Wednesday, August 17, 2011

how we became us.

I called him that night, Friday. The cold gray walls of the dorm hall were easy to resist, and When I asked him if he wanted to hang out

he did.

We hopped into his red Nissan with the rottweiler plates and he asked me if I wanted to drive. And I lurched and stalled it so many times that we traded seats. He may have laughed at me--yes, I am sure he did.

My lack of experience was a novelty.

Up the hills we went overlooking the City of Trees, the air cold and crisp, and lighted by Christmas. And when we reached the tip-top of the highest hill away from every street lamp around, we teetered at the edge, and our eyes spotted a sort of road. The narrow beams of the headlights offered us little to view.

"Let's go for it--"

down the roller coaster of clay-mud away from the perils of studying for finals, the threat of cardboard pizza, stale coffee and the quietness of an all-girls floor the week before testing. Over the frozen cold and steep down while engine lost power and kept going....only to




at the dark bottom of--what--? we couldn't see anything except gray shapes of unfamiliar.
The road was not a road at all, but a trap instead. Other auto-victims had been here before, of that we could tell. He told me to stay put and he dug out with his shovel. Because, you see, he is my "McGyver",

never without a life-saving device.

Fervent digging became pointless. The Nissan called out to offer his wench. But the wench sighed, shoulders drooped with disappointment, because sagebrush offers no leverage. But of course--what is sagebrush? When you have lived your whole life in Washington State,

there is no reason to know such things.

Darkness was heavy and fingers were numb but we were kids with no weight on our shoulders, and getting stranded in the hills was no big thing. Especially when you get to wear a warm coat that smells like him, and get to hold hands that experience

first-love spark.

But like I said, it was no big thing. Even when the tow truck resigned, and the tractor said, "no way", and finally, for all our his measly college savings, the truck was set free by the CAT and the driver of the red Nissan with rottweiler plates warned. But of course this was nothing M&W white powdered donuts and orange juice couldn't fix

(because remember, we were kids, still).

But what I recall most was that we drove up the hill as friends, and came down as a glimmer more. And 3 years later, on bended knee, a promise was made on the same hill of foolishness. But this time, instead of foolishness, a proclamation of devotion and friendship.

And yes, love.

Our family looks quite different these days, as our "two" is now "five" and what a loud house we have become. We've spent time on the top of the hill, but life has brought unexpected blows and we have found ourselves at the bottom, with all the mud and mire and prayer knees.

And still I can say that I like the way his jacket smells.

And if I had to choose a different path, I wouldn't. I would again get back into that Nissan truck with him. He, who has offered me 14 years of wedded enjoyment and the gift of sacred faithfulness. He who has injected fun and frivolity into my bent towards structure. He who has given me three beautiful daughters.

I give you my heart, again, my loving husband.

Thanking God today for my husband, for hills AND valleys, and a happy anniversary to us.


becky said...

Happy Anniversary to you! And what a lovely love story you write.

Ruthiey said...

Oh I love this very much. Your story-telling is marvelous. <3

Brian Miller said...

this a beautiful gift to your to hear peoples stories and how the circumstances play out to bring them together...nice story telling...

Sharon said...

Happy Anniversary you two love birds!!! What a blessing the Lord has given you in each other!!!!!
I love your story as well!

happygirl said...

Happy Anniversary to you both. :)

Jen said...

Love the rhythm of this story. I'm sure your husband is so uplifted by these words today.

Stephanie said...

I've heard that story before...but not like that. So beautifully told, it made me cry. I'm also thankful for that day, as your family is a wonderful blessing to me! Love you and Happy Anniversary!!

Shannon said...

love it!
happy anniversary!

Mama Zen said...

This is beautiful. Happy Anniversary!

Keri said...

This is so full of love. I really like how you tell this story and remember being "kids."

Sarah Dawneé said...

This is beautiful! Happy anniversary to you!

This made me smile.

HopeUnbroken said...

beautiful story, wonderfully told. happy anniversary!

Chelsea said...

Love it! After this many years, saying you'd jump into that truck again really means something. Praise God for the way He knit you two together and for all He has done through your marriage!!!

Shirley said...

Jen, your story was so sweet; it left me speechless. I'm thankful for that night in the ditch because you and your family have become such an important part of ours! I'm thankful that your girls are growing up with my grandchildren! And I'm thankful for what you and Brian mean to Stephanie and Damie. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.

emily wierenga said...

oh friend what beautiful love you share...

Johnna said...

J~ You write so beautifully! I love to read your stories. Happy Anniversary!

Katie said...

Stunning, Jen. Love it.
Happy Anniversary!


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