Some Enchanted Evening Submissions
We’ve been marching to the beat of the same drummer since the day we met.
I was a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College (IN) when I decided to follow in the footsteps of my father and brothers before me and try out for the marching band at the University of Notre Dame. On the first day of band camp, Bob, a senior at Notre Dame, was assigned to teach me the necessary marching steps. I knew the minute I saw him that this was the man I was going to marry. Bob, for his part, was clueless. He was an electrical engineering major, need I say more? Anyway, although he taught me the intricate moves of the “Hike Step” completely wrong, I managed to make the band.
We became friends instantly and did everything together. I even went to the library to study with him. It must have been love! I think Bob was the only member of the band who didn’t know that I had a crush on him. Finally, in October he asked me out on a date. We were engaged a few months later and got married as soon as I graduated. Twelve years later, the beat goes on.
The summer of 1982 was swelteringly hot. I was bored and mulberry between boyfriends. My friend Karen discovered a place called the Saltari Folk Dance Emporium on Lake Street in Minneapolis and invited me to go along with her. I was good at ballet, the Highland Fling and pogo ing so I figured I’d give folk dance a shot.
The next Saturday, Karen and I scaled the alpine like steps to the second floor of an ancient building, paid our $5 admission fees, and entered the dark, cavernous ballroom. We got there early to learn some of the dance steps. A patient young man, Michael, put us at our ease, showing us the basics of how to balance and swing, bow and do si do.
The band Thistledown arrived, and much to my amazement, the ballroom filled with men sporting sandals and shorts and women in swirling skirts and soft shoes. The night became a blur of laughing and sweating, curtseying and stomping, flirting and twirling. Michael called many of the dances, occasionally jumping into the crowd to straighten out dancers that were hopelessly lost.
Finally, the band announced they would slow down and play a waltz “Margaret’s Waltz.” The lights were dimmed, and the mirrored ball came to life. The crowd divided itself into couples. Would one of the guys ask me to dance? The sweaty one with the towel in his belt? The tall skinny one who had already bruised my feet? The short one who reached only as high as my chest? Maybe I should I hide in the lobby. I was about to make my get away, when I spied Michael moving single mindedly in my direction. Other women turned towards him, but he sailed through them, straight to me. “Would you like to dance?” he asked. My knees shook and my stomach flipped but I was there for adventure, so of course I said “Yes.”
He led me out to the center of the room and the lilting music began. I am sure I stepped on his feet a thousand times, but Michael only smiled and flirted and gazed at me with his big blue eyes. Carried away by the romance of the sweeping melody, I sighed “I could fall in love with your eyes.” His eyes twinkled as he replied “They’re available.”
Michael’s big blue eyes haven’t been available since then and Thistledown played at our wedding.
Catherine Leimbach, St. Paul, MN
Halleluiah! Rockford, Illinois’ Lutheran Chora mulberry l Union has been presenting Handel’s Messiah over Thanksgiving weekend for over 100 years. Twenty four years ago I decided I needed to participate once again after an absence of over 10 years. During that 10 year absence, I misplaced my copy of the score. At the first practice the director said that anyone needing a copy could get one to use after the rehearsal. So, after the rehearsal I made my way to the front through the approximately 100 participants hoping to get a copy to use. As I’m standing in line I hear a deep voice behind me say “Need a book, Lady?” I turned around and there was this tall (6’5″) Sean Connery look a like. Well, I got more than a book. We were married the following June. He told me later what attracted him were my hands. That’s a new line!
In 1983 I landed a job as a costumed tour guide at Historic Fort Snelling by exaggerating my skills at sewing, candle making, and hearthside cooking. At the first training session, I laid eyes on Dennis Twiss, an extremely handsome fellow who often played the role of “Sergeant” at the old fort. For about half of the summer I had the feeling I’d met this blue eyed man before, maybe in a dream. Then one day he gave me a ride home from work and happened to see a photo of my dear high school friends, Toni and Delany. “I know them,” he said. “You don’t! How do you know them?” I replied in shock. He explained he knew Toni’s college roommate, Kim, who also worked at Fort Snelling for several summers. The wheels in my head finally clicked I’d met him at Toni’s wedding. Then the wheels in my heart began to turn, and I fell in love with the man I’d thought I’d met in a dream. We’ve been married since 1991, and are living happily ever after in Worthington with our two daughters, Shannon and Katie.
