Shannon here: Jeanette-Marie Mirich shares insight into her real life romance, plus a chance to win book one, The Courtship of Harry’s Wife and two, The Last Roses in her D.B. Burns Mysteries series, a bookmark, and two $10 dollar gift certificates to Starbucks. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: May 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jeanette:
Life on the Stoop and Other places:
If they weren’t home, my parents wouldn’t let us in the house even though we were engaged. It was the sixties and everything under the sun was occurring from protests to weed, rock music to kissing in back seats of cars. We sat on the stoop. It was interesting.
We shivered, held hands, and talked, knowing that the English professor across the street was watching, as was the retired Navy Commander and his wife who peered out the window at us. It was a small college town and we couldn’t hide. The stoop was one step up from the walk leading to our home and three by four in size. Even in an English fog bank the neighbors would KNOW.
The tiny one-story house on Harrison street had traffic day and night, no privacy. It was Oregon and rained nine months of the year, so it was a damp venue. However, the stoop was preferable to the wrath of my father, a World War II vet with moral courage, upright demeanor, and the gift of pithy words fit for any occasion. Not a man to test if you valued continuing the relationship. Which we did.
Our time of dating during engagement also had an occasional car ride. Rod’s red MG Midget was cute, but impractical. There was enough room for a brown bagged lunch and my purse. In mid-summer we took a drive to Mary’s Peak, the highest mount in the coastal range. Rod worked for the Forest Service during college and the summer before his medical school began. And, he had the key to the winding trails that serpentine the peak. He unlocked the yellow gate, drove through, then relocked it behind us. He restarted the engine—easy for him—a challenge for me with its tricky clutch and jiggling the gear shift to get it in gear.
Mary’s Creek tumbled down the forested sides of the mountain and chuckled over the rocks as it headed toward the flat Willamette Valley. Driving along it we stopped to check out the frogs that sang their wood song among the Douglas Firs. Then we nibbled on sandwiches, feasting on each other’s eyes and not the tuna fish with pickles.
Eventually we came to a washed-out part of the road. A road the forest service had trouble maintaining. We looked at one another. Rod’s little car was so low (the midget name wasn’t a mistake) that we might get high centered or veer off the road and shudder down the mountain side. But being narrow was an advantage.
Rod studied the land, sat back on his heels and investigated the car’s clearance and the distance between the wheels. Then, he went on a hunt, disappearing into the forest and emerging with a log. It had been limbed and cast aside. Waiting for us, I think. With careful placement, my fiancé lined up the log a couple of feet away from the remaining roadway.
“I don’t want you hurt,” he said as he looked from me to the washout. He didn’t yet know my adventurous spirit but I nodded and walked along the narrow edge to the other side of the gully.
He revved the car, put it in gear and, balancing left wheels on the log and right wheels on the remaining narrow bit of roadway, careened across the ravine. Okay, it wasn’t exactly fifty feet down and staring at death, but the little car was about all he had in assets, except for his fjord blue eyes and dimpled smile.
That day I knew Rod was a keeper. Whatever we navigated, he might have an interesting solution, or with his stubborn (in Finnish it is called Sisu—meaning uber stubborn) attitude, we’d manage.
Over the years we’ve had many rocky places on our journey, from stoop sitting to treacherous car rides in Africa. Perhaps for us, romance is summed up in sacrifice, ingenuity, and laughter at the surprising circumstances tossed our way.
About Jeanette: “Have bags will travel” should be Jeanette-Marie Mirich’s life’s theme. She moved twenty-two times before settling in her first home. An Oregonian by birth who graduated with a B.S. degree in education from Portland State University, Jeanette has swum in the Ligurian Sea and collected shells and sea glass along the Indian Ocean, Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean Oceans, Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Mexico, and the Andaman Sea. Her peripatetic lifestyle is courtesy of the U.S. Air Force and her husband’s medical training.
Passionate about needs in the third world after living in Thailand during her husband’s deployment, she has accompanied her husband on dozens of medical mission trips. Mother of three, Grammy to thirteen exceptional grandchildren, she travels from her Kentucky home to an Oregon cabin, scribbling poems and short stories as well as writing novels.
Her first novel, Happy Christmas, Miss Lawrence, won second place in the Colorado Independent Publishers’ EVVY awards. Her second novel, Shadow Games, received honorable mention. Both novels were published by Stonebridge Publications. The Courtship of Harry’s Wife, the first book in her D. B. Burns Mysteries series, released in September of 2019 from Mountain Brook Ink. Book two, The Last Roses, releases May 1, 2020. Learn more: Jeanette’s Website
About the book – The Last Roses (D. B. Burns Mysteries #2):
On a trip home from North Carolina, Delilah Burns Morgan is stopped in her tracks by a deer she whacks into oblivion. Lyle Henderson, the man she loves but put off marrying, comes to her rescue. Life would be a bed of roses if, during a week of recovery at the Henderson family estate, a lascivious conversation hadn’t been overheard, the mystery of a dead girl is revealed, and someone using Lyle’s cabin in the woods as a rendezvous hadn’t altered their plans.
Then Delilah’s beloved god-daughter and best friend’s only child is kidnapped. With Josephine in tow, Delilah sets out to bring Savannah back home. Roping in friends for help, Delilah’s neighborhood burgeons with former clandestine government officers setting up an op center and Lyle and her minister disappearing to follow leads. An attempt to fricassee Delilah and a pompous businessman make Delilah and Lyle determined to unearth the villains and find Savannah before it’s too late.
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Question for Readers: What dating rules did your parents have for you?
Come back May 1st for Carole Brown!