Not long after I had divorced, I began dating my first true love. We came from two very different worlds. He introduced me to a peaceful, but hardworking world on the farm that I had only heard about, but had never experienced. I introduced him to the world of a fast-paced city, (with 3 young children!), about which he knew very little. I loved the fact that he was so different from me. Dating him, turned my life into an instant adventure…and most everyone knows, I’m usually up for a good adventure! He had this country southern accent that melted me every time he spoke. He had this thing he would say every time he called me. When I answered the phone he would say, “This is me, is that you?” I still love hearing him say those words. My youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, makes fun of him about it. She says it now, but in a very different way, with a more “accented” country slang to it. It cracks us up! Anyway, I had just come out of a loveless marriage, and these new feelings that stirred inside of me, breathed new life into my soul! Every love song that came on the radio, seemed to come alive, and express the way I was feeling. I remember being at my parents’ house, singing at the top of my lungs the song, “How Your Love Makes Me Feel” (Diamond Rio)…”It’s like just before dark! Jump in the car! Buy an ice-cream and see how far we can drive before it melts…kinda feelin’! That’s how your love makes me feel inside! There’s a cow in the road! Swerve to the left! Fate skips a beat and it scares you to death and you laugh until you cry!”… In the middle of singing, coming down the stairs, I caught a glimpse of my dad standing in the den talking to someone who had come to the house to see him. I abruptly stopped singing and know I must’ve turned three shades of red, when he looked at that person and said, “Do you think she’s in love?” You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face that day.
Kevin would drive two hours to come and see me in his old pickup truck. In the back of his pickup, he’d bring his dog named Rex. Kevin had been single for about 8 years, and he had been used to living his life alone with his dog. Not me. I had three children. I was anything, but alone. He later told me that his daddy asked him, “Boy! Have you done your adding’?” Nothing anyone could’ve said would’ve stopped this attraction we had to one another. I swear I would’ve walked through the desert to see him. I still would. That’s the truth. Love is a powerful thing!
I can remember clearly one of our very first dates upon reuniting. He knew I loved grilling out in the backyard. My grill was old and rusted. One day, he came over to cookout, and he brought me a brand new grill! (He also brought me a very nice Torro lawnmower, since I was the only one mowing my yard at the time. It was nice! Unlike the one I had, you just gripped the handle and it would go!) We had the backdoor and all the windows open. The kids were playing, and the setting was perfect! It was a beautiful day to cookout on my new grill! I was always the one grilling, but of course, he’s the guy, so he took over that job. In fact, I don’t think I’ve grilled by myself since that day! I was busy cooking the side dishes on the stove, making the kool-aid, and setting the table. When he brought the meat in from the grill, he came in, made his plate and sat down. I was standing at the counter, and I turned and saw him sitting down. I started laughing, and told him he could eat, but that it was going to be a few minutes before I could join him. I still had to make three other plates, cut the meat up for the 3 year old, get her situated in the high chair, and get the boys situated around the table. After that, I’d make my plate and join him. 🙂 A little embarrassed, he jumped up to help. I think it was at that moment, that he realized his life was about to change significantly if he wanted to date me. I thought, “This guy is never going to stick around.” But…he did!
I worked at the law office in downtown Memphis, so he would come from Arkansas and meet me for lunch. Some days we would simply drive around Marion, AR, which was only about 15-20 minutes from the office where I worked. There were so many crop fields, and there weren’t nearly as many homes in this area as were in Memphis. I drove around that area many times during lunch, even when Kevin wasn’t with me. It was beautiful country! One day while driving around, he stopped in at the Caterpillar Tractor Dealership. I asked him, “Why are you stopping?” He said, “Just wait.” We got out of the car and the salesman came out to greet us. We were not married yet, but he asked the salesman if he and “his wife” could look at one of the tractors there and take it for a drive! He is such a romantic charmer! He knew exactly what he was doing. His WIFE? My heart was doing somersaults! I loved the way that sounded. I loved the way that felt! On top of that, I had never ridden in a tractor before! He climbed up into the cab of the tractor and reached down to grab my hand and pulled me up! I was in heaven! Words cannot describe how high that feeling is. People call it “Cloud 9”. If that’s the case, I was on Cloud 1000!
To Be Continued…