Dave and I met in June of 2001 through our love of bicycling, but it was truly fate that brought us together. First some history. My husband of 23 years died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1994. He owned a bicycle shop. I liquidated the inventory and moved on with my life. Eventually I went back to school to get my teaching degree. After I graduated from Moorhead State in 2000, my brother and I embarked on a cross country bicycle ride. No I didn’t meet Dave there. Hang on.
I got a job teaching adult education classes in Frazee Minnesota and was interviewed by the local editor about my classes. We started talking about bikes and he shared with me that he had interviewed a guy a few months earlier who had done a lot of cycling. So I went out on a limb and got his name and number and called Dave. We got together for a bike ride and lunch and had a great time.
Now for the fate part. After our lunch we were saying good bye and talking and I shared with Dave that I had recognized his name from the local Cal Miller [named after my husband] bike race that I am in charge of. He got a funny look on his face and said, “I don’t know if you remember from another time or not, but when you had your husband’s liquidation sale at the bike shop, I’m the one who bought most of your husband’s bike tools.”
Well I had not remembered this, but I had remembered keeping a journal throughout that time. I dug out the journal and sure enough I had an entry for that day. These were my thoughts:
“Someone is going through Cal’s tools. This is so very hard, but I know it must be.”
Then I wrote: “He seems like a nice guy.”
Seven years later we got together and we have been together ever since. Another ironic twist with his purchase of those tools is that Dave was not even living in the area at the time. He was a pilot and was home on a layover, visiting his family when he saw the small liquidation ad in a newspaper.
So naturally I am grateful for newspapers and also to God for this wonderful sequence of events. Dave and I have been on some long bike rides and are planning many more. As a 6th grader I never had such philosophical thoughts. But looking back it is fun to see how life fits so many things together.
My girlfriend, Karla and I were walking home from school after a day of rainstorms, trying to avoid the mud puddles. We were carrying our band instruments and our homework, talking as we walked. We were in the 6th grade and did not pay much attention to “boys” especially anyone in high school. We did not notice a car coming down the street from the high school, so we were not prepared when the car aimed right for a huge mud puddle in the street near us, drenching us with muddy water. We did get a glimpse of the 2 teenage boys, but didn’t know who they were.
Fast forward about 12 years. I had completed college and was working as a nurse in Rochester. I was the leader of the singles group for church and was taking the group canoeing down the Root River. As we were getting organized for the day trip we noticed other groups camping in the area. I saw the familiar face of a guy who had graduated from my same school in Chatfield. He was older than me, so I didn’t know him very well. I did know his name was Scott. He was wading in the water near my canoe so I visited with him a bit. He had just gotten out of the Navy and was teasing me about my job as a nurse making “big money.” He asked if I wanted to go out for supper, my treat of course. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to treat a veteran!
We dated for a few years, often double dating with a married couple, Karla and Lee, who was mutual friends of ours. Karla had always been my best friend, and Lee was Scott’s best friend. Eventually we married. After being together for many years, mulberry telling stories about our various childhood schemes, we discovered that Scott and Lee had been the two wild teenage boys who once drove through the mud puddle, drenching these two middle school girls. Little did they know at the time that these mud soaked girls would one day be their wives.
In 1984 I was a junior at Ohio State University. I had never been able to afford the annual trek to South Florida. However it was a particularly rough term at school, so I decided to spend what money I had to make this trip.
I joined a group of guys for the 18 hour drive to Daytona Beach. It was a classic spring break party: the six of us stayed in a 2 bed hotel room and ate one meal a day. Most of the time was spent at the pool or the beach trying to impress the visiting coeds.
Three days into the trip I found a couple of my friends with a group of women from Minnesota. I was instantly smitten with one of the women. Lisa was beautiful, bright, and had one strange accent (at least to someone from Ohio). The only way to know she felt the same was to use my best, and only, move, I asked if she would put suntan lotion on my back. When she agreed I knew the deal was done, hurrah!
Nin mulberry e years and four months after first meeting we were married. One spring break romance actually lasted.