Annapolis Love Story: Chris and Mary Trumbauer
On Valentine's Day, we celebrate a local couple as they share the story of how they met and what brought them—and keeps them—together.
While you might know him as an Anne Arundel County councilman or as a riverkeeper and he is both of those, for Valentine's Day, we'd like to introduce you to Chris Trumbauer—the husband and father.
And since most great love stories require more than one person, there's also Mary, Chris' wife, but there's more.
We need a great backdrop for this love story and we find it in the environment—yes, it's been at the forefront of Chris and Mary's relationship since day one. Their shared commitment to the environment is, in fact, what brought this couple together.
"We were stream sampling," explained Chris. "We met in '99 or 2000."
He then took off his wedding band and examined it.
"We got married in 2003 and we met in 2000," Chris said, explaining the wedding date is engraved on the inside of the ring.
It should be explained this part of the conversation took place without Mary—we met at a local restaurant and she was off getting the family's order. Their children, Johnny, 6, and Josephine, 4, were also present.
She laughed as she remembered their first encounter.
"Chris came over and said, 'Can I help you?'" Mary said.
Chris had a slightly different recall of the snazzy line he chose to use.
"I said, 'Can I help you with that sample?'" he remembered.
The proposal was also tied to the environment.
"We went to our favorite hiking spot, which was Great Falls, and we hiked the Billy Goat Trail—when we were on one of the highest spots overlooking the Potomac River, Chris got down on one knee and he asked me to marry him," Mary said.
Chris laughed as he remembered what came next.
"On the way back, on the hike, Mary told me all of the ideas she had about the wedding, so it was clear she had been thinking about it," he said.
There might have been a wee little bit of an eye roll from Mary before she explained what her idea was.
"I wanted to have it [the wedding] in May, which is my favorite month," she said.
And so it was done—May 31, 2003—held outdoors at Chris' parents home in Chestertown.
The environment played a big part with their wedding also.
"We wanted to get married in view of the creek because we're both nature oriented," Mary explained.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary this year, the family will be trying to work a trip to Maine into the budget, according to Chris.
For Valentine's Day, they're not going too far.
"I'm going to cook a nice dinner," Chris said.
"The four of us are going to have a little Valentine's party," Mary added.
And what's the secret? First, on finding love?
"It's just lucky we met doing something we both cared about," Chris said.
And on keeping it?
"Love and commitment," said Mary.
"I think it's just getting along and appreciating each other as much as you can," Chris said.