Our First Date:
On August 24th of 2014, I went on a completely blind date with a truck driver named Devin. I was 17, and he was 22. All I knew was that he was a redhead & drove a ’91 cummins.
We had only been infrequently texting each other 2 days before this. I was to meet him at Buffalo Wild Wings in Clarksville, IN which was set up by a ‘mutual friend’ who told me to text him. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that this was a joke, the mutual ‘friend’ secretly didn’t like either of us & thought it would be a disaster date. The ‘friend’ had texted me just weeks before. When he came to the fairgrounds for the county fair, he found me with my horse at the horse barn- and was very pushy about getting me alone. I refused. He lied about who he actually was. And when I refused to hug or kiss him, I angered him and he left. He also didn’t like Devin because of a small feud (that neither of us can recall now). I guess at this point I had earned a reputation as “blunt & prude” towards anyone I dated. I was very open, and told guys off the bat I believed in abstinence until marriage, and if they couldn’t deal with that I wouldn’t be the girl for them. That combined with my generally quiet personality gave off the impression that I thought I was better than everyone else. Not attractive. And Devin? He was “always gone” because his job as a truck driver kept him miles away from home for weeks at a time. Girls tried pressuring him into staying home until the relationship would snap and he’d be alone on the road again.
This “joke of a date” backfired though. I was running late, so Devin was already waiting when I got there. I pulled into a corner parking spot with my truck. I quickly looked up and saw a red haired, red bearded man in boots, jeans, and a green pearl snap shirt. He was walking quickly, and with a purpose, and his eyes were all over my truck. Honestly, I was terrified. I stepped out of my truck, keys and purse in hand. The very first words he said to me was a simple “that’s a nice 7.3”. His voice was strong, direct, and the accent definitely reflected his Southern roots. He asked about the truck, which I lovingly named Gloria, and I told him she was at least a good starter truck. I’d told others that this was my absolute favorite truck and dream engine, but they just laughed it off, what girl wanted a late 90s diesel as a ‘dream truck’?. This stopped him dead in his tracks. He said “if you take care of her, she’ll take care of you for the rest of your life. That’s a solid truck.” Fireworks went off in my head. Hallelujah, he didn’t think I was crazy.
We walked beside each other into Buffalo Wild Wings. On the way, I noticed we were about the same height, him perhaps a half inch taller. But, standing next to him I felt small, and protected, even though he was practically a stranger. His shoulders were broad, and he was fit, his stomach appeared flat under his ironed shirt, and his upper arms bulged with relatively tanned muscle and freckles.
We were immediately seated once inside the restaurant. I told him I had never been to one, and he quickly ordered for me. Medium Buffalo for him, and mild for me. I did change my drink from a coke to water (because my momma always taught us to order water when we eat out, especially if someone else may pay the bill- thanks mom!). At first, the conversation wasn’t going anywhere. I tried listing off horse people I knew, and he tried spilling names he knew. Somehow, even though he was a farrier for some time, and I a stall cleaner at well known vet clinic/horse farm, we couldn’t find anyone mutual. I thought he was losing interest in me already. But then something awesome happened- we struck gold in the conversation when we started talking about the different personalities of horses we’d owned or worked with at our jobs. It seemed as though our dinner was over within minutes.
I offered to pay the bill but he refused to let me. I thanked him for the good time, and he immediately asked me to go to Bass Pro with him. Of course I agreed. It was a short drive from Buffalo Wild Wings. He walked over to the gifts section, where he picked up a candle for his mom, and a strawberry Duck Commander truck scent for me when he learned I liked strawberries (which is still hanging in my truck). He bought a couple hundred dollars of ammo while we were there too. Which, I thought at first he was using to try impressing me, now I realize what an enthusiast he is (and he’s made me into one too!). While we were at Bass Pro, he called his friend who lived in the town near me. He asked me to go with him again, and not wanting the date to end, agreed to drive to Walmart, where he’d take me to meet his friend (I know, looking back I was entirely too naive, but I didn’t get cut up for organ donation so I guess it worked out okay!).
We raced my powerstroke and his cummins on I-65 all the way to the Walmart parking lot (I won, if that matters). When we parked, he said he couldn’t help it, but he never dated a girl with a truck like his, and he snapped a picture of them together.
I met his friend, and we all three rode in Devin’s truck to the hardware store, where we held hands for the first time. He and his best friend were absolutely hilarious with their ridiculous jokes and mannerisms. After this, he said he wanted to take his mom’s new candle back to her house before he left for the road again.
Again, he offered for me to go with him and I gladly accepted. I got to meet his mother, grandmother, and his 13 year old dog from his childhood, all whom seemed too eager to meet me. It was exciting and refreshing for him to introduce me to his mom so soon. We were there less than 10 minutes, when he decided we needed to leave so he could be on the road again.
