This weekend is my 4th wedding anniversary. I still feel like a newlywed. With all that has happened in my past, I was not sure God would bless me with a significant other in my life. How wrong I was!
I met Dennis on Match.com. Who would have thought? Definitely not me. I have been on dating sites on and off for three years. I have done Match and Christian Mingle. I have met a lot of frogs! I have also met a few men whom I enjoyed meeting. We even became friends, but the chemistry and connection was not there.
Before I go further, let me back up a bit. I was not out seeking a husband. I enjoy the company of bright men. I was tired of sitting home and not going to dinner with someone other than girlfriends and family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my girlfriends and family, but I missed the conversation I enjoy with the male species! I couldn’t figure where to meet someone. Friends and family sure weren’t setting me up, so I decided to go with online dating. My first experience was really bad, and I quit for a couple years.
During this time I connected with an old college friend and we wrote each other a lot, talking about everything under the sun. As I got to know him, I realized what a “good guy” was, and really appreciated his insight on life. I learned to be more adept at screening out the frogs because of this wonderful friendship.
After my son’s wedding, I realized I didn’t like being the only one at the party without a dance partner. I know that wasn’t completely true, but that is how I felt. I wanted that friend who I could call and ask to accompany me to events I didn’t want to attend alone. Thus the online dating started again.
What an adventure that had been. I met some really boring people. Some couldn’t carry a conversation for the life of them. Some whom I never gave the opportunity to meet, couldn’t put a sentence together in writing–we always started out writing. Some wanted to give me makeovers, and some were just downright arrogant! I also met some really nice guys. Some today are still my friends. I hope they will be fortunate enough to find that special lady for themselves.
I had a lot of stinky dates. I had a few that made it past the first date! There were very few who I was willing to see more than twice, even though they were not my true connection. We enjoyed the friendship.
I had a 30 mile radius set up on my dating website. I didn’t want to be too far away. I didn’t want the dating to be difficult. But, when I got bored, I would reset the my distance perimeters even to 1,000 miles, just to see who was out there. The “cool guy” was just always too far away! Or so I thought.
I went through a difficult summer in 2012 when my sister got ill, and I spent much time with her until her death. It was one of the saddest times of my life. I never expected to lose a sister so soon. Things were not going well with my job that year either. It seemed there were more difficult days than good days. I thought nothing good was going to happen in that year. September rolled around and I got bored again with my online site, so I advanced my radius to 100 miles. There jumped out a photo of this silver haired man with a smile that lit up the photo. I couldn’t help but send him a short note.
Yes, this man was Dennis! Because of his travel and my business travel, we could not meet for almost three months, but we wrote, texted, and talked a lot on the telephone. So far it looked good. He seemed to fit my criteria–smart, educated, retired professional, articulate, man of faith, good relationship with his family, not angry over the past, optimistic about the future. I had met other men with those criteria, and we enjoyed each other’s company, but there was not the special connection we needed for this to be a lasting relationship. I knew, though, the real test would be in meeting.
Dennis lived 85 miles away. How would that work? He lived in the country. Actually, that was appealing to me. Ever since I was a teenager, I have envied those living in small communities. The pace is so gentle and peaceful. One can always drive to the big city, but I have always in the back of my head loved the idea of a small town. Even living in St. Charles, I was only two blocks from the corn fields. I loved that I would take my walks in what I considered the heartland of America–where we grow crops to feed our people.
Finally, Dennis and I met in late November. We went to the St. Louis Zoo. It was sunny and very cold. The wind whipped around, and neither of us dressed warm enough for such a day. I remember being thankful every time we reached another animal house that we could walk indoors! Dennis suggested we sit outside at one point when we were no where near an indoor facility. I started to sit next to him on the bench, and he told me to sit on the other side of him. Without any thought, I did so. After about 10 minutes of people watching and chatting on the bench, he suggested we get up and move on. He said he was cold, and then he said, he moved me to the sunny spot so I could be warm!
We spent the whole day at the zoo, and ended the day going out to dinner. There was nothing spectacular about the day. He was just another guy. He then volunteered to come back in town two days later. He said he would go to church with me and we could spend the day together after church. I was not sure. Then I thought of the bench and how he thought of me to sit in the sunny spot to be warm, and I realized this nice guy needed a second date with me–I could not write him off. Also, he wanted to attend church with me. That was a huge plus–someone who wanted to worship with me. How many guys offer that?
I guess you could say the rest is history. I found Dennis to be exactly what I have prayed for. Even funny–he is as goofy as I am! We laugh a lot. At stupid stuff! And then we laugh some more! I thought he was a stuffy executive the first time I met him. I also realized I had a shield around me and didn’t let my real self be known. Instead, we are just two ordinary people who connected.
We enjoy each other’s company, even if we are both sitting on our computers, reading, watching television, doing yard work, or painting walls together. We love being in each others presence. I love the fact he likes being dragged around the country to meet my family and friends!
He is my greatest cheerleader. When I wanted to make a quilt for my new grandson and one for his son, I was unsure. I had made only 2 quilts in my life and it was 40 years since the last one. He encouraged me and said I could do it. When I wanted to do HR consulting and coaching on a part time basis, he encouraged me to do it. When I was unsure if I should actually start writing a blog, he encouraged me to do it. He knows I am a project person. I love being creative and accomplishing projects. He knows my projects change because so many ideas are running through my head. He is good with that.
He has taught me to love road trips. I was all about hopping on an airplane to my destinations. He taught me about all the things I miss when not driving. On the trip to LA for my son’s wedding, we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns, Phoenix to visit friends and family, The Grand Canyon, and on the return trip, San Francisco, through Utah to visit more family, and getting lost in Wyoming. When we drove to Big Sky, we stopped at the Corn Palace, Mt. Rushmore, and Jackson Hole. There are so many things to see on the way to and from!
He has embraced my children and grandchildren. I have a large family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends who are loved like family — he accepts them all — welcomes them all to our home. He is the most gracious host to anyone who visits our home. My children have also embraced Dennis and his son. We all love spending time together.
On occasion we take in the sunrises in the early morning from our screened porch, or sit out there during a thunderstorm to watch the sky light up and feel the thunder roll. We hike through the woods and he points out the wildlife around us.
Dennis has a servant’s heart. He will help people in need. I have seen him move more furniture for friends and family than a moving company, care for his 98 year old mother on a day to day basis, muck a barn for someone who is too ill to do it, make beds and clean bathrooms for a wife who isn’t fond of those particular chores! He does it all with much care and love.
He is not perfect—he can’t cook! That was the only criteria he did not meet on my criteria of significant others! But, I love to cook, and occasionally he will perform as my sous chef. We balance our talents so perfectly.
I am blessed to have this man in the later years of my life. Happy Anniversary to Dennis and Me!
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with this wonderful man.
I hear something
What is it?
My heart is singing.
Quiet, but sweet,
Listen as it sings!
The story of joy
The song of delight
My heart sings.