This past Friday I drove to Coshocton, OH to reunite once again with Taylor friends. The occasion for our gathering among the green rolling hills of Amish country for the weekend was the wedding of my friend (and blogging buddy) Heather to her soul mate, Clay. They have an awesome love story that involves a conference in Austin, a bulletin board, a bridge, a concert, and a conversation about music and love and life that's still going today (at this moment, somewhere in Belize). You can read about it here.
Although having a boyfriend now generally affords me the pleasure of having a date with whom to attend weddings (and if you read this blog you know I attend a lot of weddings!), Travis was unable to accompany me to this one. He left Chicago back on July 18th to spend a week climbing 7 of Colorado's 14ers with a friend, and then several more days at a teachers conference in Denver. The conference ran through Friday and he wasn't set to arrive back in Chicago until very late that night. So, as I drove across Indiana and Ohio early Friday morning I was missing him like crazy after not seeing him for two weeks. While I was excited to spend the weekend with my friends--sharing stories over the rehearsal dinner, hamming it up at karaoke, bearing witness to the vows of two souls in love, and celebrating with delicious food and great friends in a beautiful setting--I was rather disappointed to not have Travis by my side to meet my friends and join in the revelry.
So, imagine my surprise when my friends and I walked into a restaurant for lunch on Saturday before the ceremony and there's Travis sitting at a table in the middle of the near empty restaurant with a huge grin on his face. (If you're having trouble imagining my surprise, the words shocked, speechless, and dumbfounded might help you out.) I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open as I moved (ran? floated? it's all a blur) across the restaurant and into his arms. Reality slowly set in (for a while all I could do was look at him and incredulously murmur, "You're here!") and over lunch my friends helped me piece together the elements of the surprise--Mike's mysterious late night "errand," hushed phone calls, strange comments, hurried moments...and more than a few blatant lies by those in the know.
Early Friday morning Travis had changed his flight to Columbus instead of Chicago and called my friends to help him get to Coshocton for the wedding. They all succeeded in keeping me completely in the dark for 24 hours. It didn't take long for Travis' exploits to become legend among the wedding guests, even those who'd never met him and up til that point didn't even know I had a boyfriend. As we milled about in the church lobby after the ceremony, people observed us with smiles and knowing looks that said, "So this is the guy..."
Yes, this is the guy.