Australia, Diamonds and Love

A diamond necklace AND the trip of a lifetime.....what more could a girl want!

My guy surprised me with this simple "Live, Laugh and Love" piece that was popular at the time. Knowing I was not  much of a jewelry person, he was glad to find something I'd wear; "it's exactly who you are" his note read on Valentine's Day morning. He'd left it on the bed as he was always up and off to work before me.   I was surprised and tickled....and wore it to show off at school that day.

But it worried me...could we afford it? Two weeks earlier, we finally agreed to go to Australia that year.....a place I'd been wanting to visit ever since my brother moved there. He'd surprised me then also....showing me the tickets and sharing in my excitement. I thought it was the best gift ever.  I didn't care about diamonds right now. At noontime I sent him this email (yes, I kept a copy as it was meaningful...and funny at the time!)

"I can't stop thinking about your gift, sweetheart! All your surprises and little things that you do are so romantic...I like being in love with you! But I would like to ask that we return it for now and get it another year. I feel incredibly lucky that you want to go to Australia with me. That is my gift, honey! We actually have the tickets and we're really going....with you beside me all the way. Our kids are married and we have grandchildren and here we are, still in love with security and companionship and romance!
Can you understand what I'm saying? That I love this necklace, but I want to enjoy traveling on an adventure with you first.  Let's return it and save our money. Let's concentrate on taking our love down under! You make me feel like our first kiss on the steps at the lake! But please know the trip will be the best gift of all!"

His reply went like this; " let's talk about it later. I'm pushing the guys for an early deadline."
A few minutes later, another one; " I love you too, but you're wearing that necklace to Australia. There's a game on tonight."

Well, I kept it. Don't recall if we ever discussed it. We spent two weeks in Australia. I climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, he spent a day wandering around Homebush Bay, site of the 2000 Olympics. We spent time in the Blue Mountains with family and enjoyed time at the Coffs Harbor Zoo with friends. We spent days and nights in The Rocks and the quays;  enjoying the sights by day and the romance at night on the water.

 We had so much fun laughing at  the slang and great words Australians use. For the rest of his life, he called me "a damn fine woman"....a common expression he picked up over there; along with the familiar cuppa in referring to our morning coffee.  We celebrated Easter and my Birthday in Oz. We never tired of talking about all that we did and learned; he loved the history and I loved staying in touch with all the new people we'd met. Friends of friends, relatives of relatives. It really was our trip of a lifetime.....and it lasted us 11 years.

 The necklace loved Australia too. After our third grandchild was born, I renamed it my "Sunshine, Star and Flower" necklace....the nicknames I'd given the kids. After the twins came along, he said I needed to go back to calling it my 'laugh and love' necklace. And so I did; but in my heart it's always been my Valentine necklace. I’ll wear it again when I go back someday, as we promised each other we would. 


  1. A valentine for all of us who enjoy your posts. Thank you Joan.

  2. Happy Valentine's Day Joan. You have some beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Thanks, Kc and Bob! You both are such loyal fans. I appreciate your staying with me as I get my writing back on! Hugs to you both for V Day!

  3. What a wonderful gift and such great memories. That's so romantic and a perfect Valentine's Day story, Joan.

  4. Thanks for sharing your love story! There's nothing like a great relationship to make everyone feel happy! xoxox