Thursday, August 29, 2013

Part 2 An Unlikely Love Story



We are truly an unlikely love story. I woke this morning on this 36th anniversary to my favorite kind of flower, a yellow rose. Since Rich has been sick we haven't really celebrated since he has been too sick so to have flowers this morning was a wonderful treat.

If you haven't read part one now would be a good time. I ended the story last time with these now famous words, "He and I are NOT going to get along." After Rich threw his keys and hat on the table those famous words were spoken. So how in the world did we go from there to walking down the aisle less than three months later? Great question... I am so glad you asked

Rich's folks lived way out in the boonies on an old dirt road. There were no subdivisions or covenants to tell you what you can and can not put in your front yard. This family had a giant yellow joy bus sitting right smack in the middle of the lawn. Joy busses were used back in the early 70's to bring in unchurched kids. The bus would pull up to a house and children would come bounding out with enough enthusiasm to float a boat and hop on. Now the ride had to be fun so teenagers were recruited to stand in front and sing songs about God, silly songs. The church of Christ was known for their joy buses.

This particular joy bus needed a new paint job so Rich and I volunteered to paint the bus. Hour after hour, day after day we painted the inside of the bus. When one was done another bus was brought in. What did we do to pass the time you ask? We talked and talked. Back in the day there were no electronic devices to get our attention. No texting to stand in the way so we just talked.

To be honest, I had been engaged to a guy I thought I loved in college. He dumped me because his mother knew I was from the "wrong side of the tracks" and didn't want him to marry me. So I had just been dumped a few months before. Tragic but true. In that context I knew what I wanted. So we spent hours discussing the kind of mates we were going to find.

I wanted a man who loved the LORD above me. I wanted a man who knew what he wanted, a strong man who would not let his Mama decide who his mate would be (remember I was 19) lol. I wanted a man who would work hard and of course he had to sweep me off my feet. To top off the list this guy had to be a preacher. I knew I wanted to be a preachers wife. Heaven help the congregation that got me back then!

Of course Rich has his own list. I think there were about 10 things on the list. The number one was the woman he picked had to love the LORD above him. She had to be of the same mind in raising children. Roles needed to be in line, in other words a traditional marriage. Being a young airman he also had some things on the list about beauty but we wont go there.

Rich was patriotic, I was not. In fact, I remember once I had sat during the National Anthem in high school just to be  ornery. He loved guns, I was scared to death of guns and told him my husband would never bring in a gun to the house. That is about the sum total of what we knew about each other.

It was time for the gig to be up, he had to head out to his new duty station all the way across the country in Tacoma Washington and I headed to camp. Now remember, we did not have one "date". We painted buses together for heaven sake. He told me when he left me at the camp that bright sun shiny day that if I wasn't married by the time he came home for Christmas that he was going to marry me. Now that is a man who can sweep a girl off her feet.

So the letters flew back and forth from Michigan to Washington. Every day we wrote, sometimes more than one a day. Here was this strong young man who loved the LORD and knew what he wanted, no wishy washy guy here. Since I worked at a Christian camp we had certain rituals for mail call. If you got more than one letter you had to stand on a chair and sing some funny song to get your letter. Let's just say I spent a lot of time up on a chair singing the ABC's!

I would work all week at the camp and go back to Rich's folks house Saturday morning and be driven back to camp after Sunday morning service. So one Saturday morning in July who shows up but Rich. He had flown all the way from Tacoma to come see me. Boy was I surprised. He asked to take me for a walk so out in the fields we went. Out in the middle of the field he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes. We were head over heels in love!

It was decided that I would not go back to school in the fall but would get married and move a thousand miles away from nowhere and become a military wife. Oh heaven help us. Let me just say right now, we had no clue. We thought we loved each other when in fact we were in love with love. We had no real idea what the other person was like. How could we in such a short amount of time. Important things like how you squeeze the toothpaste and do you close the lid on the toilet would have to be decided later. For now, we were in love.

We had six weeks to plan a wedding and that we did. All went well until the night before our wedding. But that story will have to wait till tomorrow!

Blessings my friends
In Christ Alone,
Jill





Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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