you are doing well. You will find love, my friend. I’m sure of it. I know you’ve stepped away from blogging for a while, but, gosh, it’s good to hear from you. Hugs to you, too, my dear!


      • I’m SO HAPPY my comment went through. I’ve honestly been blogging, but recently became annoyed with it because most every time I comment on someones blog, it usually does not go through… and it frustrated me to no end because I actually enjoy connecting with my blog friends…. and I recently posted some new chapters of my life and realized that my stories were too dark, disturbing and maybe even real to post so publicly… I thought maybe they made others want to scratch their eyes out a little… so I deleted them.

        I hope to find something inspiring to write about soon and in the meantime I hope my comments continue to go through because the blogging community really does inspire a smile on my heart.

        So glad we could connect and I am sending you oodles of good thoughts for a great week.



  16. Happy anniversary as well : )

    I met my partner bout 8 – 9 years ago during our eighth grade year of school through a friend. We never had seen one another, but our friend gave me her number, so I called and introduced myself on the phone. We got along perfectly.

    Not a few weeks later, we decided to keep a notebook where we’d co-write a story together in class and switch off between classes, sometimes in mid-sentence even. She even ended up going to eighth grade dance with me (as a friend), though I had a strong crush on her already.

    It wasn’t until we were sixteen that she actually asked me out officially. We even went to senior prom together as well the next year! We had a lot of struggles and hard times with our family not approving, but we got an apartment together the week after I turned eighteen (she turned 18 a month before me) and have been living together since for the past three years. Our five year anniversary is in less than a month.

    We have been saving our money up right now to travel the world for artistic inspiration while we continue working on turning that story we started back in eighth grade into a series of graphic novels on the road. With our big, white dog in tow.

    I just started reading your blog but I definitely see that I can learn a lot from you from your experiences. Will definitely be reading more.


    • I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience! What a great one, it is! How precious to have found the woman you love at such a young age. I want to check out your blog and get to know more about your story. Thanks much for stopping by! Great to hear from you. And happy anniversary next month!


  17. Your post made me smile – I love reading about love! In a world where there is so much negativity these days, it’s wonderful to read about people who are truly happy!! ♥ My husband and I were actually “set up” by a mutual friend – 8 weeks later, we were engaged, and 14 years later, he is still my best friend. 🙂


  18. Beautiful post, Kathy. 🙂 Happy Anniversary to you and Sara! May you be together to celebrate many, many more.

    My husband and I met in Wildwood, New Jersey. Our version of the Jersey Shore. lol! I was visiting friends over the 4th of July who had rented an apartment near the beach and boardwalk. M was working on a ride (The Flying Bobs) on one of the piers (a small amusement park). I got on the ride he was working, looked up at the guy making sure the lap bar was in place before the ride started, and that was it for me. I was in love. After spending the next day babbling on and on about this cute guy on the ride, my friends dared me to go back and ask him out. So I did. (It was a very big deal for me as I am horribly shy.) The whole group of us met him after he finished work (around midnight). We went back to the apartment. My friends left us alone on the porch where we sat and talked all night. We took a walk on the beach at sunrise. I saw him two more times that summer, and then he went back to college in South Carolina. We wrote letters (no email in those days), and the next summer we got together on weekends for dates (he was living and working a 3 hour drive from where I was living and working). We were married in August of that year (1976), and been together ever since, growing up together (I was 17 and he was 20 when we married). He’s my best friend in life and love. 🙂


    • Oh, Robin, what a wonderful story you and M have! I love hearing it. Good for you for going back and asking him out. I’m shy too, so that would have been a challenge for me. Sara is my best friend in all things, as well. It’s incredible to find your soul mate. How amazing to have yours for so long! Thanks for sharing, Robin.


  19. Happy belated anniversary to you and Sara, Kathy! I have heard the story of how you met before, but I always like to relive stories of incredible synchronicity and true love. 🙂 All the best to you both as you head into your seventh year as a couple!


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