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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)

TITLE: It All Started with That First Date
By Verna Cole Mitchell


“Did you know,” she said, scooting to sit closer to him on the couch, “that it was on this day in 1958 when we had our first date?”

“Aah yes, I remember,” he laughed. “That was the year I saved you from being an old maid.”

“Oh, come on. You know I had lots of boyfriends.”

“Yes, but you were a senior in college and getting desperate because you weren’t engaged yet, and I was just a poor unsuspecting freshman who fell into your clutches.”

“Ha! You told me you thought I was pretty when we had met in September and had said to your roommate then that you wanted to date me. Then you just smiled at me whenever our paths crossed, but you didn’t get around to asking me for a date till the end of January.”

“I’m a cautious kind of guy.”

“Sure you are! It’s amazing to me that you can take a year to decide which car to buy, but it only took two weeks after our first date for you to propose to me. I’m glad you did, though.”

He picked up her hand that was resting on his leg and pointed to some tiny brown spots on the top. “We didn’t have these then; we were just babies, both of us, only 20. We thought we’d wait two years to get married and kept moving up the date till we settled on August 15. I marked off every day before then on my calendar.”

“I’ll never forget that steamy summer night when I saw that cute young fellow with the blond crew cut, waiting in the front of the church for me to walk down the aisle with my dad, and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.”

“My friends really did a number on that ’54 Ford. You remember that old car?”

“How could I forget! Hooking the bumper on the bumper of the principal’s truck my first day of teaching and having a tow truck pull it off…driving 15 miles with the emergency brake on and thinking something was bad wrong with the car…”

“And waking our brother-in-law up early to help push it to get it started on cold snowy mornings.”

“I still laugh when I think about our first breakfast as husband and wife, and you told me to just order toast and juice because the menu at the hotel restaurant was too fancy, and we had to be careful with our money. Then when you went to pay, the hostess stamped ‘Breakfast complimentary with the bridal suite’ on the ticket.”

“And after that short honeymoon at the beach, we had to settle down to the real world in that tiny apartment above my sister’s apartment. That really brought us down to earth.”

“I’ll say! And when you went back to college, I started my first real job. Suddenly, I was wife, housekeeper (well, really not much of one), cook (sort of) and high-school teacher. I hadn’t even grown into my married name yet, and seniors in high school were calling me ‘Mrs.’”

“After that first week of living on BLT’s, I found out that’s all you could cook. When I suggested, oh so gently, I might add, that I might be getting tired of them, we had a series of awful meals. Would it offend you if I mentioned that oatmeal you could slice with a knife?”

“Yeah, I remember. It used to hurt my feelings when you’d beg me to take home-ec classes.

“We had thought life was complicated then, but when I came to you in November with
my little announcement, it really was. Since you’d told me the day we got married that you’d really feel married when we had a baby, I said, ‘What do you think about really feeling married, come summer?’ Now, for sure, we were ‘poorer than Job’s turkey’—whatever that means.”

“How about that time we went into the dry cleaners to pick up some clothes, with you all pale from morning sickness, and as we’re leaving, the clerk turns to me and says, ‘Does your mother save Green Stamps?’”

“I didn’t think that was as funny as you did. I cried all the way home.”

“But with the Lord’s help, we made it, Honey, and He sure has blessed us through the years.Our young granddaughters and their husbands don’t really know what love is yet, but…”

“We could tell them a thing or two.”

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This article has been read 732 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst01/27/11
I quite felt like I was "the fly on the wall" listening to this couple reminisce. Occasionally the conversation came across a little stilted and I lost track of who was saying what a time or two, but still an enjoyable read.
Lisa Johnson01/29/11
What a precious gift to grow old with the one you love.
Eliza Evans 01/31/11
What FUN this was to read. A lovely, easy conversation.
I'm smiling.

Only two weeks before he proposed?!? :) :)

Rachel Phelps01/31/11
Really lovely - something for me to aspire to with my future spouse. Thanks for sharing the memories.
Dee Yoder 01/31/11
So sweet, and knowing this was based on your own marriage, made the reading all the better! The honeymoon breakfast made me laugh, too. Wonderful!
Laury Hubrich 02/01/11
So very sweet. What awesome memories!
Shelley Ledfors 02/01/11
What a precious and sweet remembrance. I enjoyed reading this!
Cheryl Harrison02/01/11
This is precious. I love the light-hearted conversation. Good job!
Beth LaBuff 02/01/11
I love your conversational memories (some light-hearted, some emotional) and all so heart-warming. [I think your family would love a copy of this.] ...and look where the Lord has brought you to today.
Kate Oliver Webb 02/02/11
Can I just say that it made me smile all the way through, ready to cry with both joy and anxiety. This look backward at that life-forming first year is very special. Thank you for sharing.
Henry Clemmons02/03/11
You write short stories too. Great job. If I could display dialogue like you I might try more fiction. Very good!!!!!!!!!