How I Met My Husband Ed

A few months ago I posted this photo when I told you I was celebrating my 32nd wedding anniversary.

USNA-Wedding-Chapel-Steps-

In the post, I mentioned that someday I would write a post telling you how I met my husband Ed. It was a meeting that was a bit out of the ordinary and one in which fate played a big part.

Now that things have settled down for me after the move to SC, I had time to search for old photos and letters so I could write the post. Note, I mentioned letters. These are the most important part of this story.

So here is the post many of you have been emailing me and asking me to write ASAP, some of my best friends who I met years after I was married don’t even know the full details of how Ed and I met.

It is not a short story, but one that I can guarantee has a happy ending.  Go fill up your coffee mug…. here it goes….

How I Met My Husband Ed

How I met my husband aboard a US Navy ship

I met my husband Ed for the first time on May 7, 1983 aboard a US Navy ship, the USS Arkansas CGN-41.

But before continuing this story, I have to back up a little before that day in May so you can get the full scope of how I met Ed.

Matchmakers

5 months earlier, these two put on their matchmaking hats. The picture shows my best friend, Steph from college and her (at the time) naval officer boyfriend (now her husband), Bob. He was on the ship with Ed, that was deployed for 6 months out in the Mediterranean.

Steph called me early in January 1983. We had been out of college for 2 years. I was working in retail display in the Philadelphia area and living with my parents. She was in grad school and living in Virginia Beach. We chatted about the holidays and other stuff, but the real reason she called was that she wanted to ask me if I would like to write to one of Bob’s friends who was another officer on the ship.

She went on to say what a great guy he was and that the officers were the best group of guys ever. I told her no way was I going to write to someone I didn’t know. She insisted I write down his name and the ship’s mailing address. I did, but had no intention of writing to him. I stuck the address in my desk drawer and forgot about it.

After about two weeks and a date with a guy who was nice, but not for me, I found the address and thought, “Why not”?  “I have nothing to lose.”

So I put pen to paper and wrote him a letter telling him a little bit about myself. I put it in the mail and figured I would never hear from him.

correspondence letters

A week or so went by and when I got home from work one evening, there was a letter addressed to me on USS Arkansas CGN-41 stationery. I immediately opened it up and read the letter. Wow! I read and re-read it a few times. That night I wrote back to him.

Another week passed and I got another letter, and then another letter, and another letter. On some days I would get 3, 4, and 5 letters at a time since the letters were coming off of a deployed navy ship they had to route through an FPO box in NYC first. They would get hung up there and I would get a few letters at a time, many out of sync.

Love letters

We were corresponding a few times a week. My mom and younger sister who was still in high school at the time were intrigued by all the letters and postcards from port stops the ship made. When I would get home from work the first thing they would say as I walked in the door was…  “you got 4 letters today or you got a post card or you only got one”. They were as excited as I was.

How-I-met-my-husband

We did send photos of ourselves to each other. Here are two that I found. One of Ed in Italy and my college graduation photo.  We also spoke on the phone once, it was a little awkward since the reception was not great.

After writing back and forth for about two months, he wrote and asked me if I would like to meet his parents. I had not even met him yet since he was out at sea. His parents lived in Baltimore and were as intrigued by our corresponding as my family was. I agreed to spend a weekend at their home in suburban Baltimore.

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and put them in a small picnic hamper that I had lined in a madras print as a thank-you for having me. I drove down to meet them. When I got to their house they greeted me with open arms and dinner. The next day we went to Annapolis to see a lacrosse game, but it got rained out. So instead we went site-seeing. I left on Sunday morning. They were gracious and didn’t make me feel awkward at all.

The weeks went by and the amount of letters we were writing to each other doubled.  I still have every one.  When it was getting closer to May when the ship was coming back to Norfolk, Steph and Ed’s parents were making plans for us to all be at the pier to greet the ship when it came in. I soon learned that this is a big event with bands playing and families waiting on the pier to hug their loved ones that they haven’t seen in 6 months.

Here is where I can get back to that day in May when I actually met Ed.

I bought a new dress and handbag. I went with Ed’s parents and met Steph on the pier. The morning started out nice, but it soon started to rain, and not just lightly, it poured and everyone waiting for the ship got wet. I got soaked, the dye from my new cloth handbag ran onto my new, now wet dress. My hair got wet and all the curls went limp.  Not the way I wanted to look when I first met this guy Ed who I had been writing letters to for the past 4 1/2 months.

