It's not our anniversary...

But I do have a story to tell. I just wanted to get this somewhere, so one day Sarah Jane would be able to read it. I don't want to lose any of the details.

It was the Summer or 2002. I was right out of High school... and looking forward to a fun-filled summer at Camp Wiregrass. I had been twice already that summer, and didn't really need to go back b/c I needed to be working.. but when camp calls, you go! Or at least I do anyway. It was July 14th, 2002... I was just getting all settled in. Things are always crazy the first day of camp. There were 200 5th and 6th graders running around, and 30 other counselors and myself thrown into that mix. There were beds to be made, friends to be met, old friends to catch up with -- not to mention activities that needed to be planned and carried through. I had my game face on and I was ready to get to work. I had no idea what the week held.

REWIND FIVE YEARS to the summer of 7th grade. That is when George and I first met. It was at a youth function at a church here in Albany. I had no idea then that I would end up in Albany one day. Dana, who was the wife of the youth minister that had been at our church and was now at George's church here in Albany, called me before the weekend and told me that George was so cute and that I was going to really like him. Well, when I saw him... I was like WHAT?? He was some punk rock kid that was more concerned with looking cool while carrying around his guitar case than he was with anything else. Of Course, he was a sophomore in high school at the time... and what else would you expect?

From then on I would see George from time to time at various youth group things... but I never really paid him any more attention than that. I might occasionally wave or say hi... but nothing more than that.

BACK TO SUMMER 2002... George was in the office when I first got to camp. He was surrounded by a possie of girls, so I didn't really even try to say hi to him the first day. I figured he was covered. I went on about my business saying hi to friends and getting all my campers settled in. There was alot to do. The next day I realized that George was kind of a loner, he didn't have many people there to talk to. Most of us there had been there oever summer cince we were kids... He was just there hanging out with the kids that he brought from his church. I tried to say hi to him just to get him to hang out with the rest of the counselors... but couldn't manage to get anything from him but the I'm-too-cool-to-say-hi-so-I-will-acknowledge-that-you-spoke-to-me-by-lifting-my-chin-in-your-direction head nod. After a few of those head nods I was done trying to reach out. This was on a Tuesday afternoon. Well... that Wednesday, George was in the office again. Due to the extreme heat of the Dead Summer at Camp Wiregrass counselors escape to the office as much as possible. So there we were, probably about 7-8 of us all just talking about life. Somehow the conversation turned to what we were looking for in the opposite sex... I don't remember anything that anyone really said. I don't even remember what I said. But George started his answer with... she has to like Widespread Panic. After that I kinda tuned out. I didn't even know who that was... and I was pretty fed up with him anyway. Well, then the bell rings for lunch. We get to the chow hall to eat lunch. I was just sitting there with my team when all of a sudden someone walks up and puts a big slop of Banana Pudding on my face. Nice. Thanks.

It was George.

SO, not to be outdone... I returned the favor with a big handful (about twice as much as he had given me) right onto his cheek/ear. We laughed, but didn't really say anything to each other after that for the rest of the day. That night we were in chapel and I was sitting beside my bestie from camp, Michelle, and an entire full row of campers. We were just getting settled when George walked up to me and pointed in between me and Michelle (where there was NO space) and said I need to sit here. SO, since we WERE on the very front row and I was thinking that he had to lead a prayer or something, I made a few kids move so he could sit there. When he sat down, he didn't say anything... I was talking to the little camper beside me and I hear this... "whoa, you have really muscular legs" --- I was like, um, thanks. What a charmer. But that was it. I left it at that. Chapel came and went and he walked with us up to the pavilion for snack-time and games... he then walked with us the entire hike. On the hike we talked non-stop the whole time. Who knows what about, but we were talking. It's a step up from the head-nod, I figured. That night we spent the WHOLE night talking in the gazebo and the next night too... We seriously heard people's alarms going off and decided it was time to get to our cabins.

From there, the rest is history.

We were engaged 3 months later. Married three months after that in January. We found out that Sarah Jane was coming 3 months after that. We moved into a cool new duplex 3 months after that. And in December Sarah Jane was born. That October we bought our first house. and Since then, Our life has never exactly been smooth... we have had more ups and downs than most, but we love each other more than I thought possible. This father's day I am so thankful for the man that I married and the father that he is.

I guess all those years ago, Dana knew what she was talking about.

Camp Wiregrass Banquet, 2002

Beach Trip, Summer 2009


The Tri Runner said...

Yep, that is pretty much how it went. I love you babe!

Tony and Susan said...

i think i may have been at wiregrass session for the 2002 summer of love :). so glad you guys fought hard for your family! i love following your blog and facebook! thanks for being an inspiration!

Dan Denardo said...

This is the third time I've attempted to read this post. I'm on a terrible connection that wouldn't let it happen, until now. I'm glad I was persistent, because it's a great story. I don't know you guys well, but what I know is that your are well grounded in your Faith and you can't beat that. It was even apparent in the early days when you met. Keep up the good work. My hat's off to you.