A post about life…everyone loves a love story…
Once upon a time there was a little girl who rode the bus to school in Minnesota. There was a stop in front of the small horse ranch on her road where they would get this boy who always had muddy boots. She didn’t talk to the muddy boot boy very often but listened to his stories of his family and horses.
After 6th grade she moved to Maryland and didnt really keep in contact with friends from that part of her childhood since long distance calls were still expensive in those days. One rare exception was a call with a friend about the time they all graduated from High School and the girl learned of the plans made by her old friends. “John Ziegler went to the Air Force Academy” which stuck in the ears of the girl since her dad had gone there…she didn’t expect that the boy with the muddy boots would have made such a leap but was glad for him.
A few years later, she went to a football game for the hometown Naval Academy and heard a familiar name mentioned by the game announcer… “that was Ziegler on the tackle for Air Force” Ziegler? Muddy boots Ziegler? The printed program revealed that the muddy boots boy had grown into quite a gentleman and the young girl lost no time in passing a note to him via a Major on the sidelines of the visiting team. He didnt think much of the note until he returned to Colorado and learned the note had come from a girl who used to live in his home town. Letters and calls followed for a while.
Their brief time of long-distance dating ended when the distance became a burden and lives went in separate directions. He married and lived on the Isle of Crete for a time; a daughter enriched his life. The girl married a Naval Academy fellow; babies, moves and even a grand baby followed after his retirement. It was a life of love and devotion cut short by unexpected death that left in its wake such a sadness. The girl (a grown woman by now) steeled herself to finish raising her children alone in the suburbs south of Washington DC.
Her father was scared of the crazy people she might meet online and racked his brain to think of nice people she could meet instead…the only person he could think of was that nice football player from his Alma Mater.
The alumni magazine listed a child next to his name but no wife…he was now a Colonel and lived in the suburbs south of Washington DC. Internet stalking skills that were not well developed in the 70something great grand father but did result in an awkward call to the Colonel asking him of his status. “Are you married? Do you remember my daughter?” The Col was single and had been for quite some time. He wasted no time in calling her…she was shocked but pleased to hear his voice…38 years after first hearing it on the school bus. 1000 miles from where they met, they found each other 35 miles apart on streets with the same name.
The girl from the bus became the cutest widowed grandmother that the Colonel had ever seen. He no longer had muddy boots or wore his football helmet – both having been replaced by a “Special Agent” badge and a full career. The Colonel formally asked the father permission to date his daughter (maybe a first for a grandmother). So when you ask me where I met my beau, you wont hear “Match.com” but rather a story of a (cold) school bus in Minnesota.
I broke my arm soon after we started dating. I had to have surgery on the bone and the Colonel sat in the Recovery Room for me for 4 hours…he got me my medicine and didn’t get mad when I threw up in his Lexus.
I wrote our 6th grade teacher once I realized that we had both been at her wedding..was there a photo with both of us in it? A picture of the whole class arrived in my mailbox a few weeks later. He is the taller boy with the quilt pattern western shirt on…Im the short girl in the pigtails acting silly in the front. (If his memory is correct, he gave the teacher live chickens as a wedding gift. That sounds like something people would do in 1876 rather than 1976 but I think its cute.)
Here is us 37 years later
UPDATE: In Sept of 2013, we went to Turkey which included an excursion to Ephesus. We went to the house where St. John made a home for Mary after Jesus ascended to Heaven…in that stone house, my dear one proposed. I was so shocked I literally stumbled around in a stupor for the rest of the day.
After we got engaged, we got on a yacht and sailed the Aegean Sea for 7 days (4 couples joined together to charter the yacht and there was a cook which was a good idea if you knew me and my incapacity to cook even in a fully equipped land based kitchen, let alone on a boat)
If you are thinking “wow this is getting good”, you are right.
In July of 2015, we married at the Cadet Chapel of the US Air Force Academy..the service was performed by a pastor who knew well his late father.
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