Valentine’s Day shifts our collective thoughts to those we love and even more so for Dawn and Dylan Ainsworth. The couple met 12 years ago through Dawn’s oldest daughter Nia’s godfather. They immediately became friends.
“I just thought she was an amazing person” says Dylan.
Dawn says she felt an instant connection with Dylan, but she was trying to work out a relationship with Nia’s father when they met.
“I was depressed and in a bad space and Dylan was my rock,” she said of her struggles during that time.“From Day one it was right. We just connected.”
Their early lives were quite different. Dawn was born in Germany to a military family. “There was a blizzard and we couldn’t get to the hospital so I was delivered by a veterinarian,” she said. “We moved around a lot when I was young but ended up [in the Northeast Kingdom].”
Dylan was born and raised in Kirby. He was one of the last groups to attend the Red Village one room schoolhouse before heading to Lyndon Institute.
When the relationship with Nia’s father ended, Dylan was right there to support Dawn.
“It started as a friendship and just blossomed from there,” he said.
They take pride in never being apart for anything.
“Even when our baby was born and I had to be in the hospital, Dylan came every night to stay with me,” she said.“Being apart is not an option for their relationship. Dawn has even turned down jobs because they wanted to send her away for training.
Dawn is a photographer and Dylan a meat cutter, so it might seem like they would have very different interests but they both share a passion for the outdoors. Dawn is an avid wildlife photographer and Dylan is a skilled tracker. He leads Dawn to the wildlife and even calls some close enough in to make Dawn slightly uncomfortable. They both share a passion for hiking and exploring the natural world and guiding others in the woods.
On their first Valentine’s Day, Dylan made Dawn a valentine with the lyrics from their favorite song,“Hands on You,” by Obi Trace. “You wouldn’t think of it as a romantic song but it’s about being true, so that really speaks to me,” Dylan said. They had a two-year engagement before finally being married on Valentine’s Day in 2006 in the gallery at the Top Notch in Stowe. Appropriately the artist being shown in the gallery at the time was Peter Miller, renowned Vermont photographer.
Even after 10 years the couple is still as passionate and committed as ever,“He always goes beyond my expectations,” said Dawn.“My mother passed away from cancer and I never asked Dylan to quit smoking, he just did it on his own.”
Dylan feels the same way.
“The way she gives up all of herself for her family. I’ve never met anyone like that—it’s hard for me to comprehend.”
Their first Valentine’s Day was extra special; Mother Nature had a gift for them: there was a huge snow storm that year (2007) and Dylan couldn’t go to work so they spent the day doing what they love best, being together.