Shannon here: Patricia Lee shares how she met her husband, plus a chance to win her Contemporary Romance novel, An Anchor on Her Heart. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Sept 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Patricia:
Fresh out of college with a degree in journalism, I had been hired by one of the largest churches in town to work in the front office preparing bulletins, writing a newsletter, and performing various other secretarial tasks. I anticipated offering my hard-earned skills as a writer sometime in the future. That would happen eventually, but not at the beginning.
I’d noticed different churchmen coming and going in the building as they worked on some much needed maintenance projects, but I didn’t pay much attention. One younger man seemed to appear more than the others, though I didn’t know who he was. That would soon change.
The church owned its own campgrounds a few miles outside the city. For the Fourth of July the congregation hosted a church wide potluck picnic on the grounds. Burgers were barbecued, an Olympic-sized swimming pool awaited the athletic, and plenty of tables stood ready for picnickers. As an employee I was expected to attend the mostly family event, even though I was single and without a romantic entanglement.
I wore a peasant dress, a style which was popular at the time, and sandals, glad for the modesty of a cool, cotton frock. A member of the college-career Sunday School class, I mingled with those I knew from the Sunday morning meetings. The young man I’d noticed from the work crew at church arrived, swapping greetings with the older single members, a group comprised of those who had worked a while, never married, or had divorced.
He made his way toward me, a lop-sided grin on his face, and said hello. After introducing himself and getting my name, he looked me over for a minute, then said, “I’ve never liked long dresses. It destroys the view.”
I was flabbergasted. Who was this guy and why was he at a church picnic? Where were the deacons? The elders? Couldn’t someone remove this fellow from our midst? I don’t remember saying anything, only looking for somewhere else to go. He disappeared into the crowd and I lost track of him until I saw him leave the picnic in a 1930 Model A pickup. What was up with that?
On Sunday I saw him ushering in the balcony, his eyes on me as I sang in the choir. At the least he served his church well, though I couldn’t forget his earlier comment.
The following week here he came again into the church building. Only this time he stopped and entered the office. He leaned on the counter and asked if I would go to lunch with him at the restaurant across the street. I said I would. He bounced off the counter and hurried out the door as if he feared I’d change my mind if he stayed any longer. I giggled.
He did most of the talking, telling me about his work, his property, and his horse. Horse? That grabbed my attention. I’d grown up with horses and missed them. He’d raised the animal from a foal and now kept him on his land. I was intrigued.
That lunch led to other dates, movies, picnics, wild sailboat rides, country tours in his Model A, and visits to the ocean. Often when I would take a lunch hour I would return to a poem on my desk, a small gift, or a bouquet of flowers. The ministers with whom I worked had great fun hanging around the office until I returned from lunch just to watch my reaction. I always tried to huff, as if I was annoyed, but this guy was getting to me. He kept at it until I said yes.
We’ve now been married forty-two years in July. I still have the poetry he wrote me. The Model A is gone, the sailboat with it. We’ve endured life’s storms together and helped each other through those moments every marriage faces—death of loved ones, financial ups and downs, and disappointments in our family and our careers. God knew what He was doing when He sent that incorrigible young man to a Fourth of July picnic many years ago. He’s tamer now, but still a rascal.
About Patricia: Patricia Lee is a published author, having written since she first learned what words could do at the age of six. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon. Articles to her credit have appeared in Moody Monthly, Power for Living, Expecting and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse as well as in two anthologies— Cup of Comfort Bible Promises and In the Company of Angels. She is part of a team of bloggers who submit short devotionals for FaithHappenings.com.
Patricia is a member of the Oregon Christian Writers and of American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have two adult children and live in the Pacific Northwest with two sleepy cats. Learn more and connect: authorpatricialee.net
About the book – An Anchor on Her Heart:
Can they keep their friendship pure when their hearts long for more?
McKenna Nichols, a young wife abandoned by her husband in favor of his work, is left alone to raise their autistic child. She promised to love him until death parted them. But when circumstances drive a wedge into their marriage and Dane chooses to escape what life has dealt them, how long can she be strong? Can she remain faithful to her marriage vows when tempted by the friendship of an unlikely stranger?
Rudy Taylor, who senses McKenna’s loneliness and understands the difficulty of raising her daughter, struggles to keep his concern for the young woman biblical. Will McKenna’s faith in God and Rudy’s commitment to his Lord be enough to keep their relationship simple until McKenna’s husband one day returns?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: Anchor – Amazon
Question for Readers: Have you made any lasting relationships or friendships at church? Tell us about it.
Come back Sept 5th for Myra Johnson!