4 years ago today, I proposed to Shari. I was reminded today from Facebook, and their "On This Day," flashback. That got me thinking about that day and the funny story that went along with it.
First, another flashback. Our first date happened over a Labor Day Weekend in 2011. I drove to Beaver, Pa., and met Shari at the Sewing shop she ran. That evening, we went for a long walk in the downtown. There was a park next to the town square where we had our first kiss.
Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend in 2012. We had been dating via Megabus, traveling across the state from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg one or two weekends a month. I had been working a second job delivering weekly Merchandisers in order to save money for a ring (no, really), and I was going to surprise her over the weekend.
One of the other places we went on our first date was an Ice Cream Shop called "Witch Flavor." They featured hard ice cream from the Penn State Creamery. Shari and I went there many times when dating, and got to know the owners. Prior to the weekend, I contacted them via Facebook messages and email, and we worked out a plan for the weekend.
Before I left on the Megabus, I posted on Facebook that I was off to "ring" in the weekend with Shari. Some of you got it right away. My plan was to propose on a Saturday afternoon, stop by Witch Flavor, and then go out for dinner. It seemed like an easy plan...until the meltdown.
Now this was not the kind of meltdown you are thinking of. Think hot. Think heat.
My wife's former house had a large back yard, fenced on 2 sides and backed up to woods. Mowing the yard in the back, side and front of the house required a few hours of work--even more than when rain + sun = TALL grass. I figured we would pass the time in the afternoon by tackling the yard work out back. All she knew is that we had dinner plans later. It was a beautiful afternoon, but it was hot.
So we set out to work on the yard, mowing and trimming. I remember how hot it was, that we needed to take water breaks--but not enough of them. And losing track of the time. My plan was to drive through Beaver and stop for ice cream, after a walk in the park, around 4 pm, as my plan included an outdoor sign asking Shari to marry me, placed at Witch Flavor.
What comes next was blurry, because the meltdown started. I don't know how long before you experience heat exhaustion, or when the effects start. I remember we got cleaned up, changed and drove to downtown Beaver. I suggested going on a walk to the park and then for ice cream--before dinner. We talked to the park and at the spot where we first kissed, I proposed. Heat exhaustion was coming into play here. I was feeling light headed, and nervous, rehearsing what I was going to say. When I stopped, and got down on one knee, Shari thought I was falling down and wanted to help me up. I told her how I felt, what she meant to me and asked her to marry me. I presented the ring, and she was in shock. She too was feeling dizzy--from both the heat and the heat of the moment. (Cue the song from Asia)
Well She.Said.Yes. And then we continued over to Witch Flavor. She completely missed the sign out front, until it was pointed out. We went into the store and the owners were worried that either (a) We were not coming, (b) We forgot, or (c) She said No. We each received an ice cream treat on the house and our picture taken that was later put on the wall. It is still there, along with other customer photos all over the wall.
At this point, adrenaline must be working, or the ice cream, was a welcome treat, because we thought we felt fine. We finally got to the sign outdoors for some photos.
After all that excitement, we made calls to family while driving to dinner. We chose to eat at Texas Roadhouse, as we enjoy going there....normally.
It was then...a few hours later that it all caught up to us. I remember that we both did not feel so good while ordering and eating. I remember we boxed up to go more than we usually do. The conversation was good, we were both excited and only touched on the fact that we would become a blended family--with 6 kids total between us (Almost a Brady Bunch), (2) Dogs, and (2) Cats also.
And to top it all off, after the whole whirlwind of a day, we made it back to her house--and promptly got sick....
Ah, ain't love grand? It was the next day after we slept it off....and had lots of water!