Brian and I knew each other for 10 years when he proposed. I was 22, he was 24.
One night at dinner he told me to take off work in a few weeks to go to Knoxville for a track and cross country alumni get-together. But, he had this look when he said it and I KNEW!
The next weekend I visited my friend Kyra and I told her- I think he's going to propose. We even went to a dress shop for fun and when we walked in they asked, "which one is the bride to be?" and we both laughed. I felt like it might be bad luck to look at dresses, but what the heck?
Anyway, we drove to Knoxville in a horrible storm and argued the whole way there. We were both really really nervous but couldn't tell the other one, and the stormy weather made driving stressful. We were both keeping it a secret and couldn't tell the other, so tensions were high. Then, Brian planned a hike for us at the Chimneys in the Smokey Mountains. Well, guess what-that rain followed us to Knoxville and it was raining and cold the day of the hike. Still, we made the drive to the trail and were told that the top of the Chimneys was closed to hikers because of rain on the rocks.
Brian didn't let that stop him. We put on our rain gear and made the hike in the rain. Had I not had a hunch, I would have protested, but away we went! We made it about a mile and Brian found a little cove-his backup plan was to stop at a spot where a huge rock sits in the middle of the stream coming down the mountain. This would have been beautiful-had the rain not been so heavy that the stream flooded the rock. So, he just went for it in that little cove off the trail. We had a little canopy of trees over us and it was very private and serene.
He got down to pull out his "water" from his backpack, but turned around with a ring box. He immediately said, "will you marry me?" I of course said "yes," and even though I knew it was coming, was still in shock. He had packed a bottle of champagne and we toasted right there on the trail-in the pouring down rain.
I loved the way this worked because it wasn't perfect and dreamy. My hair was soaked, it was dark and stormy, I could barely get a good look at the ring, and things just didn't go as planned. But, isn't that marriage? It can get stormy, difficult to see at times, and yet you still love one another and push through. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
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