A lonely soul finds his mate By the Sea.
" Hmmm, at least I like Mrs Matthews' sense of humor.
"Oh, ten days, well that makes all the difference in the world! And sure, I'd love to come. This has got to be the highlight of my week! How do I get there?"
"It's simple. Just take highway 11, make a left on Old Post Road, and you'll see a red barn about three miles down on the left hand side. Our driveway is just past the barn, and there's a sign which says 'Matthews Farm.' You'll see the house as soon as you turn in."
"Is there anything I need to bring?"
"No, we've got plenty here, just bring yourself, and Mark's sisters if they're at home."
"No, it's just me right now. I guess that I'll see you in a bit. Bye, now."
Oh, my God, what has my son gotten himself into? And where did I put the camera?
Oh, there's one more thing I need to take.
I never thought that anything could beat the feeling of waking up with Jennifer in my arms, but when I asked her to marry me, and she said 'yes,' yup, that topped Friday morning, just left it in the dust. Now, holy crap, I've got to figure out how we're going to do this.
I knew that Mr Matthews was going to be fine with this, given that he was the one who told me that real men don't beat around the bush on these things. Heck, I was a lot more worried about meeting Mr Matthews than Jen's mom, but that all changed, and I had to worry about Mrs Matthews wanting to kill me. But I guess that Mr Matthews cleared the way for me, because when we got back to the big house, Jen just jumped in her mother's arms and they were both crying, while Mr Matthews just walked up and shook my hand. And I'm not even sure that we had told them we were officially engaged; I guess that they just knew.
Funny thing about the Matthews: they always seem to know things that they haven't really been told. How does that work?
Anyway, after Jen and her mom stopped crying and laughing and dancing around, Mrs Matthews got right back into her serious mode; she could get serious really quickly. "We're going to have a big dinner to celebrate, and Mark, the phone's in there; you need to call your mother and invite her over for dinner. Is there anything in particular that she can't eat?"
"No, everything's good as far as that goes."
So, I made the phone call, and I'm glad that mom didn't just have a heart attack. Jen was going to help her mom in the kitchen, but Mrs Matthews just shooed her out, just to give us more time together. The farmhouse has a full length front porch, facing southeast, so it gets some afternoon light but is still relatively cool for the summer. That porch has the quintessential Southern requirement, a porch swing, and that's where Jen and I wound up, sitting in the swing, hand-in-hand, with her head on my shoulder, not saying a word. It was quiet out here, with almost no traffic on the road. I could hear the cows lowing every once in a while, and the leaves in the trees when the breeze moved them, the slight creak of the porch swing chains, and Jennifer's soft breathing.
God was out here, too. I haven't been very good about attending Mass ecently, and haven't been nearly as good a Catholic as I should be, but the Lord must've forgiven me, because I know he was here, right here on this farm, watching my beautiful Jennifer and me.
And then mom turned in the driveway. I don't know how long Jen and I just sat on the porch like this; it could have been five minutes, it could have been hours. Sometimes, time just seems to stand still. Mom had this mid-sixties Oldsmobile, in kind of a washed-out metallic blue, a used car which was all that she said she could afford, but a dependable, serviceable vehicle. Jennifer and I got up to walk down to greet my mom, and about half way there, Jen just ran up to my mother and hugged her.
"Oh, Mrs Stewart, how are you? You've got the most wonderful son! I just love him to pieces!"
"It's just Jackie, and thank you.