Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Picnic

 The Picnic


It is no accident I am sharing this post the week prior to Valentine’s Day. As that day is recognized as the most romantic day of the year, it is fitting I share this story. It is the story of Mike. It is the story of sweet romance. 


Mike is my fiancĂ©e and if you read last week’s post you will understand why this man is so special to me. He is God’s answer to my prayer.


Yep, I’m getting married. When Tom died, I couldn’t imagine marrying anyone else. I’ve been a widow for over eight years. Mike’s wife died over thirty-six years ago. 


Many of us say things like “timing is everything” or “all in good time” but we live desirous of the “here and now.”


Sometimes the “here and now” takes place over a long period of time. 

Here’s the scoop:


I have known Mike for over fifty years. We went to school together and were in the same graduating class. Mike and Tom were good friends growing up. They lived in the same neighborhood and rode the same school bus. They both had horses and were part of the Bit and Bridle Club. Mike and I had many other mutual friends. We water skied at Tom’s house on weekends. As a teen I went to at least one to party at Mike’s house. Yet, in truth, we were mere acquaintances.


When our high school reunion came around last year, I decided to offer a post reunion potluck picnic at the Lake House in Florida. I made the offer on Facebook. There was quite a bit of interest.


Mike knew I lived in Ohio. Having hosted a number of events for boat shows and the like, he knew what an undertaking it could be to throw such a party. He wanted to offer his help without being too forward. In fact he wrote one Facebook message but deleted it entirely before deciding to make this offer:


Did I need help? I answered him honestly. I told him I would assess what I had when I got to the Lake House and let him know then. He sent me his phone number.


I called the day before the reunion. I had one cooler, the table situation was fair. I wasn’t sure the grill worked but I had plenty of chairs. 

We talked about the upcoming evening event, noting the Carrollwood Country Club was not in the Carrollwood neighborhood we knew as kids. 


I was at Target looking for another tablecloth and some nail polish when he called. He had made a dry run to the venue and started telling me how to get there. It sounded complicated. Somewhere in the midst of his directions, Mike offered to let me ride with him. I was in the checkout line when he finished sharing. 


“Uh, Mike, was that a bona fide offer to ride with you?”



The next morning, Mike and his son brought everything over and before long, the backyard looked ready for a party.


That evening he called for me at 5:30 on the dot. He came to the front door. My mom insisted on taking a picture of us by the lake. I was embarrassed. After all, this wasn’t a prom date or anything. He opened the door for me to his truck and we headed to the reunion. 


With comfortable conversation, good food,  dancing, and lots of laughter, we have since deemed that evening as our first date. 

Maybe my mom was onto something.


The class reunion was a success. So was the picnic. At one point I looked over at Mike grilling hamburgers and making conversation. We were a team. It wasn’t “my picnic.” We were in this together. 

Long distance dating isn't as bad as I thought. We talk on the phone multiple times a day and message quite a bit. The 936 miles between us hasn't kept us apart. His visits here have given him the opportunity to meet my family and friends. My last visit to the Lake House was for a few days after the New Year. I had already planned to spend the month of February in Florida before Mike and I became a couple.

It turns out...All in Good Time isn't what we need to say at all. It's All in God's Time. And for that I am grateful.


  1. Sweet story! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!


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