Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 14, 1985: To the Lake (part 2)

I had been dating Peter about a month when I invited him to my Happy Place: our family’s rustic lake cabin in northern Minnesota. On the drive north, we had a long conversation about our relationship. Meanwhile, I pictured a quiet, romantic weekend of fishing, walking in the woods, relaxing, and listening to lovely loon sounds. His version included carefree gamboling and skinny dipping.

We were both in for a surprise.

As we arrived at the cabin, so did two of my brothers and their families! Oops. There went the quiet, and the, um, gamboling. We all laughed and agreed to make the best of it. We divvied up the three bedrooms (none with any real privacy), and a couple of kids slept outside in a tent. Peter and my sisters-in-law said they would take turns cooking for everyone. Dinner was loud and chaotic, as was the after-dinner conversation.

At about 10 o’clock, Peter whispered, “Let’s go sit on the dock.” It was a clear night, and in the darkness the Milky Way arched across the sky. We could hear small animals splashing at the water’s edge, and from time to time a fish would jump. A light breeze kept most of the mosquitoes at bay.

Peter sat behind me and pulled my shoulders so I was leaning back against him. He returned to the subject of the day. “I’ve been looking for someone for a long time,” he said, and then drew on a figure of speech (he may have used a washing machine as his metaphor; I don’t remember). “I’m a good shopper; I do a lot of research and when I find the model that has everything I’m looking for, I know it. I don’t have to keep looking.” He went on to say he’d been dating lots of women, looking for the right one. “Sometimes I could tell before I was in the door that this wasn’t a woman I wanted to spend even one evening with. But you have everything I’ve been looking for. You are the one.” He took a deep breath and said very deliberately, so I would know he was serious,

“Will…you…marry…me?”

I let the moment sink in for a long while. Then I told him I couldn’t answer yet. I had not been looking. I needed time—not just to get to know him, but to know myself in combination with him. I said he should ask me again in the fall—if we were still together. He asked what I meant. I said that with one exception, my previous relationships had not lasted that long, so I had trouble comprehending this rapid commitment. If we were still together by September, then it would make sense to talk about marriage.

He knew better than to press for a different answer. We looked at the stars and drank in the sounds until the mosquitoes began to bite. Then we went inside and won a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit.

There will be more to this story. Meanwhile, I wish to note that these photos are not mine.

21 comments:

Grandmother said...

What Peter said was so romantic- direct, sincere, focused- lucky him to find whom he wanted, lucky you to be found and cherished.

DJan said...

Oh, this is so delicious! Now that is a man I could have really appreciated an another time in my life. You re very fortunate to have made a commitment to each other. I'm looking forward to hearing more!!! Hugs.

The Good Cook said...

More! More!

It's funny - we both took our future husbands to our "special" places - mine was my lifelong girlfriends farm. I knew if he could handle a weekend on the farm (and win HER approval) he was Mister Right.

He did superbly on both counts.

Cheryl said...

I'm loving how this is unfolding. So honored to bear witness.

Jeanie said...

He must have been pretty confident about what you were feeling, even if you weren't so sure. And he must be a pretty great guy to roll with the surprise family get-to-gether.

Kathy said...

What a wonderful story......

:)

Respectfully Yours said...

I want to hear more too. Kudos to you for taking your time. I would have been so swept away with the romance of it all.

Can't wait for part two.

Jenny said...

That is such a sweet story!!!

Sounds like a wonderfully romantic night.

Ms Sparrow said...

Keep those lovely stories coming!

Krista said...

How very sweet. I'm glad things worked out for you, looking forward to reading more stories!

That blueberry picture made me hungry!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wonderful love story, thanks for sharing..I want to read more too..what a catch he was..laundry, cooking..he must be one of a kind! :)

Together We Save said...

Wonderful story!!

gayle said...

That is a sweet story!!

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Aw. AW. I love proposal stories.

Kelly

FabuLeslie said...

Such a wonderful story! The first part reminded me of an episode of Brothers and Sisters. Anyway, what a romantic moment. I love that romance exists in this world and not just in the movies. Congratulations! And thanks for coming by my blog so faithfully while I'm traveling. Massage tomorrow. Hooray! :)

hummer said...

Special that you are recording it in writing for the future generations. Be sure and back up so you can keep it. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Leah Rubin said...

What a guy, and what a wonderful and wise and insightful woman you are to have answered so well. I can't wait for the next chapter!

Congrats again on the 25 years! Awesome!

L.

lesinfin said...

Awwww! I love this! Can't wait to read more. And yes, congratulations!!!

xoxoxo

Jennifer McLean said...

can we now just skip to September and hear you say "Yes"?? I hate waiting! :o)
So happy for you, you give me hope for myself finding someone special...

laurie said...

what a great story! i'm curious about the washing machine metaphor.... in context, it actually sounds romantic....

injaynesworld said...

What a smart woman you were and obviously a very secure and confident one. Good for you. He did find the "perfect model."

Love the photo of the Milky Way. I live in a rural area and look up to a sky like that every night. I'm so grateful.

Lovely post...

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