So, today is the 22nd anniversary of my being married to the love of my life. It occurred to me earlier today that I have not written about how we got engaged, and this seems like a good day to do so.
It was the last days of June 1990. David and I had been dating for several months, and actually had already discussed and planned to get married. We had ordered rings, but (to my knowledge) they had not come in yet.
David’s brother and his fiancee were to be married July 1st that year, in a tiny little place called Craig, Colorado. David and I were driving up there for the wedding. I don’t think either of us anticipated what an adventure that trip was going to be.
As it was smack in the middle of the summer, it was dreadfully hot. We got about 3 hours out of town when the car broke down. I should also mention that David’s little 13-year-old diabetic dachshund Ginger was traveling with us. The good news on this leg of the journey was that we knew what was wrong, and were able to get what we needed to fix the car. We found an abandoned gas station awning to park under, and there was a hose for water. We were sidelined for 2 or 3 hours, but relatively comfortably, all things considered. Ginger had water and shade, and we had a decent place to work on the car.
As a side note, let it be known that a couple fixing a car together is not known (in my family anyway) as being a good thing. As my sister once told her husband, “I don’t think we are good enough friends to do this.” Surprisingly, David and I were. I credit David for that mostly.
Anyway, with that little hiccup taken care of, we traveled on. We had already planned to stop in Denver for the night, but it was nearly midnight when we finally got there.
I did not know this, but our rings had arrived and David had them with him. He had planned to propose that night at dinner, but it was so late, we didn’t even go to dinner.
The next morning, I told David that I had not slept well. He told me to go back to sleep, and that he would go round up some breakfast for us.
When he got back, he came into my room. He had gone to a store and bought a big glass platter, a long-stem red rose, a red taper candle, an eclair, and a cinnamon roll. He had lit the candle and used some of the wax to stand it up on the platter, where he had arranged the pastries, the rose, and a ring box. Bringing me breakfast in bed, he knelt next to me, gave me the ring, and asked me to marry him. (I said yes.)
So, that’s the story of the proposal. The story of the trip continues, however.
When we finally got to Craig, CO, the next day, we found out that David’s dad, who was traveling with David’s mom and youngest brother Mark, had had heart trouble on the way, and had wound up in ICU in Denver (where we had just left, unknowing). He missed the wedding (which he was to have performed), and ended up having quadruple bypass surgery the day after. David’s newlywed brother and sister-in-law delayed their honeymoon by a day or two to be there with us. David’s dad survived the surgery, but was stuck there in Denver for several days.
Surely nothing else could go wrong, right? Ah, dear reader, you are so naive!
David and I finally were able to head back home a few days later. It was more than 100 degrees, driving across barren land, with a diabetic dog in the back seat.
And the air conditioner went out in the car. Yes, really. It was SO hot, but our biggest worry was Ginger. David bought a bag of ice and put a blanket over it, with Ginger on top. She was able to stay cool enough that way. She probably would not have survived otherwise.
The miracle of the trip, in my mind anyway, was that David and I were closer than ever by the time we had gone through all of that. It had never been my experience that a trip so fraught with adventure could actually turn out well. AND, we were ENGAGED!
As a post script to the story, I want to write about our 20th anniversary a couple of years ago. For those of you who don’t know it, I have a part-time job at the same company where David works. The morning of our anniversary, I took my time getting to the office (I had fairly flexible hours at that time). Finally, my boss called me and said, “Are you coming into the office today? You need to come into the office. Now.”
I figured David had got me flowers or something like that. Well, he had, but that was not all. When I got there and went to my desk, there was a glass platter with a red candle (lit), a huge bouquet of red roses, and pastries! He had re-created the day he proposed to me.
Not every anniversary has been as romantic as that one, but each one has still been special, a milestone in our love story that we both cherish every year. Every day, really. Today is our 22nd anniversary, and we are more in love than ever. I am so thankful for that blessing.