How We Met
Hank and I met when we were 10 years old. His dad was coast guard and stationed in Mobile, Alabama… my hometown. Hank’s mother is an animal lover (we have this in common) and put her three boys in riding lessons. Luckily, it was the same place I was riding. Hank and I immediately hit it off and were the best of friends. We spent as many weekends together as possible during the school year and the entire summer together before he moved. I am a very competitive person, but with Hank everything was different.
We competed against each other at horse shows and I was always so happy for him when he beat me! We really did love one another from the start. Hank and his family got new orders and sadly had to move to Alaska. We never lost track of each other though and were pen pals with occasional phone conversations for years. When Facebook came around, we would keep in touch using that and would always play around with the idea of meeting up if/when we were ever nearby.
He went to the United States Merchant Marine Academy while I went to Auburn University, so sadly we didn’t have much opportunity to meet up. We finally had our stars align and were able to reconnect in Seattle, Washington where he had been living after college. I had began my doctoral studies so I had time to travel before starting my dissertation. That week in Washington was the best week of my life and we knew immediately we were meant to be together. Our families may have been more excited than us, haha! Life has been perfect ever since.
How They Asked
Flash forward to last summer and we’re on our 2nd family lake vacation, this time our siblings were able to join.. the summer before was just us and our parents. Being that our families don’t get to hang out often (we all live pretty far apart), we wanted to be sure to bring them to our favorite lake restaurant. Hank and I had a weekend ritual of fishing and then grabbing lunch at Kowaliga Restaurant. Hank and I drove his boat to eliminate having to drive so many cars, so we fished for a bit before heading over. Little did I know, it didn’t take THAT long to drive by car to the restaurant, Hank was just making sure they had a seat on the deck. As I was tying the back of the boat off, he “corrected” my knot (it didn’t need it) and then pulled out the most beautiful ring he designed for me and asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed with happiness because not only did my best friend of 18 years want to share his life with me, he also made sure the ones we love most had a front row seat to the most perfect and special sunset I have ever had on our boat. His 10-year-old self was a little off on the timeline, but here we are now, getting married and living on one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country! Life is perfect.