The rain stopped just as the ship came into view. When the ship arrived, the family members were allowed to go on board.  We were escorted to the Officers Ward Room for lunch. All the officers were there along with their spouses and children. Everyone was hugging and crying happy tears to be reunited. Everyone there knew that I was the girl who was going to meet Lt. Henkler, but he was nowhere in sight.

Since he was the ship’s engineer on duty that morning, he had to make sure that everything on the ship was shut down, a process that can take a long time. 2 hours long. Lunch was served and cleaned up, but no one left to go home. They all waited because they wanted to see our reaction to each other. It was a little stressful.

Since I was so wet, I was given a big bulky sweater to wear to stay warm. I was not looking my best. Every time a door would open in the ward room, the room got quiet and everyone would look towards the door and then at me. Finally Ed walked through the door and everyone cheered and clapped when we looked at each other and kissed. I will never forget that moment.

Then everyone left except Ed, myself and his parents. Since Ed was still on duty, he could not leave the ship for another 24 hours. His parents and I stayed for about 30 minutes and then left and went to Ed’s house which was in Newport News. I had to wait another 24 hours after that initial meeting on the ship when he finally was off duty and came in the door to his house.

His parents left the next day. I left a few days after that because I had to go to work. During this time, Ed asked me if I wanted to go to his best friend’s wedding later in May in Pensacola, FL.

How I met my husband

I said OK and we flew down to the wedding. This picture was taken at that wedding which was about 10 days after we met in person. We both felt that we knew much more about each other since we wrote about everything, more than we would have talked about if we were dating.

He also told me that the ship’s port was being moved to San Fransisco and he would have to move in July to California. He wanted to know if I would move out there with him. It seemed silly after we just met not to be together so we could get to know each other even better.  I figured, why not? When I told my parents this, they were not on board. Ed was coming to meet them the following weekend. After my parents met him though, they changed their minds and gave me their blessing.

I quit my job and went back to Virginia to help Ed pack up his house so we could move to San Francisco. During this week, Ed proposed. Of course I said yes since we had both talked about how we learned so much about each other through our letters.  We were very open and candid about everything.

It all was happening so quickly, but all felt so right. Even my friends thought it was so right for me…fate at work. I am one that listens to that little voice in my head. It is always right. I did what it was telling me, I didn’t hesitate and took the leap.

The trek to San Francisco took 10 days. Since Ed was going to drive the moving truck with his dog Woody in tow and I was driving my car, we needed someone to drive his car. His mother volunteered. I was not too happy about this, but in hindsight she was a blast. She really did help out a lot until she bought a puppy at an interstate gas station in Indiana.  Oh and did I tell you, we didn’t stay in hotels… we decided to save money and camp…in a tent!  What an adventure! That is a whole other post. :-)

Moving-across-the-country

Neither Ed or I had ever been camping before. I did in Girl Scouts when I was a kid, but that was not really camping, camping.  I remember a few days before the trip we went to Sears and bought a 4-man tent, a camp stove, sleeping bags and everything we thought we would need to set up in a campground.  We arrived at our first campground at dusk. We needed to use a flashlight to read the instructions on how to put up the tent.  Place pole A into slot B on pole C…. It was comical. We did get the tent up, cooked a meal and made it through that first night. By the end of the trip we were camping pros. Even with 2 dogs, 2 cars, a 24 foot moving truck, Ed’s mom, along with Ed and I, we made it. It was quite a trip.

The day after we arrived in California we moved into a house in Oakland. Ed and his mom flew back to the east coast the next day. Ed had to do the quick turnaround so he could get back on the ship to bring it from Norfolk to San Francisco. While he was gone, I found a display job at Macy’s in San Francisco and set up the house we were renting. I also got to know Woody, Ed’s dog a whole lot better. It was just the two of us for 2 weeks until Ed got back to the San Francisco area.

While we lived in Oakland, my mom and sisters were planning our wedding. All I did from my end was buy my wedding dress. My mom did everything. I was happy to let her do her thing. I don’t think I ever thanked her enough.

naval-academy-chapel

We got married on December 3rd at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD where Ed went to college.

