That Elusive Pot of Gold
In August of 2022, I drove from Ohio to Lutz, Florida for my high school reunion. It was deemed Chamberlain’s Class of 71’s “Fifty+One” reunion. (We had to forgo the fifty-year gathering due to COVID.)
My mom came with me. She misses her Florida friends, so a few days before the reunion, we drove to Dunnellon to visit with her lifelong friend, Mary.
On our way back to Lutz, the weather was rainy. The traffic on US Hwy 41 was crazy. We forged ahead but when I saw a sign pointing to I-75 I decided to take that alternate route and avoid all of the traffic on US 41 and the construction we knew existed just north of the Lake House where we were staying in Lutz.
I couldn’t help but take pictures. The route was beautiful with a lake on one side, near the highway and lush greenery everywhere. But what made it photo worthy was the rainbow stretching over the highway like a colorful frame.
I managed to capture several shots on my phone without causing a wreck. We followed the highway to the interstate and made our way south.
The day before the reunion, I called Mike Tyler. Mike lived on the same road as the lake house. I had offered the Lake House as a venue for a potluck picnic on Sunday, the day after the reunion. Mike had offered to help me with the picnic. I hadn’t seen the man in years. We talked and made a plan. He offered to drive me to the reunion as well. I accepted.
The CHS Class Reunion was filled with laughter, good food, dancing, and great conversations. Mike and I now recognize that evening as our first date.
The picnic the next day was perfect. The icing on the cake? That came Monday morning when Mike came back to the Lake House to pick up his grills before I headed back to Ohio. He loaded the grills in his truck, turned to say good-bye, and…he kissed me.
Ours was a long distance relationship with him making several trips to Ohio. I already had a month long stay planned for Florida in February. Mike and I texted and talked every day. We started talking about marriage. We planned a wedding for April 2023 and started looking at where we would live.
We decided to keep the Ohio house and find a home of our own in Florida. We agreed to move north of the Tampa Bay area. With our realtor, Jake Yates, we toured several houses. Finally, well out of the region we had been searching, Mike’s sister found a house on-line that held promise.
Mike toured it with our realtor. Jake walked through with his video camera for me. We made an offer and purchased our home, closing on the deal a few weeks after our wedding.
It is perfect for us. We love the town of Inverness. We love the house. We love the location. And it’s on a lake. It fits us.
Our home feels like a gift.
Maybe it is. You see… that picture I took on Highway 44 a year ago? That’s the road I now travel to the grocery store. It’s the route we take to go to church. And that beautiful lake I spoke of as I crossed it in 2022? That’s the lake where we now live.
Our home? Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
If you missed links about "Our Story" I've listed a few posts here you will want to read.