In a galaxy far, far away…

…okay, so it wasn’t a galaxy far, far away, but it makes for a good story starter.
21 years ago this month, I was sitting on the floor with Matthew, a child who had Down’s Syndrome, and talking with his mother Joy. We were winding up our weekly visit (I used to work with children under the age of 3 who had developmental delays). I was startled to see a man come into the back door of Joy’s home. Her home was very isolated and my first thought was an intruder. Turns out the intruder was her brother and he was looking for a ride to pick his car up from the shop.
I was getting ready to leave and it wouldn’t be too far out of my way, so rather than Joy having to pack up 3 kids, I offered to take her brother to the auto repair shop. There was an instant attraction. Whether it was his blue eyes that I could drown in, or his beard and shoulder length wavy hair, or his warm, friendly attitude and quick smile I couldn’t say, but I knew I wanted to know him better. Unfortunately, the ride was a short one. I kept thinking in my head…’ask me out…ask me out,’ but my telepathy didn’t work seem to be working. I dropped him off at the garage and the whole way home was kicking myself for not just having asked him out. After all, it was 1990 – girls did that sort of thing!
When I got back to work, my friend Linda who was the receptionist, was still there even though quitting time had been 30 minutes before. Turns out she was waiting for me with a big grin on her face. See…there had been a phone call. Some guy I had given a ride to wanted to talk to me! She made me promise to tell her all about it before she would hand over the phone number. I went into my office and called. Daniel and I chatted a bit and made plans for a date the following Friday night. And he called and talked to me every night in between – long distance (that was such a big deal back then, he was paying like a quarter a minute to talk to me on the phone!)
So the night of the big date arrived. Gotta remember, this was before cell phones. About the time that I was expecting him to show up, I got a phone call. He had left the directions to my house at his house, so he had to drive from work in Roanoke to Moneta to get them and he was heading to my house. Finally he arrived in white slacks and a red shirt driving a grey 1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that my first car was a grey 1975 Monte Carlo. I loved that car and drove it for 5 years. This date was definitely off to a good start!
We had to stop and get oil for the car (just like mine) and then we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant that I don’t think exists anymore. We went and played putt-putt and then we came back to Mom and Dad’s (I was living at home at the time) and ended up watching a Star Trek movie on TV. When I found out he loved Star Trek like I did…I was thinking this is definitely a match! I was so enamored with him that I called and cancelled three other dates I had lined up with other guys for the week ahead.. 30 days later I was calling Moneta home.
4 years later, on August 20, 1994, we were standing in a small country church near the Peaks of Otter making a lifelong commitment with our family and friends gathered around. Now here we are, 17 years, 4 children and a lot of experiences later –still in love and celebrating our anniversary. It hasn’t all been peaches and cream. There have been ups and downs, happy and sad times, angry and quiet times, growing together and growing apart times. Daniel and I complement one another. I know I can count on him to encourage me, to be there for me when I need him most, and to love me.
Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! I look forward to the next 17 years of our journey together.

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