A Walmart Meeting

June 26th/2001, was a very hot muggy day.

But having decided I needed
a new lawn mower/mulcher,
that was suggested
to me by a dear email friend in California,
me and a friend of mine headed off to Walmart.
á I lived alone, here on my mountain,
and I just could not do the raking
of fall leaves anymore, for my shoulder,
even though it was operated on,
did not function well. á

á Walmart, which was a distance of twenty four miles
one way, meant I needed to have
a good idea of what I wanted.

á Having had bad experiences
with one brand of tools/equipment before,
I didn't want to deal with anything that
could possibly cause me problems.
While looking at all the selections
of mowers, I said to my friend
I do not want that "brand" of mower.
Standing nearby was this man nodding his head.
I said to him "are you agreeing with me".
He said "yes, because he bought one
only to find out he had to take it
about 70 miles to get it repaired."
áThat statement clinched my decision.

The man paid for his purchases, and left,
and I paid for my new mower. áááá

Outside we met this man again.
He was parked close
to where we were parked.
He helped my friend load the mower into
the trunk of the car, as they chatted a bit.
Then we said thankyou, and went on our way. áááááááááááááá

I said to my friend, "I love his blue eyes",
my friend said "yeah, but he is married,
he had a wedding ring on".
My reply was "I still like his blue eyes".

FOUR days later (June 30th)
I took my friend to the bus station, to return home.
My next thought was, since I am in the area,
I would go to Walmart and get oil for my new mower.
I didn't need anything else,
so it wouldn't take long.

áWhile waiting for the clerk to get me
the kind of oil I needed, lo and behold,
there stood this same man, who I met four days earlier. áá
He said hello and we talked briefly,
bidding the time of day.
á He paid for a can of wax he purchased for his vehicle
and left, and I paid for my oil.

áOut in the parking lot, the man was standing
by his truck, which happened to be parked
very close to my car.
We talked for quite awhile,
in the hot June sun.
We got to know a bit about each other.
For instance, how my ex-husband
left me for someone in chatroom,
in 1999, after 24 years of marriage, and how his wife
left him a few months before we met,
in January, 2001, for someone on the internet, after
34 years of marriage. But this was something
she planned to do in the previous year.
This was our first, something in-common link.

You know how you get these inspirational
feelings deep inside. Gut feelings some
people would call them. Well I got the deepest
feeling about this man, and for the first
time ever, I invited a stranger to my home.
It made my heart pound when I asked him
if he would like to follow me up to the mountains,
and see where I lived.
He thought about it and then said okay.
Wow - that made my heart beat even faster. á

We arrived at my house after what seemed
like an eternity getting there.
I kept thinking to myself, woman what are you doing,
taking a stranger to your house.
And I come to find out later,
that he asked himself a simular question,
why am I following some woman I don't know,
to her home on a mountain?
My heart raced, but strangely
enough I was not afraid.

I proceeded to show him my property and
house. It was not a home then, it was
an empty, lonely house.

Joseph (Joe), as I come to learn his name earlier,
met my little Llasa Apso, Hollyberry,
and then we sat down on lawn chairs,
in the warmth of the June sun.

We talked about our marriages,
and how our spouses walked out on us
for people on the internet.
That was really ironic,
that this happened to both of us.

We talked about his work, which was
grinding steel, for railroad tank cars, at ACF,
the American Car Foundry.

We talked about our kids, him having
two daughters and a son,
and me having two
daughters and a son.

Before we knew it, five hours had passed.
As he got up to leave he said he would call.
As I watched him leave, I thought to myself,
no way will he call.
He was almost ten years
younger then me.
And I was a heavy, almost 64 year old woman.
á I didn't have gray hair,
because I had been having it colored
for several years, so I really
didn't look my age.
Sneaky, huh?

Well he did call, and we dated
for a year and three months.
During the "learning about each other time",
we laughed, we cried, we reminisced.
We told each other of our heartaches
and reflected on things we did that were right
or wrong. We talked of family, and faith.
I learned just how much this man wholly believed
in God, and how much both of
us truly loved God.
All the while, I guess you could say,
we were finding out if we
could trust each other. á á

"TRUST" was one of the biggest hurdles
we would have to overcome.
"Trust" would have to be the ultimate foundation
for us to be together.

I started a daily calendar journal
July 1st, 2001, and kept in it everything.
I chronicled each day that we spent together.
And every place that we visited,
or the dinners we enjoyed,
or visiting each other's
children and grandchildren.
We finally realized we had a bond
that felt good and trusting.

We started going to his church,
the Assembly Of God in Mifflinburg, Penna.
where he had been a member for many years.
He also was a board member and
teacher, so of course everyone knew him.
The people were just wonderful,
and they treated me with respect and welcomed
me into their church family.

It was a beautiful September day,
Sunday September 1st., 2002, to be exact,
on our way home from church, when Joe asked
me to marry him.
My heart raced, as I said yes.

He had one weeks vacation coming up in October,
and fall being our very favorite season,
we then decided this was a good time to get married,
and for him to move here to my mountain.
We made up a list of things we had
to do before our big day.

Getting a marriage license, wedding rings,
and setting up a time to be married
and plan a wedding reception. Whew!

Then we had to figure out in this time period,
what to do with the things he owned in his house.
So we set up a three day yard sale, which
I might add turned out quite successful,
even though it was overcast with clouds and
some rain most of the time.
And he put his home up for sale.

áMy friends, this all was God's doing.
Oh Yes, we both thank God,
for there is no other explaination.
To meet the way we did, four days
after the first time we talked, and each of us
going in different directions. á

áSome time later, Joe told me, he had
a "feeling", that he should go to Walmart,
that second time we met.
You know the kind I mean, the
ones we get when our inner voice
says we must do something.
He said, that the first time we met,
and he looked into my eyes, he saw the good in my soul.
The feeling he had, was to go to Walmart,
that second time. And there I was.

áOn Saturday October 12th 2002,
we were married, in Joe's church,
by Pastor Keith Bingaman.
One of my best friends, Pat stood
with me, and Joe's son, Jeff, stood with him.
There was no music, only a few flowers,
and God's presence that surrounded us.
Just a few family members and several friends attended.

On the following day, my daughters,
Beth and Donna, and their families put together
the most wonderful wedding reception for us in our home,
with God's beautiful mountain of fall
colors surrounding us.
More friends, family, and
neighbors came to our reception.

Our picture at reception ~ notice the smileys. :)

What made that day unique
was Joe's grandson, Eric,
who made it a fun day.
He had, with his mom's (Becky) permission
of course, gone into Walmart and asked
if he could have a roll of Walmart smileys, and
they were kind enough to give him
some, after he told them our story.
He placed a smiley on each person
who came through the door.
Naturally, everyone
got a big chuckle out of this.

We had already moved Joe's furniture
and personal belongings during the week.
And now, finally united, Joe and his boxer Delilah
were home with me, and my Hollyberry,
on God's mountain.

In the next several weeks, a few surprises
came in the mail, from some of my email friends,
who sent us such beautiful gifts, which just
brought it all together for me.

Our new life together, as far
as Joe and I are concerned, was a blessing from God.
And my world here on web, with you,
the love and devotion - awesome.

Now My Empty House Is No Longer Empty
~ My Poem to Joe ~ Please Read ~

This True story written by
@Barbara L. Carter aka Bluejay12
January 4th. 2007
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