Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Story, Part 3


Our Story, Part 1
Our Story, Part 2

From last time...

Despite my anxiety, I did meet Claude for breakfast.  And within a few weeks we found ourselves going out to dinner again.  But this time things were different.

Sometimes my memory fails me, and for this particular date (probably the only traditional date we've ever had) I don't remember if I knew why Claude was taking me to the nicest restaurant in the area or not.  And I don't remember how he broached the subject, but one way or another we were talking about engagement.

Aaaaaggggggggghhhhh!!!!!  FINALLY!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I was a bit elated.  :)

Note:  Claude has a back story as to how he came to the decision to get engaged on this particular trip.  It was NOT something he had planned and NOT anything I expected.  But like Proverbs says, "In his heart a man plans his way but it is the Lord who determines his steps."  This was just one of the first stages of following God's leading even when it's completely different from our own plans.

Claude had an audition in New York and his return flight back to Melbourne shortly after our engagement talk, so I figured a proposal would happen sometime soon.  At first I thought it might happen before he went to New York. proposal.  So, I was on alert but trying to be cool, calm, and collected as I waited.

We took a trip together to Baltimore for an audition that I had.  I thought he might propose on that trip.  We went there and proposal.  Although we did have fun skidding around in my little Geo Metro through a snow storm.

And then there came a very normal, snowy day when he came into my office.  This was certainly not out of the ordinary since he was frequenting my office (practicing there, meeting me for lunch, picking me up after work, etc) during his stay in Indiana.  Nothing really clued me into this particular day except that I woke up that morning thinking, "This is THE day!"

Claude asked if I would go for a walk with him, and I agreed even though I had a cold and didn't really want to walk in the snow.  We walked down a path that we had walked a hundred times before during the summer music festival where we met.  And we stopped at a telephone pole.  Romantic, right?

Yes, it was quite romantic because it was at that very telephone pole that Claude had initially asked me into a relationship.  :)

As I shivered from the cold and sniffled from a runny nose, Claude got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.

YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!!

Beautiful ring on hand and both of us giddy with excitement we headed back to the office to share the news with our friends.  Then we celebrated in true Chew Crew fashion (although we didn't know it at the time) - we ordered pizza.  :)

The engagement was supposed to be long - 2 or 3 years long.  That would give both of us time to finish up grad school and get some jobs, etc, etc, etc.  Our best laid plans.

I'm not sure when or how, but before we knew it we were planning a wedding for August of that year.  It was probably April or May at this time.  So, we had a handful of months, we found out in May/June that we would be moving to New York in the late summer for Claude's school, and we wanted to get married in Montana where my family was.  Why?  Because neither of us was there and that makes wedding planning so much easier!  :)  I jest...

So, in one of the most stressful summers of our lives, Claude left home for the first time, moved to a new country, we met again at the MasterWorks Festival, bought a car together, drove to New York to find an apartment, flew to Montana, finished last minute wedding preparations, and got married.

It was Wednesday, August 24, 2005.  It rained through the entire ceremony and stopped when we finished.  Our sopping wet wedding party had wonderful attitudes about it.  And we had our reception in the garage/barn of some gracious friends of the family...there were pretty lights overhead and snow mobiles along the back wall.

Our three day honeymoon was a bit brief, but Claude had to be back in New York to start grad school.  And, of course, the rest of our lives was waiting for us.

I don't really have time for all of the little stories within this bigger story.  Like getting in a car accident on our first full day in New York, finding out that the people who sold us the car did something illegal with our registration, and then having the police officers tell us that if they happened to all go downstairs and if the car happened to no longer be in the lot when they came back up then there wasn't anything they could do about it.  *Wink Wink*  We drove that car with a broken passenger door and window for a year.

And the story of not having plane tickets to get to our own wedding until about two weeks before.  Then our crazy trip to the airport where we ran 1.5 miles in the middle of the night (luggage in tow) to the train station to catch the last train to catch the last airport bus of the night.  We waited at a bus stop in Harlem around 1am...I don't recommend this even if there are police officers patrolling the streets at all times.

And I won't even get started on some of the apartment hunting stories.  Let's just say that we had to increase our minimum rent by a long shot in order to be living some place that didn't look like a scene from Law and Order.  It was the beginning of a lot of faith steps.

But the stories are half of the fun and the adventure, and, after all, we were over the moon with each other and with what God had done and was about to do in our lives.  We, of course, had things all figured out.  Little did we know just how quickly God would take us up on our consistent surrender to HIS WILL.

To be continued...

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