Friday, September 13, 2013

The Journey - First Dates

We were just kids.

Along the path of life there are moments that change our future. We often don't recognize them as being significant, at least not until we look back. I remember one of those moments. It was the day I met a handsome young sailor named Gregory Leon. 

My brother Bruce was in the navy during the Viet Nam War and in 1969 he brought a fellow shipmate home to dinner. I was seventeen and on my way out with friends, but I managed to get myself introduced to this amazingly good-looking sailor. We chatted for only a minute or two, but that's all it took. I was hooked. That evening all I could think about was Gregory and his beautiful eyes. I wasn't interested in anything going on at the party. I just wanted to go home and spend more time with that very cool guy.

I never dated another man after that evening. Greg was it for me. He started coming to the house regularly and my family loved him. So did I. Our first date was nothing much, an evening at a drive-in movie. Greg set a standard that night that I didn't realize would be part of my life and still is. I made us a big bag of popcorn to take along. We snuggled down together in the dark and shared the movie and popcorn and then . . . he fell asleep. 

Our first date was not romantic, but that's okay because sleeping during a movie really doesn't matter. What does is the kind of man you date. And I got a good one. To his credit, Greg doesn't sleep during movies at the theater . . . unless it's really a lousy one. 

That first date was forty-four years ago and last month Greg and I celebrated our forty-second anniversary. I had no idea that the young sailor I met at seventeen would become my life partner, but I'm sure grateful we met. And even though he slept through part of our first date I cherish the memory of that night. 

Our 42nd Anniversary

Since that time, we've shared lots of dates, lived through all sorts of joys and sorrows and we have three children and seven grandchildren. We've lived life together. There will be more good days and bad days, but even if this is our last day I'm grateful for that first meeting and for all the days we've already shared. 

Do you have a first meeting or first date story? I so want to hear about it. Just click on comment (if you don't have a website or blog, just sign in as anonymous) and share your story.

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. I met my now hubby at a youth meeting at church. I was up visiting my dad and a friend took me to a youth meeting and introduced me. I loved Dale's hair! Dale was a struggling Uni student. Our dates were mainly church socials or drives in his car. We've had our ups and downs too. Shared sorrow, laughter and happiness. We married in 1998. I don't think I could be married to anyone else.

  2. What a great love story, Bonnie!

    Jon and I were in the same youth group at church. He was shy and quiet. To get his attention, I decided to go for a bit of drama. When he held the door open for me I said, "My number's in the book." He smiled and said, "So is mine."

    But. . .he called! And we've been married 36 years. Bonus - my number is now in his phone and he calls often. :)

  3. Anonymous4:43 PM

    I had known my hubby all through high school and we were friends in our youth group at church. He was dating a friend from the group. Then he joined the service and was sent to Germany and I moved out of town. He came home on leave one Christmas and I was home for Christmas holiday. We went out that night as friends but by the time he went back to Germany we knew it was much more than that and soon as he got out of the service and was home we were married. His mom told us it was about time we saw what she knew all along - that we belonged together. We had 31 wonderful years together until God called him home in 1997. Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed it.

    Ann Ellison

  4. De-Anne, how good to see you here.

    How interesting what we notice about people, especially that special guy when we meet them. You loved Dale's hair and I thought Greg had the most amazing eyes. After that, we find out who they really are and that's what matters most.

    So happy you found the right guy.

  5. Joy, I love your line. Jon couldn't miss that one.

    And congratulations on 36 years!

  6. Ann, so happy you and your hubby had so many good years. I'm so sorry he's gone now. That's the trouble with love stories, they all have a sad ending.

    But even more sad would be not having lived them at all. And then, of course, there is eternity. I can't even imagine that. Praying for God's return. Greg and I have been together so long neither one of us can imagine life without the other.

    Bless you.

  7. I never dated another man after that evening. Greg was it for me. He started coming to the house regularly and my family loved him.
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  8. Jackie VanOrt8:29 AM

    I met Tom through our sisters. They were high school girl friends and during one of their many conversation somehow it came up that neither Tom or I were dating. Tom and I had gone to the same high school but he was a grade ahead of me. We knew of each other but hadn't socialize in the same group so had never "met". Our sisters decided that they should play matchmakers. He was given my phone number and after sometime of gathering up the courage to cold call me and explain the circumstances of how ended up with my number he decided to call late one night. Our 1st call was a bit awkward, but after the long calls that had followed, we decided to go out. We dated for awhile, broke up and later reunited. Tom had drove over to my apartment unannounced. I was sitting out on my balcony reading (yes, it's true, not added for your interest Bonnie) in a less than attractive outfit - my old high school gym romper. Ugh! To describe it, it was like him riding up on a white horse and rescuing me - except in this case it was a white Chevy Mazda. I guessed if he was willing to stick around after seeing me in my getup, he definitely cared. We got married 1 1/2 years later, expanding our family with the addition of 3 wonderful children. Life hasn't always been grand, we've had our share of joys and sorrows but have weathered the storms together and have now been together 32 years.

  9. Jackie, I love your story.

    And see, breaking up doesn't mean it's over. Greg and I broke up too, only after we were married. We'd been together four years and everything fell apart. We were separated for seven months, but during that time God was working on us. I came to Christ during that time and started praying for our marriage. Two months after we were reunited Greg came to the Lord.

    I love how God works things out to our benefit. Congratulations to you on thirty-two years of marriage. Way to go!

  10. Anonymous8:45 PM

    That's such a cute story! Thanks for sharing ( :

  11. Anonymous5:10 PM

    I met my husband on a blind date. We met at Denny's for coffee. A few minutes turned into five hours, and eight months later, we were married.

  12. That's such a great story, Anonymous. Congratulations to you and your husband!