Hon and I met at college in February 1987. Yes, I remember that. I was pledging the Sigma Pi Little Sisters at the time, and he was pledge master of Sigma Pi Fraternity. I won't go into the pledging activities because yes, that is back in the day when there was still hazing. Anyway, I'll never forget the first time I saw him...across the courtyard at college...he was walking up one way as I was walking down the other. He also was on crutches because he had broken his foot. I swear the clouds broke, sparkly things danced in the sunlit halo around his head, and neon signs pointed him out that said, "He's the one!" Really. I kid you not.
After that I was smitten...and I hadn't even actually talked to him yet. Not even that person who was sending me anonymous sappy messages through the college radio station could affect my googly eyes at my future husband (whether he knew it yet or not). I would have given up being our college mascot (yes, I really was, but it was a secret) for the chance to talk with him. Then I found out I'd be seeing him a lot being as he was in the fraternity I was pledging. He became not only my pledge master and person I wanted to hurt due to the stupid backward junk we had to do, but my science tutor, and best friend. One person told me Hon must be serious about me because he let me drive his car to get coffee, and he never let anyone drive his car.
Our first date was in April 1987 on Easter weekend. We went camping. All. By. Ourselves. In one little tent. Shhhhh, don't tell my folks about that part. We not only went camping, but we got lost in the woods and had to spend the night freezing our bahookies off laying in the leaves and dirt, waiting for sunlight, because there wasn't even a moon out to see by. Thank goodness we walked down the right side of the hill, or we'd still be stuck walking around who knows where in West Virginia. Some might think that first date experience to be a relationship breaker, but obviously not us.
Hmmmm, let's see...Hon proposed to me on December 31, 1987...or it could have been January 1, 1988...I'm not sure. It's a bit fuzzy on account of the surprise of my life he had just given me and all the kissing. Then I went into wedding mode. I know, you don't believe it, and you're right. I waited until my spring break from college to do any planning and during that week I got it all together - date, dress, food...everything. I can't obsess about something like that for months.
My folks had the idea that the brides side pays for certain things, and the grooms side pays for certain things. One of those ideas was that the groom was to pay for the flowers and alcohol. Well, truth be told, if Hon paid for the alcohol and the flowers, we wouldn't even have gone on the little honeymoon we did go on. We rented a cabin on Thousand Island Lake in the upper peninsula of Michigan, by the way. So, here we go...Ma, I paid for the flowers and the alcohol. Yup, that's right. Ahhhh, such a relief to finally fess up on account of me keeping that secret for the past 25 years. Remember how I worked at that cemetery planting and watering flowers? Well, I did that to pay for those things. Turned out pretty nice considering I had just over a month to earn enough money since I had to get those wisdom teeth out, too.
I could go on and on about the past 25 years of our life together, but that would fill a library, so I'll now give a verbal montage of where we lived. We've moved a lot, and sometimes didn't stay long. We've lived in (West Virginia) Salem at college and at the Doc's little place, then another place in Salem, an apartment in Clarksburg, back to Salem, and two streets up in Salem. We lived in Hillsville and then Independence, Virginia. After that we moved back up to West Virginia and lived in Belington, Elkins, Buckhannon, and Arthurdale. From there we moved to North Carolina and spent time in Tarboro and Greenville, where we had our first son, Eldest. Then we lived in another home in Greenville while waiting for Kid to be born. From there we moved to Virginia (again) and lived with Hon's folks while we waited for our home to be finished in Max Meadows. While in Max Meadows we brought Young'un into the world. From there we found ourselves moving to Chillicothe, Ohio and now where we are currently living, in Frankfort. I know there's a few more places in there, but after 25 years it's getting a bit hazy.
You know folks, we've had our ups, we have had our downs. Our joys and our sorrows. One thing I can truly tell you through all of it, though, is I knew the day I saw Hon across the courtyard at college he was the one. My honest to goodness soul mate. I don't know how or why I knew...I just did. So many folks these days just don't seem to stick it out, working through the challenges, along with reveling in the good times. Others don't even bother to get married any more. Call me old fashioned. I just don't understand. I am happy to be part of a family that sticks and will do anything it takes to continue sticking. I love my husband. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
To you, my Hon, the love of my life...three wonderful sons, many homes, countless dogs and cats, lizards, fish, horses, sheep, chickens, turkeys, geese, and memories of all kinds to fill the library of my mind...you are my sun, my moon, my stars, and my world. You are the one that keeps me balanced, you are my voice of reason. I am so happy we chose each other in front of friends and family all those years ago in that little non-air conditioned church in Rochester, Michigan, despite the 107 degree heat. I look forward to our future together and all that comes with it. Bring. It. On. Love, Me.