Shannon here: Donna F. Crow shares her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her latest British Mystery, A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated April 17 – 22 to enter the drawing. Also read the details at the end of the post to get your name in the drawing twice. Deadline: April 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
A Three Generation Romance Series
Part 2, The Middle
Here I am again on Inkslinger, today with the second installment of my romance trilogy that has inspired two of my fictional series. Last Friday I told my parents’ story which served as background for my pioneer family saga Daughters of Courage series. Wednesday I’ll share our daughter’s story which in turn became that of my heroine Felicity in my Monastery Murders. So please be sure to check out Inkslinger for April 17, 20 and 22 so you can get the whole story.
Incredible as it seems, our part of the story began more than half a century ago. Well, we were young then, still in college, and head-over-heels in love. And then, poof— it’s 50 years later and we’re still head-over-heels in love and have four adult children and 13 ½ grandchildren.
So when the time approached for our Golden Wedding Anniversary at Christmastime a year ago, Stan and I looked at our far-flung family (Boston, Los Angeles, Kentucky and Calgary, Canada) and considered the careers involved (priest, ministerial intern and U. S. Army) and thought, “There’s no way everyone can get together. We’ll just go off and do something by ourselves.”
But then, a miracle occurred. Our newest, and very pregnant, daughter-in-law said, “This is important. We need to make it happen.” And it did.
Every one of our children and their spouses and all of our grandchildren (including the Russian grandson scheduled to go to Afghanistan with the US Army the following week) turned up for a glorious post-Christmas and anniversary celebration. The pictures tell it best, but, first, let me share just a taste of the “How Well Do You Know Stan and Donna?” game we played at the family dinner which followed the public reception at our church.
I had prepared 25 questions from our personal history to challenge our children and grandchildren. We gave points for the most accurate answer and the funniest answer. The funny answers were the best, but I’ll share the correct answers here:
1. Where did Stan and Donna meet? Where did they go on their first date?
At a debate tournament in Fresno, CA. We were attending sister colleges, Stan NNC in my home town Nampa, Idaho, and I (because I didn’t want to go to college in my hometown) PNC in Pasadena, CA. Teams from the 2 colleges met and that night we double-dated— Stan with my debate partner and I with his. A week later when I was home for Christmas Stan was still there because NNC’s vacation started later. That night we got it right, by going together to a performance of Handel’s Messiah.
2. Where were Stan and Donna when she realized she was in love with Stan?
At a debate tournament held on a dude ranch in Bozeman, MT. (Do you see the theme here?) In the meantime I had transferred to NNC as well. It seemed that Stan and I connected well on debate tournaments, then often wound up not speaking to each other when back on campus. Usually because I was a snot.
That April evening Stan and I took a long stroll down a country lane as the sunset turned the sky crimson. I went back to my ranch house room, flopped down on the old iron-framed bed and hit the mattress with both hands. I knew I was in love. And I also knew that I had blown it too many times. “No one gets that many second chances,” I thought.
But, thankfully, God has a sense of humor. And so does Stan. We were engaged a year later to the day.
3. What did Grandpa Leonard say when Stan asked for Donna’s hand in marriage?
My father: “Can you support her in the style to which she has become accustomed?”
My father: “Okay.”
Few would-be grooms ever had it so easy. But fifty years later, the results speak for themselves:
About Donna: Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning Glastonbury The Novel of Christian England, an epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She also authors The Lord Danvers Mysteries. A Tincture of Murder is her latest in these Victorian true-crime novels. The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries are her literary suspense series of which A Jane Austen Encounter is the latest. A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary is the fourth of Felicity and Antony’s adventures in the Monastery Murders. Donna and her husband of 51 years live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 13 1/2 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/. You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY
Translating an ancient document in an Oxford convent should be a harmless venture, but Felicity just can’t seem to avoid danger. It’s hardly Felicity’s fault, though, that severed body parts start showing up in ancient holy reliquaries. Or that Felicity and one of the nuns is assaulted. Then Antony arrives in Oxford with a group of students and is disconcerted to learn that Felicity has forged an uneasy friendship with his estranged sister. The family situation is further complicated when Antony is obliged to rush to the bedside of his dying uncle in Blackpool. The exultation of All Saints’ Day plunges to the anguish of grief on All Souls’ when Felicity encounters yet another body. Who will be the next victim of the murderer stalking the shadows of Oxford’s hallowed shrines?
Question: When was the last time the majority of your immediate family got together?
Come back April 22nd for part 3 from Donna!
Hi Shannon, thank you so much for the fun of sharing our story with your readers! Oh, that cake–the anniversary cake was *supposed* to be a replica of the original–but it was about 6 times the size. Of course, our family is 6 times bigger. . .
Julie Clark says
My Australian family were all together at Christmas 2014
Martha Leavell says
I have read several of Donna’s books and have enjoyed them very much. She also endorses my Nephew Peter Leavell’s books. I like that she is also from Idaho.
Hey Donna, glad to have you. Most of my family lives in the same general area. Whenever the far flung members come for a visit, we all gather. For the ones who live here, we get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Julie, how special that your family was able to be together! Lovely to hear from you, Martha–you must be so proud of Peter. Besides our love of history we also share ballerina daughters–although mine has now moved on to being ballerina granddaughters.