Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I'm Gettin' Married in the Mornin' (well, in May or June anyway...)

Hi-De-Ho Rene,

At age 33, looks like I’m getting married.

My fiancé proposed Sunday night. We had talked through the idea of getting married, and we’d even done some (as we called it) “hypothetical” planning and ring-shopping, but he still managed to surprise me with the timing. Kansas City had been hit with a nasty ice storm the night before, and we cancelled our normal Sunday church date because Brent lives up north, about 20 miles from my house and our church, and the roads were in horrible condition.

I resigned myself to a Sunday spent breaking up ice on the driveway and doing laundry, but despite temperatures in the low teens, by late afternoon the sun had combined its rays with the sand and salt on the roads to make them passable. Brent called to report that he had spoken to my parents on the phone, essentially baring his heart and asking for their blessing, if not quite their permission, for us to marry (we are in our 30s, after all).

They were more than approving, and he was clearly relieved and re-energized. He decided to brave the improved road conditions, and we had an early supper at our favorite place to eat on Sunday, the Dragon Inn. The staff knows us so well that we don’t even have to place an order – we just confirm “the usual” with a smile and a nod. (KC: Order the steamed bread. At 95 cents for four pieces, dipped in a variety of sauces, it’s a simple appetizer and the best buy in town.)

Then we went back to the house and watched a little bit of Ken Burns’ Civil War series on DVD. If you don’t think that’s romantic, you are forgetting the letter Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife on the eve of the first Battle of Bull Run, which is read memorably over footage from the battlefield as it looks today:

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights – amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours – always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by…

With our eyes misty, Brent pulled out a packet filled with bits of paper, receipts, and notes, all mementos of our time together. We have talked about making a scrapbook, so we went over them one by one. Then he got up and revealed a small box he’d hidden in the room. He opened it, got on one knee, and … well, the rest is even more personal than what I’ve written so far. I’m already afraid I’ve tested the boundaries of our blog, but suffice to say, I said yes.



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