Shannon here: Contemporary short story author, Peggy Cunningham shares insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win an e-book copy of Heart Bouquets, a contemporary collection including her short story, Flowers for Katie. Comment on this post to get your name in the drawing for 4 e-books including: Heart Bouquets, Really Rare Rabbits, For Such a Moment, & This Dance. Details on each book are at the bottom of the post. Deadline: June 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Peggy:
Bracelet Peggy’s pest gave in the 6th grade
A Cadillac Kiss
I grew up in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennslyvania. It was a whimsical time when the streets were safe, friends were many, and life was tranquil. Kids walked to school without the fear of predators in my hometown. In this magical setting, at the tender age of nine, I had a constant annoyance on my walks to and from school. This constant annoyance in my young life was a boy––a pesky, persistent, and presumptuous boy.
This boy in my third grade class constantly annoyed me. Wherever I was, somehow he appeared. He insisted on walking home with me after school. He even gave me gifts. Maybe in today’s environment he could be tagged a stalker. But really, a third grade nerdy, short, skinny and pesky boy somehow doesn’t fit the description of a stalker, but he most definitely fit the description of a pest. I was the goodie-two-shoes girl who towered above my classmates, even the boys. The contrast between my pest and me was one of a giant Amazon girl and an elf boy. Or, so I thought.
This annoying relationship continued through our high school years. Reaching our senior year, we were the largest class in the history of our school. Because of the large number of classmates, space was limited, and lockers had to be shared. Can you imagine my horror when our teacher seated me behind my long-time pest and then assigned us a locker together? Never in the school’s history had a boy and girl shared a locker. There was no escape from my worst nightmare.
For many weeks, I heard the same thing from this pest of mine. Every day Chuck turned around in his seat and asked, “When will you go out with me?”
He always heard the same answer from me, “Never in your wildest dreams.” But he refused to give up. Finally, one day I caved. I couldn’t hear that question one more time. So, I made a deal. “I’ll go out with you once if you promise that you will never ask me that question again.” Agreed!
Looking back, I cringe thinking how cruel I was to a boy obviously enamored of me. I’m guessing you’d like to know how that date turned out. It had a surprising outcome––at least on my part.
That night began two years of dating my worst enemy, and then a marriage that has lasted 46 years. You may wonder what happened to change my description of this young man from pesky to nice. When my girlfriends asked why I was dating my worst enemy, I could only answer, “Because he is so nice.” But, as I got to know Chuck better, I realized what it was that I admired about my pest. He had a relationship with God, and his life reflected what he believed.
After six weeks of dating, I wondered when he might kiss me. One night after a school dance, he took me home in his dad’s Cadillac. Shutting off the engine, he lingered for a moment before getting out to open my door as he always did. He leaned over and whispered, “What flavor is your lipstick?” What kind of question was that? Oh, but then I knew the answer when he asked, “Can I taste your lipstick?” How sweet was that! He always conducted himself as a gentleman. Our first kiss––a Cadillac kiss!
Valentine’s Day for us is an anniversary of sorts. Chuck once gave me a bracelet on Valentine’s Day when we were in grade school (when he was my worst enemy). You can read about that bracelet in my story Stolen Ice Cube in the book, Heart Bouquets. We also arrived in Bolivia the first time on Valentine’s Day in 1981 to begin our missionary work together.
The Bible says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 (KJV) As a child or teenager, I could never have imagined what God had planned for me. His plans certainly weren’t my plans when I schemed to rid myself of the annoyance of this pesky boy. God’s ways of directing to join two people together that were an unlikely match still amaze me today. But, He had a plan. That pesky, nerdy boy turned into my prince charming.
This year on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, we celebrated 32 years of ministry in Bolivia together. We thank God for the love we share, the blessing of being together 46 years, and the ministry He called us to. I’m thankful that enamored, pesky boy never gave up until I said yes to him––and to God.
About Peggy: Peggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck have served as missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry, teaching practical skills to underprivileged children in rural areas of Bolivia while reaching them for Christ. They also work with national churches, equipping them to take the gospel to their own people. Peggy is also a writer and contributes to several Christian publications regularly. Her story, Stolen Ice Cube, is included in the best selling romance book, Heart Bouquets, published by Write Integrity Press in February 2013. She’s also been published in several anthologies and recently signed a contract with Pix-N-Pens Publishing for a three-book children’s series, Really Rare Rabbits. The first book of the series released in March, 2013, and is available on Amazon.com. Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.peggycunningham.com, www.peggyspostings.blogspot.com, www.rumirancho.com
About the short story – A Cadillac Kiss Blurb: Peggy Cunningham grew up in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was a whimsical time when streets were safe, and friends were many. But in this magical place, she had a constant annoyance—a pesky, nerdy boy who always tagged along as she walked to and from school. He was hardly a stalker, but he certainly was a pest—at least to her. Eventually, her pest became her prince charming. Her blog post, A Cadillac Kiss, and also her story, Stolen Ice Cube, included in Amazon’s best selling book, Heart Bouquets, are sweet, romantic stories. Both stories tell of their heart-warming life’s journey together and their service on the mission field for more than 30 years. Their love story has spanned 5 decades!
About the collection – Heart Bouquets: Romance is in the air!! What do ice cream, flowers, bracelets, cars, coffee, and blind dates all have in common? Heart Bouquets!! A collection of six romantic stories sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and/or empty the tissue box!
Click on each title to learn about each giveaway:
Really Rare Rabbits
Come back June 24th for K. Dawn Byrd!
Teresa Pollard – Character Interview – Part 1 of 1