44: Neither Rain Nor Snow

44: Neither Rain Nor Snow

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

Neither Rain Nor Snow

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.

~Jean de La Fontaine

Darryl and I met one summer between college semesters, when we both had summer jobs in Colorado. In his spare time, Darryl was building a tree house in the woods. I knew then he was my kind of guy. His dog accompanied us on our first date… a hike. She ate the cherries that we picked from a sunlit orchard, and spit out the pits! I was impressed.

We dated just four weeks. Then I left for a semester in Europe and Darryl returned to graduate school in another state. We married less than five months from the day we met. We’d never seen each other without a suntan, or with a runny nose. We had two cars, but no bed. For Valentine’s Day, Darryl bought me red knee socks and a kitchen sink trap. I baked him crunchy granola.

We scraped, painted and papered our first tiny house. We camped in the mountains, fished at the beach, planted a vegetable garden, raised two geese, provided a foster home for pound puppies until they were old enough to be adopted, and bottle-fed an orphaned raccoon.

We made four beautiful babies, enjoyed ice cream cones and some great laughs in three dozen states and five countries, started two businesses, won a jitterbug contest and bought land and built a cabin in a remote mountain valley. We held hands at funerals for his mom, both our dads and my grandmother, and prayed for our children in waiting rooms in four different hospitals.

We’ve been a team now for thirty-four years. Darryl’s still my sunshine. I’m his old flame. He’s my one. I’m his only. And we thank God for what we’ve shared with each other.

But things could have turned out much differently… because when Darryl asked me to move to California when I got back from Europe so we could be together, I mailed him a letter telling him all the practical and sensible reasons why I could not — like how a friend was counting on me as a roommate, that I didn’t even own a car and how I couldn’t possibly pay out-of-state tuition to continue my college education in California.

When he called, I stalled by saying, “Just wait until you get my letter; it will explain.” But being practical and sensible on paper was one thing and SAYING the words I had so painstakingly written to the guy my heart yearned for was another. While waiting for him to receive that eminently reasonable and responsible letter, my heart won over my mind.

We’d been married two months when the weary, bedraggled envelope in which I’d sent that letter finally arrived. The envelope was empty. A handwritten note by an unidentified postal clerk explained that it had only recently been discovered, in its woebegone condition, in the bottom of a bin at a faraway post office.

 

~Lynn Worley Kuntz

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