Friday, August 18, 2006

Of Roller Skates and Diamond Rings

I felt a strange sensation this morning - a shiver. It's been a long time since I've been chilly. It's been such a hot summer. But there is a nip of fall in the air at times. The first gaggle of geese flew overhead the other evening, with their raucous honking hailing the promise of autumn. We will undoubtedly have our share of Indian Summer days yet, but there is hope.

I love autumn. My birthday is in the autumn. I loved the beginning of school each year in autumn. I love the colors. I became engaged in the autumn.

The owners of our local roller-skating rink announced this week that they are retiring from the skating business. They have not been able to find a buyer. They have hosted millions of elementary kids over the years for fund-raisers for their neighborhood schools. I don't have any fond memories of this place, but my children enjoyed their times there.

I heard this week also that the rink in the neighboring town closed sometime back. I did not realize it. It was the only rink close by for many years before ours opened. Two major events occurred at this rink. My pastor dad broke his leg and was in a cast for six months while skating with the youth of our church at this rink. I became engaged at this rink.

I love my romance story, and will someday share more. But this is about the engagement. DC and I had gone together for only a few weeks when we began to talk about marriage and actually picked out our rings. We were 25 and 30 and had been through several relationships each, and knew what we were looking for in a life partner. We chose a diamond with a microscopic flaw to remind each other that neither of us is perfect. We chose a beautiful setting, and for some reason the diamond had to travel to Kansas City to be mounted. Don't ask me why!

One autumn Saturday I went shopping for fabric and came upon the perfect material for my wedding dress. I stopped by DC's apartment and told him we needed to tell our parents we were getting married, because the fabric was only going to be on sale until Monday. I didn't really think I should buy my wedding dress material before my mom knew I was getting married! DC was watching a football game and seemed to be a bit more concerned with it than with my quandary. Little did I know.

We were going skating that evening with his sister and her husband. I was living in a basement apartment in my folks' parsonage at the time. DC came to pick me up and we went to the neighboring town for our skating date. I am a clutz, plain and simple. I am not a good skater. But I did many things for this guy that I wouldn't do for anyone else.

We were having a good time, and I wasn't doing too badly. The lights went down, the younger kids were told to clear the floor for the adult skate. The romantic song, "Ebb Tide" came on. We were enjoying ourselves and each other. I wasn't falling down! DC began to ask me very interesting questions about what I would do if we were married. Some of these questions would seem quite old-fashioned and inappropriate to the younger generation, I am sure. They didn't seem so to me. I answered them honestly. We were heading around a curve on the skating floor when he brought a little box from his pocket and showed it to me. He proposed right there in the middle of the skating rink as the beautiful romantic song played to lowered lights. I was in such shock that I lost all of my skating ability and ran right into the wall! Fortunately, I didn't break my leg as my dad had, and didn't even fall down and make a spectacle of myself.

As the story unfolded, shortly after I left DC's apartment that day, with his assurance that we would soon tell our parents, he received a phone call from the jeweler. The ring was in. I had gone back to the fabric store and purchased the beautiful velvet material and pattern for my dress. We had decided upon a right-after-Christmas wedding, since everyone would be here for Christmas and likely would not be able to turn around and come back for a spring wedding.

He rushed to the city north of us to pick up the ring. As I was preparing for our date in the basement apartment, he had come early to get my dad's blessing on our engagement - an old-fashioned and thoroughly wonderful custom, as far as I'm concerned.

I can't remember if I've ever skated since that time. Sometime I'll have to write about the volleyball game where we first met! But for almost thirty-four years I've enjoyed married life with this man, who still enjoys surprising me.


Merle said...

Hello Dawn ~~ It is nice to meet you
and I am glad you enjoyed the jokes and words of wisdom on my blog.
I really enjoyed this story about how you became engaged, thank you for sharing it with us. Please visit again
Take care, Merle.

Brenda said...

What a fun, sweet story! I'm glad you didn't break anything or fall down when you hit the wall, as I'm sure you are. I probably would have.

Can't wait to read about the volleyball game.

