Sam and Dom Sittin’ in a Tree…

On the ferry to see Tom!

The day I met Sam and Dom, I was incurably smitten. Call it a twinkle or spark with a bit of fairy dust and star alignment thrown in, our initial neighborly encounter caught me by surprise and captured my heart.

We struck up a conversation while I was gardening and they were walking by. Minutes into our shared laughs and easy introductions, I had an inkling—make that very strong understanding—that we would become good friends. Fifteen years later, tea leaves and a crystal ball could not have foreseen a more accurate memoir of my first impression.

I’ve never quite met another couple like Sam and Dom, which for clarification is a good thing. It’s as if a happy couple escaped the pages of a book and brought their love story to life just four doors down from me.

Two blossoms in my Seattle garden, days before I moved to Vashon Island.

Of the many things I love about this wholehearted duo, their love tops my list; and how they love their daughters is a close second. Over the years, Sam would share her latest Dom-designed Valentine, birthday and anniversary cards, and every year I would be gobsmacked over how clever and fun and wonderful they each were. So this year I asked my friends if I could share their love story with you through the joy of their art, humor and friendship.

I’ll let Dom explain,

Tom, Here are a few cards. These were never meant for public viewing, I just loved Sam’s reaction every time I would give her one; she would laugh for a good few minutes and they meant a lot to her. Then social media became a thing and she just loved sharing the joy. I was a bit embarrassed about people seeing them, until a friend described them as a clear declaration of love and adoration for Sam. None of us feel like movie stars in day to day life, but people like Sam should – and I want her to know that.

Valentine’s Day and Anniversary Cards

Mother’s Day and Birthday Cards

Fast forward to now…

Sam and Dom sitting in my maple tree on Vashon Island. (Photo credit: Heather Perera)
Sam and Dom sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.

And that folks is pretty much how it happen.


  1. Lovely, really just lovely. Leaves me with a smile, and warm gratitude for being human, knowing other humans, and glad that love truly goes all ’round us, through us, and to each other.

  2. I loved your post, Tall Tom! It may just have restored my faith in romantic lasting love & marriage.
    And those celebratory cards of Dom’s – wonderful x 32 ! I admire his excellent Photoshopping skills. Their children/grandchildren and onwards will love them too. Thank you Dom & Sam & Tom!

  3. What a lovely story, so nice to know there is still real love out there. Dom is so creative, love those cards. Honestly, I was expecting to read there was some terrible ending to this story but was happy and relieved there wasn’t.

  4. LOVE can one of best assest in life? As you illustrate, the effort and time it takes as they intuitively know is it not free and must be cultivated. So many souls crave for this!!!

    Tom and Buddy,

    Thank you for sharing what gives you joy in life.

    V and the Furry Gang

  5. Wonderful story Tom! I always look forward to your postings and this one was a gem!

    On another note, are you getting anxious for spring and more sun (less rain)? Here on the Oregon Coast, we’ve had a drier than normal winter-seems the rains have been further up north, in your area, but we’ve had some persistent rain for the last week or so. Like the rain but missing the sun! It’s even making my geese cranky! Take care!

    • Hi Laura, yep, I’m getting recharged for the growing season, will be planting seeds/starts later this month as I always seem to jump gun and plant too early, when the rain and cool temps encourage damping off and slug attacks and poor germination. I’ll start with the cool weather stuff in a week or two. I need to repair the greenhouse: big winds = blowouts. Thanks for checking in.

  6. Thanks for sharing these, Tom.Dom’s artistic talent is wisely put to use in tribute to his beautiful wife. Their two young daughters have the very best start any children could have in life. Monkey see, monkey do, and how many kids get to see true love and constancy on a daily basis!


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