I remember when I was 12 years old, my family took a trip to Annapolis and toured the Naval Academy. While we were taking the tour of the chapel,  I remember holding my dad’s hand and looking up at him and telling him… “I am going to get married here someday.”  He just looked down at me and smiled.

Turns out…it was fate. I did get married there and my dad remembered me telling him that. :-)

Wedding-in-Naval-Academy-Chapel

It was 7 months after we met. It was a late afternoon wedding….it was magical.

Military-wedding-at-the-USNA

If you have ever been to a Naval Academy or military wedding, then you know the bride if she is not in the military gets a blessing (whack) from the last officer in the sword arch. He is the one who gently passes his sword over her backside and says…“Welcome to to the Navy”.

Wedding-day-photos

For our honeymoon, we bought 21 day passes on Eastern Airlines. Each pass cost $530 and we could go anywhere we wanted in the US and the Virgin Islands and to as many places as we wanted within 21 days of the start of the first trip. We used the pass to fly from California to Annapolis for our wedding, then to Bermuda, then DisneyWorld and then to Chapel Hill, NC to look for a house since Ed was going to start a 3 year shore tour there while getting his Master’s Degree.

On the 21st day we flew back to the west coast where we would live for another 6 months. 

First-Halloween

After that we lived in Durham, North Carolina for 3 years. This photo was taken at our first Halloween party there. Ed was a Ghost-Buster and I was a ghost. We were so young!

Friends

Ed left the Navy soon after getting his Masters, but our matchmaking friend, Bob made his career in the Navy. Many years later we went to visit him on a ship where he was the captain. Without him and his wife, Steph, our story would have never happened.

When my youngest daughter was home for a visit a few months ago, we watched a romantic movie on TV. She is 26 and hasn’t met that special someone yet.  She loves romantic books and movies. After watching the movie with her, she told me that she wants to find a guy just like the girls do in the movies. I responded to her that life isn’t really like the movies with a handsome guy sweeping you off your feet.  She looked at me and said…“but you got it.”

Bike-Riding-along-the-Lehigh-River-Gorge-Trail-in-PA

Oh my goodness… I had forgotten. I guess I did get the romantic movie script and lived happily ever after…

Riding-in-a-convertible-on-I-95

We are still traveling, not so much camping in tents anymore, but loving each other and life for 32 years now and counting…

How did you meet your husband or spouse?

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87 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I laughed, I cried. Wishing the two of you many more healthy and happy years together.

  2. Merry Christmas Diane and Ed! I just visited your blog again, and saw a lot of good looking youngsters in this post! What a great story and so well written – happy to be a part of it!
    Happy 2021! Wishing you a more normal new year, and hope we can visit you again!
    Love, Bob (of Bob and Steph!) :-))

  3. that was very sweet and romantic. writing to one another does tell more than when dating. I had tears in my eyes after reading this. I’ll have my 47th wedding anniversary on the 24th of Feb. Seems like a long time in some ways and in others not so long. that sounds weird I know but marriage evolves and new sides of a marriage emerge. it would feel and would be very different if I or my husband were to die. I know that is morbid in a way but in another way I think it means that you know you have found the one for you if you cant imagine life without the other. I wish you many, many more happy years together. Tell your daughter that her someone special will come along. Just be patient and dont accept anything less than Mr. Right

    1. Hi Debra – Thanks for taking the time to say hi. Congrats on your upcoming 47th wedding anniversary. That is worth celebrating big time!!! I hope you have many more happy years together. I will show my daughter your comment. Happy Anniversary!

  4. Diane,

    I just clicked onto your blog and read your romantic story of how you and Ed met. What a beautiful love story.

    I had to leave a comment because I am in awe of what I had just read. Thanks for sharing it – –

    Jane Wallace

    1. Hi Jane – So nice to hear from you. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for reading and taking the time to connect with me and leave me a comment. Ed and I did meet in a very unique way. I think it was fate for sure. :-) Wishing you a very happy 2020! XO

  5. What a wonderful story and what a gorgeous wedding. My niece just married an Air Force F-15 pilot. The wedding was gorgeous with him and all of his groomsmen in their uniforms.

  6. Thank you for sharing your love story. I have to admit when I got to the part about tent-camping with the mother-in-law and dogs I thought it might fall apart. What a trooper! You guys remind me of us! 29 years and counting.