Barb said...

A shiver? You felt a shiver? Oh my word. Can you toss a little of that cool air over the mountains to my side of Colorado?

Can't wait to hear the rest of your story. Guess what? It may be considered old fashioned but when Andy proposed to our daughter Krissy, she told him I can't accept until you speak to my Dad and find out if it's OK with him for me to marry you. That poor guy lost ten pounds in sweat before he got up the courage.

When Aaron proposed to Mandy, he actually took Rob aside and said I'd like to ask your daughter to marry me. Can I get your blessing before I ask her?

Some old fashioned things are just the right thing to do, you know?

Nikkie said...

That is a beautiful story! So romantic! I can't wait to read about the volleyball game!

Morning Glory said...

Oh, what a romantic story! I don't think we've ever heard it before.

sweetmagnolia said...

How romantic! It is a shame that the skating rink with its wonderful memories should become a thing of the past.

It has been awhile since I skated at a rink. Seems there were always people who would crash into you at those places. I think I might suffer a fracture if that were to happen today.

PEA said...

What a wonderful story and so very romantic! Gosh, we haven't had a roller rink here since I was just a teen...sure brings back a lot of memories though!!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Hello Dawn,I saw you came over for a visit, so I'm here to say hello. Read your post of your engagement and it struck me that your husband asked your father's permission to ask your hand in marriage. Both of our son-in-laws did this, and our son did so before he proposed also. There's something very genteel in it, knowing they are asking for our most precious possession, a daughter, that they are promising to stand there for her, in our place. Both of our son-in-laws said they were "sweating bullets" and our son asked his wife's grandfather since her father is not in the picture. Loved you sharing that with us.

I have a couple of bloggers who are specifically looking for those of us not 20 or 30, I'll send them your way. xoxox

Brenda said...

I really enjoy your writing, so I've tagged you for the novel meme.

Maggie Ann said...

How sweet is love!! I enjoyed reading your post this morning..very much. You've given me a smile to start my day with. This day is supposed to be divided into 2 parts for me..cello practise and IRONING! I am woefully behind with the ironing...=(. So, I really needed this smile, thanks for sharing such an important time in your life...Romance is one of the sweetest miracles from God, isn't it!

MugwumpMom said...

Great story! Can't wait to hear how you met.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

what a wonderful sweet story!! (made so much sweeter by the fact that you are still happily wed!!!!)I LOVE that you ran in to the wall. Too funny!

Karla said...

That's such a sweet story. :)
Thanks for sharing. My Bo asked my parents for their blessing before he asked me - it should just be that way (if the fiancee-to-be has an intact relationship with her parents, that is - can't always happen that way).
And you're a great example to us, thirty-some years later! :)

Sue said...

Hi Dawn,
I saw your comment at Bev's this AM about "older readers"
I probably fit in that category. We're high school sweethearts who will be celebrating our 40th next yr. I often write about our love story and family events.
Visit anytime, and I'll come see you again soon...

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Bringing new meaning to "falling in love!" Love it!

Our son-in-law asked our permission and blessing--to marry our daughter. It was a very endearing conversation--unnecessary--but endearing! We had long since considered him to be part of our family--but the custom only affirmed that he was perfect for our daughter!

I love reminiscing about days gone by--thanks for sharing these memories with us. They are so dear! I'm sure they're great stories for your children as well!


Code Yellow Mom said...

So much nostalgia in this post - Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I could just feel the crispness and hear the geese...(We're not quite there yet in Virginia.)

And the skating rink brought back some great memories for me, too...But I think your engagement story is the greatest! Truly sweet. Teh microscopic flaw in the diamond is the most tender thing I have ever heard, especially in today's world where everyone has to have everything shiny and new and perfect - it gave me goosebumps.

BooMama said...

I love the fall - my birthday is in October, and every single year I think about how glad I am that it's when I was born.

And in regard to your engagement story - AWWWW. :-) So sweet. I always love to read about a little romance.

Lori said...

What a beautiful story! I also just LOVE autumn. Thanks for sharing.