Twenty-five years ago…
Patti and Darren Jeffrey met while working at The Red Coach Inn: she was a waitress, and he was a cook. Their love story is twenty-five years long this September. “He still calls me his sweetheart," Patti said. “He still holds my hand when we go to the mall or for a walk in the bush.” And this couple walks through the bush often.
The Jeffreys have always shared a love for the outdoors: their first date was on a ski hill. When the snow melted, they spent much of their time lakeside with lures and toes in the water.
“He asked me to marry him on a fishing trip at Deka Lake Resort,” Patti said. She said yes, and together they bought a two-bedroom house at 108 Mile Ranch in South Caribou, British Columbia. “That’s where the wedding plans began.”
On September 5, 1992, Patti and Darren were married. Two-hundred guests gathered at 100 Mile Community Hall, travelling from all over Western Canada to celebrate with the young couple.
When the party ended, the newlyweds took off in their two-door Toyota Tercel with a tent and leftover wedding food for their week-long Rocky Mountain honeymoon in Jasper and Banff. “One night we opened a bottle of champagne from the wedding and set up the tent. When we woke there was a couple of inches of snow!” Patti said. “We didn’t care.”
Most of their favourite stories are set outside, their memories filled with adventures camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking. “You might find us in a red tractor on a dirt road just going for a drive, fly fishing up a river or on the lake, or in our favourite hunting spot having lunch,” Patti said.
“We enjoy being together on our adventures,” and they adventure outside weekly. Sometimes they bring friends, but they’ve always been each other’s go-to adventure partners. “Life is to be lived, and we will live it!”
After twenty-five years of marriage, two kids, several job changes, a big move to the Kootenays in 2002, and five houses, Patti and Darren are still fishing, hunting, and adventure partners. “I wouldn’t trade him in for anyone,” she said.
Celebrating their silver anniversary
Recently, Patti and Darren visited Jewels on Ninth to find a new wedding band for Darren. Worn from their twenty-five years together, Patti thought he deserved a replacement. “We picked one out and as we were walking to pay, we strolled past the ladies’ section,” she said. “I glanced, but didn't notice anything.”
Darren, years earlier, began planning a big surprise that he thought his lovely Patti deserved.
Darren asked Patti, “Don’t you see that?” He was referring to the pink envelope complete with a sparkling bow propped in the display case. In his handwriting, Happy 25th Anniversary Patti across the front. In front of the card sat a beautiful custom ring set.
“Tears were flowing and shock set in,” Patti said. “He said he snuck bits away on a layaway for two years and I never had a clue! It was so very thoughtful and surprising.” To top off the surprise, Jewels on Ninth staff managed to sneak a few pictures of Patti’s reaction, so they can cherish their moment together in the years to come.
The Jeffreys’ anniversary celebrations aren’t over yet. True to their adventurous roots, the couple has planned a twenty-five-day tour of Ireland, Scotland, and England in May of 2018. “Our adventures will continue for twenty-five more years!”
About the ring:
Jewels on Ninth helped Darren design a custom set for Patti. One ring is two white and yellow gold bands swirling around a floating solitaire diamond. Smaller diamonds cover the top band.
The matching ring is a thin band coated in the same small diamonds, shaped to wrap around the curves of the first. “After all these years, he still surprises me,” Patti said. “The rings he surprised me with says it all!”