Friday, November 25, 2011
The Adventure Continues
In 1966, I was 18 yrs old and on my way to college. The last thing my parents told me was, “Do not get involved with those Mennonite liberal girls." During Freshman orientation students went to a Professor's home for social interaction Sunday afternoon before classes started. My roommate and I signed up for this event as well as Alice and her roommate. I was attracted to Alice even though she was not as conservative as the girls from my church. We played the game “Booby Trap,” and I sometimes gave her hints on which piece to remove. After eating pizza we got up to leave. Alice was impressed when I opened the door and waited for them to file through. She was quite happy when her roommate and my roommate went first and it just seemed natural for me to walk her back to campus. We talked quite a bit and decided to meet after evening church so I could teach her how to play table tennis. After church Alice got this scary feeling, “What if I don't recognize that guy?” Oh, well, she thought, “I'll go with the guy who is carrying a table tennis paddle.” Yes, we found each other and went to the Student Center, but it was locked. We sat on the steps and did a lot of talking. By the time the evening was over, we felt like we had known each other for years.
On Monday we went to English class together. Alice and I met after classes on Tuesday and walked up to the top of a grassy hill on campus to chat. By that evening I realized what was happening. I had fallen in love with a girl who I was sure my parents would think was too liberal. I told her that my parents would not be pleased if we continued our relationship. On the way down to her dorm we held hands as we walked. As we neared the dorm she squeezed my hand tighter and tighter. By this time she was in tears and said, “You mean you are going to marry someone you don't love because of your parents?” Of course, knowing how much I respected my parents' wishes was just another good reason why she respected me.
Alice went to her room, she and her roommate spent most of the night crying and praying. I was sad and perplexed but went to sleep. After consulting with the Campus Pastor on Wednesday, I decided to discuss my relationship with Alice. We actually talked until dorm time about our lives, future, and beliefs. We decided to continue our discussion Thursday evening after dinner. That evening I decided that she would make a good wife and that her beliefs weren't much different from mine. Therefore before leaving the dorm lounge, I asked her if she would marry me!! She said she would be glad to marry me.
Here we were two 18 yr-olds, making a decision that would affect the rest of our lives.
Alice went into LPN Nurses training for a year and continued to work at the same hospital. I spent two more years at the college and that summer after 1000 days of courtship we were married on June 14, 1969.
We have hiked the Grand Canyon three times and the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs. We have hiked to Poon Hill near the Annapurna Range near Pokhara, Nepal, and trekked in India near Darjeeling. We also hiked a volcano near Lake Batur in Bali, Indonesia.
I'm not sure I would recommend such a start for today's 18-year-olds! I guess love is blind, but the neighbors ain't! My Mom had said it was “puppy love!” We may have been infatuated but no matter how it started it has surely moved into a more mature love. Here we are 42 years later, happily married, living in Bangladesh. God has blessed us with two sons, three grandsons, a daughter-in-law, health, joy and peace, and we hope for many more adventuresome years together.