Wednesday, September 21, 1983:
I was sitting at the university student center with the usual hometown crowd in between classes, and casually flirting with this guy. He was the one I had wanted to talk to ever since he had transferred to my high school back in early 1979. But today, out of nowhere, he asked me out on a date -- my dream had come true!
Saturday, September 24, 1983:
I went to work at the grocery store as usual that morning (I had the 7am to 1pm shift every weekend). After work I rushed home so I could have plenty of time to get ready for my big date – shower, wash my hair (of course roll/curl/etc), re-apply make-up, find the perfect jeans and shirt to wear … But, when I got home, our electric was out - with no ‘estimated time’ when it would come back on. (That’s country life!) So, I went out to the back deck to re-apply my make-up and chat with my Mother (who tried to calm me out of my no electric/I have to look perfect/what about my hair crisis). Forget about washing my hair, forget ironing my perfect shirt. Oh well, I thought, he won’t ask me out for a second date anyway. (The second date would have been monumental – meaning that I had another chance to impress my dream guy. But that would be out the window now). I don’t remember the jeans, the shirt, the hair … but our first date led to the second date … the third date … and …
We dated for the next 8 months. In late April/early May, this guy asked my parents for their permission to marry me (yes, very old fashion but very considerate). My Granny was bed-ridden, so I knew she would not be able to come to a formal wedding. And my Mother was taking turns with her sisters taking care of Granny, so planning a wedding was the not an immediate priority.
Monday, May 14, 1984:
He picked me up from work that evening and we headed to the jewelry store to pick out my engagement ring. We were ‘formally’ engaged for two whole days, and then …
Wednesday, May 16, 1984:
I called in “sick” to work, and the 22 year old guy and the 19 year old girl hit the road to elope. Oh, we had to stop at the bank to get a check cashed (no ATMs back then) … and then the gas station … and then to the mall’s jewelry store to get our wedding bands … and then we were ready for a lifetime of ----
No, we really didn’t know what we were getting in to.
No formal wedding attire --- blue jeans and flannel/plaid shirts
No wedding pictures --- a casual ‘photo shoot’ later from my Uncle (who takes pictures better than any professional)
No wedding party --- just the minister and his wife
No wedding reception --- we went to Pizza Hut before we hit the road back home. A few weeks later we had a wonderful household shower given by my Mother, sister and cousins (and attended by many family and friends)
No clue as to what was next --- but, here we are … 26 years later. God has truly blessed us over these years. We have a beautiful daughter (who the doctors said would never be) … a wonderful son-in-law (who serves our country with pride) … and the most precious little granddaughter in the world (Lucy leaves me speechless). God is good. And Granddad and I look forward to the next 26 years God gives us together.