Our first Valentine's Day together just happened to be Feb. 14, 2009, Oregon's 150th birthday. On our way to the Oregon coast, our first big trip together in the state we both love, we serendipitously came across big doings in Salem, the state capital. It was a mob scene. A regular lovefest. And one of the guests who just about ran us over was former Governor Barbara Roberts.
Thousands of people had converged under the gold pioneer man who stands atop the capitol building, and there was even a wedding under way in a nearby gazebo. Just down the street was the magnificent church where Teri's dad and mom had got married. Love was in the air. The sprinkles failed to dampen the mood of the thousands gathered to salute a state of infinite diversity, a geographic wonderland that Teri memorializes each year in her calendar. Teri's excitement at being involved in this historical day in a state she loves with all her heart was contagious.