One of the things I have a lot of is versions of the last two pictures, someone taking a picture and me taking a picture of them. It is something my father did, and I continue that tradition. This is another of my wife’s family reunions. This particular one was also in Martinsville, Indiana. I have pictures of the family get-togethers in Wisconsin that I will share eventually. This one was at a restaurant for my wife’s Aunt. She was turning 80, but I am not 100% sure. I do remember the event being for her. When I first met my wife’s family now, 30 years ago, she was one of the first to make me feel at home. There is something about people with that gift, to be able to make people feel at home!
My in-laws both had that gift. My wife and I freaked out our families a little (ok a lot) when we started dating. For me, I had been dating a person that my parents knew her parents. We, the girl I was dating, and I broke up with a mutual we were better off as friends. It happens. My wife and I started dating, and I’ve shared that story of our first date. Our second date was going to a bunch of one-act plays. We, my wife, and I went to lunch with my mother. She thought I was bringing the person she knew of. Instead, I brought my future wife. My mom was a little taken aback. Not as much as I suspect she would be later, but then she was taken aback a little.
At the end of that week, two things happened. My parents invited us out to their house for dinner. My then-girlfriend of a week and I spent Friday even going you to dinner. I was going to take my then-girlfriend to what I thought was the most romantic location in Bloomington, Indiana. The Carrollton tower, the bells, had always been a favorite of mine. I was, after only a week, going to ask her to marry me. I just knew. I guess the reason I knew, 30 years ago, was that she knew as well. As I made the first of 5 turns to get to the tower, my then-girlfriend said, “We should get married. I never got to use the proposal I wrote to ask her to marry me, but the end game was the same.
I know that the October announcement that we were engaged after only a week of dating freaked both sets of parents out!