November 2, 1969
After a Saturday full of astonishing surprises, Nate and I headed for Aunt Agnes’s quiet condo to continue working on wedding invitations. We were past the date when we’d wanted to get them mailed, and time was running out. She was glad to see us, relishing the time with us almost as much as we were enjoying time with her.
At about midnight, while Nate was taking a bathroom break, Aunt Agnes leaned across the card table where we were working and said, “You know, I think he likes me.” And she was right – but it didn’t just go one way. Aunt Agnes loved Nate’s gentlemanly manners and the way he deferred to her, but he also appreciated her generosity and fun-loving spirit — along with her delicious coffee.
Once again we pursued our project until the wee hours before running out of steam. It was well into Sunday before Aunt Agnes and I finally flopped into her bed and Nate closed his eyes in the guest room. But the invitations were nearly finished.
The next day (after church) it was time to head to Milwaukee to see Julie’s bedroom set and find out if she really thought we could care for it properly. But her only concern was whether or not we’d like it. “This might not be your style,” she said, “so you can be honest. If you don’t want it, I’ll figure out something else.”
When we got a look at the furniture, we were dumbstruck. It was unique in every way with a curved headboard on the double bed and curled wood framing each mirror. The protective glass tops made everything shine, and for both of us it was love at first sight.
“You can have the spread, too,” she said, at which point I flopped on the bed to find out what imported silk felt like.
“Good thing my grandma didn’t just see that,” Julie said. “In all her years of marriage, she never let her husband so much as touch that bedspread, much less sit on it…. or flop on it.” I hopped up immediately and promised to do better, but Julie was laughing.
We arranged to pay shipping costs to Champaign, and down the road, if she never had cause to want it back in Wisconsin, we would pay for it. Julie said, “Remember, you’re saving me a monthly storage fee.” But we had no doubts about who was getting the better deal.
With joyful hearts we made our way back to Champaign with only 27 days left before the wedding. Little did we know that the coming week was going to bring a crisis.
“From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” (John 1:16)