Mike and Me
Have you ever looked at a photo at a person's house and wondered at all the details surrounding it? I thought I'd find a random picture at our home and attempt to explain the story behind it.
Mike proposed to me on June 16, 1998. It was the summer before my senior year in college and Mike had just recently graduated and started his first professional job. After telling everyone the good news, we quickly called my home church and booked June 4th of the following summer for our wedding. The rest of that summer was a blur of trying on dresses, finding a reception site and taste testing wedding cakes. In the middle of all of the fun wedding activities, Mike's parents called and said they would like to throw us an engagement party at their home in New Jersey at the end of August, just before school started back for me. I was thrilled! The party they threw was amazing. So many of their close friends attended to celebrate with us and many of them were incredibly generous to us. Mike's mom outdid herself decorating the home and had prepared food galore. It was a fantastic night that I will always remember fondly.
A few days later, Mike's parents said they would like to have a "date" with us before we headed back to Oklahoma. The engagement party was wonderful, but it was a busy night, and they wanted to have an evening that was more laid back so we could spend some quality time together. At the time, Mike's parents owned a boat. It was a long speed boat, also called a "cigarette boat." Mike's mom packed a wonderful picnic dinner, and the four of us headed out in the late summer afternoon to take the boat for a ride around Manhattan Island. That night is one of a handful etched perfectly in my mind. I remember the salty smell of the water. The chill of the wind whipping through my hair. I remember the sensation of flying over the water, hitting a few wakes along the way and bobbing up and down. We sped around the island, stopping here and there as Mike's dad pointed out the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and many other iconic landmarks. The sun started to fade and reflect off the skyscrapers rising high above us, and the bright lights of New York City started to twinkle in the purple evening light. We "parked" the boat just off of Liberty Island where Lady Liberty herself towered over us. It was there, with the gentle sound of waves lapping the side of the boat, that we sat and ate our picnic dinner and chatted about the upcoming wedding. We stayed until it was dark, then headed back to New Jersey. All the way back I kept turning around to see the lights of The Big Apple getting smaller behind me. I was so excited for the future, about marrying Mike, finishing school, and whatever adventures were still to come. And what a fun adventure it has been! The picture above was taken on this wonderful night. I love that you can see the Twin Towers standing tall in the background.
So now, in the words of Paul Harvey, you know the rest of the story. :)