a sister’s perspective

Half Dome

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

A few weeks ago . . .

“Cris and I are thinking about climbing Half Dome for the 4th.”

Half Dome? My mind clicked. I didn’t really want to be a third wheel, but . . .

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah. I still have to apply for passes*, but if we get them, that’s where we’ll be.”

“Would you, uhhh, mind if your sister tagged along? I haven’t been to Yosemite in forever,” and then I added, “I promise I’d be a good guest!”

“Uhh, sure . . .” Derek seemed to hesitate. “That’d be cool. I can apply for a third pass.”

“You sure?” I asked.

“Yeah, definitely.” He smiled. “No problem.”


Wednesday evening, July 3rd

My phone buzzed. It was Derek.

“So, we only got two of the passes I applied for :( ,” read the text-message.

Ohhh my goodness. I’d totally forgotten about that. Since we hadn’t talked about it in a while, I’d scheduled myself to work on the 4th and had an article due on the 5th, anyway . . . But, still, I couldn’t pass up the chance to give my brother a hard time.

“Soooo it’s going to be a brother-sister trip, then, right? ;) ,” I texted back.

“Um,” said Derek.

“Haha. Just kidding! Figures that they’d give out passes in pairs. You guys have fun. Take pictures!”

“Will do!” he said.


Friday afternoon, July 5, checking my email

One new message. Sender: Derek. Subject: At the top of Half Dome. Two attached images.

“You can probably guess how she answered,” is all he said.


At the top of Half Dome, he got down on one knee . . .


. . . and she said “Yes!”

Why, I oughtta . . .

I wrote back:

Ohhh!!! Hahahaha. And here I was wanting to make it a brother-sister trip. Good for you!!! I was going to tell me I hoped you’d tell me BEFORE you proposed, but I’m glad you at least told me now.

Love you so much, bro! Congrats!!!

And he said:

Haha, well this had been my plan for about six months, but I didn’t want anyone to know. It made it much harder to plan for when we didn’t get our preseason lottery passes!

happy couple

The happy couple

And now you know, dear readers, why, as much as I’m ready to get on a jet plane and head overseas tomorrow, my wanderlust may have to wait a few months. I’m going to be a bridesmaid in another friend’s wedding in Florida in October, and now my brother is getting married! All of these weddings . . . What’s a wandering soul who can’t afford endless flights around the world to do?

* Due to seasonal crowds and to preserve the environment, etc., you have to have a permit issued by National Park Service to climb Half Dome.

38 thoughts

  1. “Yeah. I still have apply for passes, but if we get them, that’s where we’ll be.” should be
    “Yeah. I still have to apply for passes, but if we get them, that’s where we’ll be.”

    I do not do weddings or funerals – never had either!

    But I have heard that many a happy couple have met at a wedding…be careful!


    • Oops! Thanks, Hoss. Guess I was in a hurry when I wrote this. I had to drive to SF today for the second time in a week and a half—my dad and his girlfriend were riding their bikes in France… (Am I a wee bit jealous? Perhaps… See my next post for that one.)

      Haha. I don’t think I’ll be meeting anyone at my brother’s wedding. I likely know everyone who’ll be attending—Cristina is one of my best high school friend’s little sister. (I come from a small town…)

      You and I have our loves: travel!

    • Ahhh, Florida. I’ve been many times, alas. Not enough mountains. But, yes, any change from the ordinary is good… In the meantime, I’ll be planning my next move, which I anticipate will be to Asia. :)

    • It’s a beautiful place, isn’t it? I’ve actually never hiked Half Dome, which is part of why I’d wanted to join them. Little did I know… Have you been, Mike?

      • Doing well Jessica! Been really busy with some added professional responsibilities in my schedule; setting new goals for adaptive fitness, and working with Lulu to get the book out in all of its distribution channels.

      • Oops. Just realized you asked have I been to Half-Dome. Thought it was “How have you been?” Ha. I guess I have a half-dome on my neck. I have yet to go there since early childhood. Would love to go. Next California mountain destination, hopefully, is Whitney. Glad you posted. Reminds me to go check your poetry soon!

      • Haha. I’ve done that before, too—read a comment quickly and responded to something that hasn’t actually been asked… But, in this case, I *did* also want to know how you are, so, really, you read my mind!… Glad to know you’re well, and I too know what it’s like to be busy… Still meaning to purchase your book—haven’t forgotten! And Mount Whitney is supposed to be a great climb. My uncle has done it several times. I hope you get to soon! Have a great day! :)

      • You’d written that your uncle climbed Whitney several times in your last comment…(0: That’s 15K, worthy of congrats!

      • Oops. Guess I was tired when I made that comment. Have been having some trouble with my eyes recently that have made it difficult to sleep! Yes, you’re right. It’s a tough climb, and my uncle is a pretty tough dude! Someday I’d like to do it, too. :)

    • Aww, I’m so glad you smiled! It made me smile, too. Although he doesn’t admit it often, my brother and I are really pretty close. I love his fiancée—she’s actually one of my good friend’s little sister—so I couldn’t be happier for them!

  2. This cracked me up Jessica. Glad your ego wasn’t too fragile when you got the understandable brush-off. So…as an upcoming bridesmaid, how will you manage that ego of yours at the wedding?
    Totally kidding; poking fun at you. hehe ;-)

    • Haha, well I know my brother pretty well. Brushing me off is his style—not intentionally, it’s just the way he comes across sometimes… He’s pretty straight-forward and a far cry from flowery… My ego at my friend’s wedding? I’m not worried about that. I have very little desire for the spotlight, honestly. But thanks for your concern! ;)

  3. What amazing photos Jess! Your brother sounds like a special gentleman… my husband proposed in a sculpture park ~ not quite this exotic, but he did kneel just the same :) Loved this so much! x RL

    • Thanks so much, Jean! Yes, it’s a pretty special place. I’ve actually never hiked Half Dome, hence my initial reason for wanting to join my brother and his girlfriend on their adventure… Have you ever hiked Half Dome? Thanks for the well wishes! Hope everything’s going well for you, too!

    • Ohhh… What a cute blog your friends have! I love it! I will have to check out more of their stuff… Thanks for sharing. Yes, Derek and Cris are pretty tough. It’s a climb I’d love to do, too, but not this time, alas! Oh well. Haha. Thanks so much for stopping in. So glad to have you for a WordPress friend! :) :) :) jess

    • So true! Thanks for reading, Kendall. Means the world. :) Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. And I’m off to reply to your email right now! jess

  4. Ha ha wonderful. Since you’d expressed interest, I posted the Biblical view of achievement magz article that springs off the Tiger Mother. Not sure if you’ll take to the second half, but letting you know.

An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s