"Home of the Fighting Deer"
Once upon a time two teenagers walked the halls of the same high school, yet somehow never crossed paths. For four years! Not one single time! Despite mutual friends... despite rooting for the same teams, sitting in the same bleachers, eating in the same cafeteria... this gorgeous blonde and hunky redhead never once noticed each other.
We'll just skim through all of these chapters... college, young love, marriage, children, heartbreak, divorce, friendships, careers, fulfillment... well, fulfillment except for the empty spots in these two kids' hearts and their secret, but dim, hopes that the empty spots would be filled some day. Over and above it all, though, they held on to faith and acceptance of God's will for their lives.
"Slow Harley Ride 2009"
A group of guys, friends since the days of Chapter 1, set out on their Harleys (and one Yamaha) for the sixth annual Slow Ride Tour.
The Route Master, Larry, bent the rules (All Guys!) by planning a detour for lunch at our house (Tom's yummy hamburgers.) Larry and I reconnected a couple of years before and, along with Darla and Leslie, started up the Central Texas Deer Parkers gang. We used any excuse to get together, trying to make up for lost time.
Little did anyone realize at the time, but Larry had an ulterior motive: his friend RT, who still lived in Deer Park, was a great guy and needed a woman; his friend Darla was a great girl and needed a man. Larry thought if he could just get them together, fireworks would explode and everyone would live happily ever after.
It turns out, Larry was right. It didn't happen as quickly as he thought - these two had been through enough and were smart enough not to just jump right in to anything. But they were also smart enough not to ignore their hearts when they realized they'd found the piece that was missing.
(First encounter... in MY kitchen! Darla's the pretty blonde and Roy's the hunk staying near her. Matchmaker Larry is in front wearing the 'do-rag'... Leslie and Clive are waiting in line. Tom was probably out at the grill...)
(The Slow Riders saying goodbye... notice Darla and Roy have already connected...)
One year and a week or so after that fateful encounter in my kitchen, friends and family settled into chairs on a hillside terrace overlooking Lake Travis, willing to endure the hot Texas afternoon sun to witness Roy and Darla joining their lives. Humming fans drowned out the preacher's words, but the expressions on Darla and Roy's faces made words unnecessary...
This was a love from heaven, indeed...
P.S. I hope this little story convinced all you folks who think you have nothing in common with those people you never talked to in high school to show up at your next reunion... I can tell you from experience, if you don't, you're missing out on beautiful friendships...