Some nights I want to watch a beautiful love story, but other nights I want to write one. Tonight I want to continue writing about my own love story.
When I finally fell for the counselor, I fell fast; like I didn’t see the freight train coming down the tracks until it was right in front of me.
How could I have not recognized him? We were friends for four months, o.k. friends where one of them was continually asking the other one out. Honestly, I thought he was so sincere and kind (certainly not my type though) that I always let him down gently. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
That first kiss brought me to my knees (you can read about that here). Never had I felt so hopelessly in love. I was slaphappy. We went on a walk that night and I kept jumping up on the curb, so I would be closer to his lips. Walk four steps forward, stop and kiss. Walk another dozen steps, stop and kiss. By the time we finished a ¼ mile walk, we had stopped 57 times to kiss. I didn’t know the time, the date, heck I don’t think I even remembered my name. All I knew is I was falling for a love I never saw coming. I kept thinking “So . . . this is how it happens.”
One thing I loved about dating the counselor is I knew at all times how he felt about me. I had poetry, flowers, even once an advertisement in the newspaper all proclaiming his love for me. In addition, he was always one step ahead of my fast-working mind; planning brunch so I could meet his parents, offering to pick me up for church, holding my hand when he attended a production I put on at ASU. One night we volunteered at the hospital and while alone in the elevator, he took me in his strong arms and told me how much he missed me during the day. Never had I been the apple of someone’s eye, never had I felt like such a princess. All I knew is I was the luckiest girl in the world to have the attention of a 6’5 counselor.
(I bought him that hat and still apologize to him that I ever bought him that hat)
One evening, I invited him to my parent’s house and we made cookies. Coming from a strong Mormon family, I pulled out the 25 pound bucket of whole wheat flour. He started mixing and I started pouring. I have seven younger brothers and sisters, so of course we had plenty of help. We needed a cup of brown sugar, but the ingredient was no where to be found. “Look in the food storage,” my mom suggested. I pulled out a 25 pound bucket of the hardest most crystallized brown sugar I’ve ever seen. It could have been used as an anchor on a shipping vessel in a hurricane. With a butcher knife in hand, I chipped away at the brown sugar, wiping the sweat off my brow, for over 10 minutes until finally; I produced a cup of crumbled brown sugar for our cookies. My mom still teases me today that “if pounding away with a butcher knife didn’t scare him off, then nothing will.”
This was the day before cell phones, so phone calls with the counselor were only available in the evening when I returned home to my apartment. I always looked forward to hearing his voice. His tone carried a strong amount of patience and gentleness, like I was the only person in the world that mattered to him. To this day, his voice offers a calm and peace I can’t quite explain, but it continues to nurture me.
One afternoon after my nanny job, I parked in
to hike , something I did
several times a week. While climbing to
the top of that mountain, I thought of him.
How he treated me, how he looked at me, our circumstances of meeting,
his conversion to the Mormon Church (just 4 months before we met), his sweet
kisses, his long legs and how he carried himself. Yes, I was smitten and couldn’t wait to see
him again. At the top of the mountain, I
prayed, thanking God for this amazing person in my life and then started my way
down. After climbing down large boulders,
I started running. Running down the
remainder of the mountain was something I loved. It reminded me of being a little girl. I could feel my ponytail bouncing on my back
and if I allowed myself, I moved faster and faster with each step. I was very focused on this run, as I didn’t
want to slip, fall off a clip or bump into another hiker. The last part of the trail has wide lumber
steps and with a bit of concentration, I could skip a step and take them by
twos. I felt so strong and healthy and
my heart was singing the song of love when I looked up. Just ahead of me, under a gazebo near the
parking lot was a vision. Camelback
It was a 6’5 man with long legs and hippie brown curly hair. And he was looking right at me.
I gasped. His presence took my breath away. I blushed and found it ironic, to be thinking of the counselor the entire hike and then to have a vision of him. I blinked, thinking he would disappear when I realized he was really standing in front of me.
My love was waiting for me at the bottom of the mountain.
“I wanted to surprise you,” he said with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.
And then we kissed every few steps back to my car. After a short while, we said good bye and kissed, then I turned off my car and leaped back into his arms for another kiss. But the kissing had to stop. We were both scheduled to be somewhere that evening. The counselor, the most patient man I know, was teaching an anger-management class to men who had just been released from jail. I, on the other hand, had an advanced public speaking class, but mind you, I was not paying attention to any of the lecture that night. I opened my notebook and in fancy cursive letters wrote Mrs. Laura Lofgreen. Mrs. Laura L. Lofgreen, Mrs. Lofgreen, and so on.