Thursday, July 30, 2009

10 years ago

July 31, 1999. Danny and I woke up before dawn to start the trek to his aunt and uncle’s mountain condo. His parents were vacationing there for the week, and since I had never been to Mammoth, CA, we were invited to join them for a couple of days. At some horribly early hour he arrived at my home, we packed up my “dark cranberry” (or purple as Danny called it) Ford Explorer, and set out to take turns driving and napping over the next 4 hours. I can’t recall who pushed for the early start but I do recall wondering "why?" not more than a few miles into it.
We finally arrived in the Sierra Nevadas and exited the highway onto a very bumpy road. After negotiating what seemed like an eternity on an almost impassible route, I wondered just who would want to have a vacation home here, and how strange that they would/could even build condos out this far into the hills. We eventually pulled up to a very rustic 70’s era building that really didn’t look too much like a multi-family dwelling. I dismissed the thought though and followed Danny’s call to take a look around. Strangely enough, a breakfast was arranged on a checkerboard cloth in the middle of an adjacent field, and when I recognized Danny’s mom’s Longaberger picnic basket I realized that this was a set-up designed for me.
Not wanting to read too much into it, I sat down and enjoyed a delicious assortment of fruits, breads and juice with the man I had recently come to love. Danny had brought his Bible along so he read me a passage of Scripture, we talked about our love for the Lord, each other, and the incredible view set before us. Smooth as Danny is, he at one point invited me to stand up to give him a hug. By this time I was pretty sure I knew where he was going, and I was not disappointed. Down on one knee, (gorgeous) ring in hand, Danny asked me to be his wife. I don’t remember my exact response, but it involved a lot of happy tears and a clear affirmation that my answer was “YES!”
We stood there enjoying the moment, enjoying one another, and I could have stayed forever soaking it in. One of many things “strange” things about the day thus far was why Danny kept insisting that we leave. He finally convinced me to head back to the truck, and to what I soon learned was not in fact a vacation condo but a fire lookout station. (Things are starting to make sense…) There were hugs all around from my soon-to-be-sister-in-law and her husband who had been hiding in such station recording the entire event on film. I think we could make a flip book for all the photographs that were taken!
Since we naturally wanted to share this news with the rest of Danny’s family and make some phone calls to mine, I consented to leave this special spot and drive back down the rocky road to the other side of the highway to the real condo. Along the way we were greeted with a series of congratulatory posters and balloons staked next to the (paved… oddly enough!) road. Each one had words of love and excitement, and the last few were signed by the family members I expected to be there to welcome us. As we turned the last corner though, holding a huge banner signed by my family, were my parents and my sister who had flown in from Seattle just to be there with us! I then understood why Danny was so anxious to get back in the truck, and was blown away by the joy of the day. I was so blessed to have so many people to share it with, and even more blessed to be anticipating marriage to the most wonderful of men.
10 weeks later (yes, 10 weeks, several of which I had mononucleosis – a story for another day), we were wed on another incredibly joyful, fun day. I smile every time I look back on that time, and thank God for the 10 years He has blessed us with since then. I’m so glad Danny asked, and even gladder that I said yes!

(We've aged just a little since then!)


Anonymous said...

What a fun story to read--but not nearly as much fun as being a part of such a special day!! What we didn't realize at the time was how much fun Danny--and his entire family--would continue to provide for us from that day forward!! Love, Mom

Jason and Erin said...

How sweet! Congratulations!

Jenny M. said...

What a great story, it gave me chills!! I love love..:)

Congrats on your ten wonderful years, you two are made for each other!!

Willis said...

What a great story you have to share with your kids about your love for each other and the way you started out together. I'll give it to him. . .he's creative.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to a really special couple!!! How God has blessed your union. It has been a joy to see what 10 years together has brought about. So glad our family has been a part of watching God grow you.

Love from
The Hilligers

Lori said...

Oh, you guys are just so cute!!!! Thanks for sharing the details, that was lots of fun to read :)

Charity said...

What a neat story, Laura! I loved reading it! And your husband made such an effort to surprise you that very special day!

Rebecca Pierce said...

How special and romantic and sweet! I read every word!

Heather said...

Great story Laura! I loved your would have never known that you planned it in just 10 weeks. We are amazed that its almost been 10 years for us too! Congratulations!