With our 20th wedding anniversary coming up, I decided to write about our love story. Please join me in the upcoming days as I tell A Summer Camp Love Story.
Need to catch up? Part 1--Our Love Story Starts with: A List; Part 2--A Girl on the Boys' Side, and a Boy on the Girls' Side; Part 3--A Dance...with a Promise; Part 4--Questions, Goodies, and Boat Rides; Part 5--One Fateful Boat Ride ..........
Need to catch up? Part 1--Our Love Story Starts with: A List; Part 2--A Girl on the Boys' Side, and a Boy on the Girls' Side; Part 3--A Dance...with a Promise; Part 4--Questions, Goodies, and Boat Rides; Part 5--One Fateful Boat Ride
Here is where I will insert some reality into our whirlwind romance and starry eyes.
I sat waiting on Dave, for our very first date.
I mean, I waited a long time. Uncomfortably long.
After our fateful boat ride, where Dave asked me on a night off, we headed to our respective cabins to get ready. I'm sure I ran straight to my friend Dawn, asking her to help me pick out what I was going to wear. I don't even remember what I wore. But, I do remember all the butterflies in my stomach, and hurrying so I could get the date started.
I grinned all the way over to the girls' side of camp. I sat down to wait on Dave on a bench in front of the office, as all the girls on their nights off crunched across the gravel toward their cars. Before long, all the girls on nights off had left, and I sat waiting. Looking back, I'm sure Dave tackled 27 1/2 jobs after our boat ride, and probably just started getting showered when he saw me walking over.
Or maybe he spent all that time planning out our date.
Because, it was an amazing first date.
(It was worth the wait.)
When Dave finally walked out of his cabin toward me, he was all clean and smelling good. He helped me into his open-air Jeep (so much for the time I spent getting my hair ready!) and we headed toward our first destination.
In true Dave form, he wanted to surprise me with each part of the date.
Our first stop was the top of the Shepherd of the Hills observation tower. Just in time to watch the sunset together. I almost didn't know how to act, or what to say. I'd never had a guy want to share the sunset. In a tower, no less.
Next, we drove to The Outback restaurant, new to Branson at the time. I don't remember what we ate, but I do remember that we talked and talked and talked. And when it was time to order dessert, Dave had me pick. Of course, I chose the key lime pie. But, Dave threw me off when he told the waiter that we'd like our dessert in a to-go box.
Because we had one last stop before the end of our date.
Dave drove me to the park overlooking Table Rock Dam. He helped me out of the Jeep, carrying the lime pie box in one hand, and holding my hand with his other. I didn't care where we were going. I was just following wherever he led me, captivated by my hand in his.
He led us to some large boulders at the edge of the water. Again, holding my hand, he gently helped me climb one of the rocks to sit down. Side by side we sat, the moonlight shining down, and with two forks we shared the piece of lime pie.
In the quiet of the evening, we talked some more. We didn't run out of things to say. There were comfortable silences between our talking, when we'd listen to the crickets or the rhythmic water splashing onto shore. In those silences, I knew. I knew we'd experienced something special that night. I was excited by the possibilities, but in that moment, I just felt content to be there.
And...as the metaphor of our whole life together--the night ended suddenly, as we hopped in the Jeep, racing back to camp before we were late for curfew.
I was a little nervous about being late. But, mostly, what I felt was safe. Being with Dave made me feel safe, and cared for. Even as the wind was wildly whipping through my hair and the Jeep sped through the dark night back toward camp, I knew Dave would make it okay. Even if we were late.
To be continued...
The Bachelor's Pad cabin--where Dave and the other Big Brothers on the girls' side of camp lived...and where certain newlyweds would live in all of its spartan (non-glorious) glory sometime in the future.
Ah, here we are--the young couple in love! This picture was taken later that summer, at my home. Oh, and my bangs would like to ask your forgiveness...for being subjected to looking at their curly, cowlick mess.