America The Beautiful

At exactly 3:37 a.m. Saturday morning, June 20th, we pulled out of our driveway and headed east to Michigan for a 4 week vacation. The dogs came along due to the fact that kenneling them would have bankrupted us and we are almost there anyway. So we loaded them in the Jeep and took off for home.

The dogs seemed somewhat confused as they had not gotten a full night’s sleep and we were taking off in the dark. They were even more confused when we did not drop them at the kennel or the vet’s office. To top it off, we drove for 20 hours the first day, stopping for potty breaks and food, but there was no sign of their house in Washington.

What there were signs of, were the hand prints of God’s creation. The high desert of Central Oregon, where with irrigation, they grow some of the finest crops in the west really impressed me. We drove through the Cascade Mountains, formed by volcanoes millions of years ago. We watched the sunrise over them in the Columbia Gorge.

As we headed toward Idaho, we were impressed by the Blue Mountains. We were on the Oregon Trail following the path of Lewis and Clark and the early settlers. It amazed us that the pioneers trekked through the rugged, high mountains and stopped along the way to establish towns with stores to service the gold miners going out to seek their fortune. I am 59 years old and seeing things I read about in history class.

Utah was more beautiful than I thought it would be. The mountains and hills were colorful with a red sandstone. The mountains were formed by tectonics, I am told. Where plates within the earth move and force the terrain up to create awe-inspiring formations. Some looked like they were placed there on purpose to make a certain design.

When we reached Wyoming, there was a lot of history along the way. The pony express route,
Medicine Bow National Forest, Fort Sheridan, buffalo, antelope, and the list goes on. It was awesome to use an over-used word.

What I have realized is if we had not moved across the country, we might not have had the opportunity to take this trip and experience the splendor of our country. So stay tuned for more, I know I have been lax with updates, but I will try to keep you posted.

The Questionable Proposal


“Well there goes another one,” my eight year old son exclaimed in a rather here we go again tone. Clearly he was keeping track of my love life and his comment cut me like a knife. I had just told him that Sam and I were taking a break from each in an effort to evaluate our relationship. (Not quite in those words.)

We had been dating for three years and I told Sam the night before that I’m not getting any younger and if he had no intentions of going to the next level, I was moving on. So yes, shit or get off the pot. He said he’d get back to me. Right.

He didn’t want me to fall in love with him in the first place, but how do you not love someone who makes you laugh and you can talk to on the phone for five hours and not be bored to tears? He brought a new life to our house. True, he was five years younger than me and his biological clock was not ticking like mine was, but I thought I might have a shot at bullying him to the altar.

When I didn’t hear from him the next day, I was disappointed and thought perhaps I was too hard on him. He called that Wednesday night and said he had made a decision and would like to see me Friday night to talk about it. He would pick me up at 5:30, I said okay and we hung up.

Arriving promptly at 5:30, we headed in a northwest direction. Perfect, I thought, we’re going to Lake Michigan, he’s going to propose to me on the beach at sunset. How romantic. We stopped for gas in Allegan and the sun was already starting to disappear. We continued on, but instead of going toward Saugatuck we turned to go to the Allegan Forest. Hmmm.

Now there are not too many places in lower Michigan that are more remote than the Allegan Forest. We continued on and turned toward the Allegan Dam. He pulled the car into an empty parking lot deep in the woods. Maybe he knew he couldn’t make Saugatuck by sunset, so he opted for this. Maybe if he couldn’t have me, no else could either. We both got out of the car and he opened the trunk and pulled out a black gym bag. He led me back even further into the woods and we came out into an opening that was just gorgeous. The sun was setting over Lake Kalamazoo and the trees were breath taking with their vivid orange and red leaves. A nice place to die, I thought.

Sam set the bag on the ground, unzipped it and pulled a blanket out (He would be wrapping me up in),then he went back into the bag. Oh oh, here it comes, the tire iron, and or axe, this is gonna hurt. I shut my eyes.

When I opened my eyes, there he was with a beautiful red rose in his hand, and down on one knee. “Theresa,” he said, “I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days and if you will have me, I would like you to marry me.” With that he offered me a yellow plastic ring from a gumball machine and waited for my answer.

I accepted his proposal and he pulled a bottle of champagne out of the bag along with two glasses and we toasted our future. So I did not end up on an episode of Dateline NBC, I married my best friend.