He drove me back to my truck, walked me to my truck’s driver door, handed me my air freshener, and thanked me for a good day. He said he was about to leave, and when he did, the confidence in his eyes had absolutely left his body. He no longer looked like a 22 year old man, he looked like a scared teenage boy. I took a step to him, and he slightly leaned in. I decided to make the first move. I kissed him softly on the lips, my hands awkwardly to my sides. His hands lightly touched just under my shoulder blades. I looked up at him and smirked. He was smiling back at me, but he didn’t show his pretty teeth when he did this time. He looked sleepy and relieved. This was my very first time to kiss someone on the first date! I thanked him for our time together, and asked him for more on another day. He happily (and eagerly) nodded, and asked me to text him when I got home safe. We got in our trucks and headed to our home. The drive required me to follow him for about five miles before turning off, and when I slowed to turn, and I saw him driving away, I thought to myself “there goes my future husband”. I laughed at the thought, made my turn, and giddily went home. Of course I texted him when I got there. Over the next few months, we shared a mutual love for diesels, our horses & adventure.
How we’ve grown since then:
Just a couple of weekends later, we entered a ‘donkey race’ at the Commiskey Fall Festival, where I royally bruised my arm, my back and my ego. You’re supposed to pick out a donkey, your partner gets on it, you lead it to the end of the arena where a barrel sits, they jump off, you jump on, and take off to where you started. The fastest team wins. When Devin jumped off, he didn’t stop the donkey. And I couldn’t get ahold of it enough to stay on. I always rode my horse bareback and could swing up with no problem, so why I couldn’t swing up and hold onto this donkey much smaller than my horse just baffled me. It was quite honestly hilarious, and though I was embarrassed, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was humbling to listen to other people laugh about it, and I know I’ll live on in stories for years.
Devin also camped with my family and church group, we rode our horses together, we Skyped all week, and called each other on nights we couldn’t Skype. I told him I loved him first, and he said it back, and I could tell he meant it.
The day before Thanksgiving, he would be leaving until Christmas Eve. I made dinner at my house for him, but he was running so late he couldn’t stay. I packed up the chicken, fried pickles, potato skins, green beans and homemade cake and handed it to him in Tupperware. Over the past few weeks I’d written a lot of “Open When…” letters to him too, I handed the stack of 150 to him. He quickly kissed me, said goodbye and left again. I walked out to the barn, and started crying harder than I had in a very long time. My mom followed me, I hugged her tight around the waist, and cried even more. She asked me if I’d be able to keep doing this with the way it hurt me. I looked up and realized I really didn’t have choice. I loved him, and letting him go for good would hurt even worse than this did.
In May, I invited him over for supper with my family again, and we all pitched in for the cooking. After we ate, he asked for a blindfold, and slipped my engagement ring on my finger to see if it would fit. My mom and sisters were giddy, and afterwards my excited mom said the ring was absolutely gorgeous, and it definitely looked like something I would buy for myself.
Later that month, he told me dress up and that we’d be walking the Lincoln Memorial Bridge (so new at the time, it was just known as the bridge that connected Clarksville to Louisville). I hurriedly put on my favorite dress, did my makeup and looked my absolute best. It was chilly, but worth it. We walked the beautiful bridge, but he never proposed. Little did I know, the ring was in his pocket, but he was afraid of me dropping it in my excitement and it rolling into the Ohio River!
In April he did propose. It was my favorite day & holiday, Easter Sunday. I was saying goodbye to him before he left in his semi for a three week haul. I was fighting back tears, when he got down on one knee at a truck stop parking lot. There were people around that beautiful sunny morning, but I didn’t even notice them. I think I screamed the word yes with excitement, and I really did start to cry. As I wiped away my tears, I noticed he was doing the same. The ring was the most beautiful engagement ring I’d ever laid eyes on.
A few months later we bought a tiny house together to finish up.
From June to August we traveled the United States in his semi & fell we fell in love with Montana, & we decided to move there.
On August 24th, we celebrated our one year together, but he was on the road in Iowa, and I was starting my first day of college. He was the first and only person I’d ever dated a year!
In December we decided we wanted a more portable tiny house, so we put ours up for sale. Within a month, we sold it to an awesome couple and their young son.
Now we’re starting the process of getting ready to buy a different house, and when we do, we’ll be ready to *finally* get married!
We know this is only the beginning, and honestly, we’re so excited for what God has in store for us! I’ll continue adding milestones here as they happen too.
Thanks for reading!
UPDATE: We got married! Follow this link for all the awesome details! We also moved to Montana, and we’ll be buying property as soon as we decide on a place!