17 Days to Wedding Bells
As I was thinking about our upcoming wedding, I began humming an old tune by Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire.” So, I searched the song on YouTube and found a new rendering of the famed cover song. Re-done by new artist, Matthew Mayfield, it is one of the best I’ve heard. Of course, no one can really hold a candle to Johnny and June singing their song.
I learned that June Carter Cash wrote the song one day while driving through town thinking about Johnny and how it didn’t matter what he was going through, she’d be by his side the whole time. Partially she was referring to Johnny’s drug use and her concern for his safety and health. Yet, June said she couldn’t contain how she felt about Johnny, that every time she was around him, she felt as if she were being pulled into a ring of fiery love.
Love is a burn’n thing, and it makes a fiery ring. Bound by wild desire, I fell in, to a ring of fire. I fell in to a burn’n ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher, and it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire.
Set to the blazing Mexican sounding horn section, it’s a catchy song, and the lyrics are simple, so you could sing it all day long. As a Johnny Cash fan—partially because of my Grandpa Parker’s love for Johnny’s music—this is one of my favorite songs he’s done.
You’ve probably figured out why I’m talking about this song. You guessed it… I fell into a burn’n ring of fire, when it comes to Kari. I had tried and dumped so much money into online dating, and in all that time and money spent, I never found what I was praying or looking for in a future wife. I was tired of searching. I was tired of people telling me to search, that I got stuck in a rut of my own little world. I had placed my life on hold—and worse, I had placed my life on hold for someone for years, waiting for the day that she would realize I was waiting for her. I remained that way until the day the Lord woke me up to the reality that I was not listening to Him and waiting on Him.
There is a verse in Proverbs and it goes like this; “Trust in the Lord….” You can’t get any more direct than that. King Solomon continues on and says the more we trust God with everything in our heart, He will direct our paths. In a sense, God will make our paths straight and give us the desires of our heart. The desire I had was to meet a godly woman, who met and exceeded all in which I had prayed for, someone who’d be by my side through the thick and the thin. Little did I know, our relationship and love would be tested.
After our first date, I did what I figured best, wait a couple of days and then call to schedule a second date. I was so nervous calling Kari that my hands were sweating and I had to put in a hands-free device, because I thought I’d drop my phone. Once I gathered up the courage to call, I pressed the dial button on the touch-screen and her name popped up and the phone rang.
Now what do I do? I thought to myself, as I had to catch my breath before speaking, as not to sound like a buffoon. We talked about pleasantries and about the weather, and then I asked her out. It was in the open. Now I waited to see if she wanted to go out with me alone. Our first date was a double-date with our friends, Dave and Andrea. This date would be alone!
She said yes, and we scheduled our second date at Tony Roma’s at the Mall of America. I figured it was crowded and it would be a good place to just talk. And boy did we talk. Again, I sat transfixed at the restaurant as I learned some very fun facts about Kari. Let me put it this way. I’m a typical guy. I love my action movies. I love fishing. I love cars. I love sports, especially the MN Twins! Yes, I admit, I love the Twins; I will follow my team to the very bitter end. GO TWINS! Okay, back to the story.
When I learned that Kari loved the Rocky movies—you know, “Yo, Adrian!”—I was not only amazed, that I found a girl who loved movies, but loved Rocky! I think that’s every guy’s dream come true; and I’m living proof, that another girl, besides my mom, loves Sylvester Stallone embodying Rocky Balboa. But it didn’t stop there.
As we talked, she asked me what some of my hobbies are. Now, to be honest, I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I consider a hobby, collecting pet bugs or rocks, but some consider recreational things as a hobby. So I opted for the latter definition. I told her I love to fish, that if I could fish everyday, figure out how to make a living doing it, I would. Little did I know, Kari loves to fish—she even has her own fishing pole.
Now talk about EXCITED! I couldn’t contain myself. I said, “Really? You like to fish.”
“Yes.” She said with a smile.
“We’ll get along just fine.” I said, glowing on the inside. So, I thought I’d take it another direction, I asked if she liked baseball. Kari is like me, she loves her Twins—and it doesn’t matter how they do, she’ll follow her team to the bitter end. Between the two of us, we have jersey’s, tee-shirts, hats, Kari has Twins socks. I have baseball cards, posters, pennants and homer hankies (remember those?)
This is a match made in heaven—but she was about to cement it. I’m not sure how, but somehow we ended up on the topic of cars. And, wouldn’t you know, she’s a grease monkey. Kari can change her own oil and fluids on her car. Now, girls, if you really want to impress you man, change your own oil on the car. He will love you forever! I honestly will say, it’s hot to see a girl who can take ownership of her car in such a way that she’s willing to get oil and dirt under her nails.
I walked away thinking; “I like this girl, and I can’t wait to go out with her again.” I walked her to her car, gave her a hug (yes, I gave her a hug) and we parted ways. I fell in to a burn’n ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher.
I went home that day thinking to myself that this was the best day ever, and I couldn’t wait to see her again. So, I went over to my sister’s house that night, and they were like, “So how’d it go?” After indulging their questions they said I should invite her to the Superbowl party… so I decided to invite Kari over to join my sister and brother-in-law and a few friends for a football party the next day. Little did I know at that point, my parents would be there.
TO BE CONTINUED….