Gratitude Challenge - A Date

The phone rang Sat. night. I was surprised to hear my husband on the other end. He has been working long hours and seven days a week since our daughter's wedding. He was not scheduled to come home for a few more hours. He proceeds to tell me that he had been called into a manager's office at his sales job. My heart sped up and my tummy turned into knots. I was thinking "Here we go again. Another layoff." He asks if I would like him to come home early. Of course, but I also want him to make sales and I sure do not want any bad news.
Surprise! He was calling to see if I would like to go on a date. Who wouldn't? He had been given two free tickets to hear the Orlando Philharmonic at the Bok Tower Gardens in Central Florida. We also could stop by the Ledger News Tent to let them know we were there, and get a few refreshments. I had forty minutes to get ready. So of course, I did, and was as giddy as a teen, 20-something, or 30-something when he used to pull the same surprises! Yes, I am blessed. I am grateful too! We ran through a drive-through and got us a sandwich laughing that some things never change. After our wedding we rushed to wash our car, (the guys had got shaving cream on the paint - a big no-no to my new hubby) then we ran through a McDonald's drive-thru because we were famished. On this night though it was a different choice and our favorite mushroom burgers. We were however, hungry and rushing yet again. So how did I get off on food? Anyway, as we were turning in between two orange groves, we realized what a crowd there would be. We parked with no problems. My gallant husband unpacked the trunk piecing together my amazing pink wheelchair. Once again, this chair would allow me to enjoy the beautiful splendor of nature, music and time with my husband. He left the tippers off, tilted me and away we went over hill and dale. People smiled and were gracious. Others laughed as they climbed onto shuttles while my husband, looking quite dashing, just marched on forward. We stopped at the lovely visitor center to take a breath. I enjoyed the beautiful art exhibit that used paper collage, much of it music, painted over, creating marvelous scenes of nature. One favorite was of a child being handed a daisy. It reminded me of our daughter. Another two had butterfly scenes, and many know my love of butterflies. Time to march onward. Back I go into a tilted position. My thoughts turned to being glad I was wearing a long skirt and tights, and that I had brought a sweater. Finally, we reached the top of the hill. We looked out among the mass of people. People were on blankets, in chairs. They had tables set with wine, candles, food. I loved admiring all the beautiful picnic baskets. We stood in amazement, and a little disbelief for we had not thought to bring any of that. We were just so excited to hear great music and go on a date! We found the tent we were to stop by, said our hello's and grabed two cola's for us. I already had the sweater on, it was chilly. After trying three spots, my husband walks away and then comes back announcing, "I have the spot I want to go to." Back I go again. He informs me that he hopes he can get me through the people. Mind you, many are laying on the ground. I am wandering if the man had blood loss while pushing me up the big hill? Sure enough though he weaves me here and there, under tree canopies and Spanish moss. We come to a clearing and look South. We can see so very far. It is beautiful as the sun is starting to lower in the sky. We came to a spot with a couple a few feet behind, and one in front but for the most part this area feels nice. We are under a huge tree. I could not get over the size of the trunk. It hangs over and some Spanish moss hangs from it. It is a beautiful tree. I am imagining the stories it could tell. Tonight it would gather another. There was a bench under the tree. It was a beautiful iron bench with a bird plaque on it. Someone had donated this bench in memory of someone they loved. I felt honored that tonight it would make such a beautiful memory for our love story.
This is part one of a story, our story, that will be shared as part of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge hosted by Brenda at Garden of Learning.


Heidi said…
That sounds like such a neat evening to enjoy! So glad it worked out that the two of you could go.