    1. Hi Vicky – Congrats on 29 years of marriage. In this day and age that is a wonderful achievement! I was not too happy about my MIL coming along on our cross country move, but in the end, she did make the trip a whole lot more interesting. :-)

  7. What a lovely love story, I so enjoyed reading your post. However, I burst out laughing when you said “site-seeing” as opposed to sight-seeing and thought that’s Diane, how very Freudian! Here’s to many happy trails for you and Ed.

  8. Diane, I just had to go back and read this post after Joe told me it was shared on Ed’s Facebook page! What a wonderful romantic start you two had, I had tears reading this and thought what a great movie this would make. So happy for you both and happy that Joe and I have met you and became friends with you and Ed.

  9. Got to sttend several of your Halloween parties and snagged my wife of almost 28 years. Thanks for being such great mentors and role models in our early years.

  10. Beautiful love story . You are so blessed not everyone gets that great love story . I just love your blog . I have been reading your blog for along time . Connie

  11. Such a sweet love story Diane. I love hearing stories like this. You just never know. To think about all those letters. Nowadays, everything with this generation is all texting. They won’t have those same memories we do. My husband used to write me poems and notes all the time. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I have had one LOL! Smooth operator he was for sure (winks)

    1. Hi Debbie –

      So true about texting and emails. Letters can be saved and enjoyed again many years later. Your husband sounds like a sweetie. Maybe he will surprise you with a poem again soon. :-)

  12. I’ve been following your blog for a while now but have never commented. Of course after reading this I HAD to comment. This is the sweetest love story ever and brought happy tears to my eyes. This is definitely a story for the big screen, who would you like to play your cameo roll? :o) That church is truly a little girls fairy tale, it’s sooo beautiful! Blessings to you and your hubby.

    1. Hi Karen – Thanks for taking the time to comment and reading my blog. The story of how we met is pretty unique. Fun to think about who would play our roles in a movie….:-) XO

  13. Your meeting story is awesome and so are all these posts! It’s so great for women to share these types of things with each other; it puts all our priorities in the right place. Can you remember, for when you write either the book or the screenplay of your life….what personal touches you put on the various homes you’ve lived in through those early years? That would be so interesting to know what inspirations and results you had from the 1980s to your previous home in PA. Thank you for sharing the story of you and Ed!

    1. Hi Sue –

      Writing this post was fun and a trip down memory lane for sure. I do remember some of the details of the others homes I have lived in, especially the paint colors. :-) I did write a post about how my family room changed over the years in my previous house. It is only one house and not from the time I was married though. :-) It was also written in 2011 so it is a bit dated. https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/01/how-my-style-has-evolved.html

      I will have to see if I can gather enough photos to create a post going back to 1983. Thanks for the suggestion Sue

  14. I love it, and it gives me hope for my daughter. My first husband passed away in 2001. I am an HR Manager for an Engineering Firm and I took my 2nd husband’s phone number off of his personnel file and told my girlfriends that I was going to call him for a date. When I called the standard greeting played on the answer machine so I didn’t leave a message. I didn’t know if he was really single at the time. I called a second time and he answered. I told him who I was and he said how did you get this number. I told him not to be angry with me, but that I got the number off of his personnel file. He said this number is in my file? I said yes, why? He said, this is my mother’s phone number and I just happen to be here feeding her cat, because she is on vacation. I asked him if he was single, he said yes, I asked him out to dinner he said heck yes and we have been together ever since. We have been married for 10 years and he is the love of my life. We never saw each other in the office because he is a land surveyor and worked out in the field. I met him in person at a company Christmas party. And I knew he was the one. It took me 7 months to make that call. I called him in July, we were engaged in Novermber and married in February.

  15. You need to submit your story to Lifetime or Hallmark for a romantic movie idea!

  16. Wow! What a story! I married a former sailor myself 33 years ago and was a Display Merchandiser. His sister and I were in local theater together and I never met her brother. I was unhappily married at the time of the meeting and was in the process of divorcing. I’ve been told he saw me usher in my boys to the audition at the theater and said, “WHO IS THAT WOMAN?”, his sister said, “That’s Rosie”. He said, “I’m going to marry her” and she said “You can’t, she’s already married”. Apparently he had a plan and hovered around me when he came home a couple of times during the months that the show I was in was going on. I kept telling the guys in the show to keep that smooth talking sailor away from me. That status lasted until after my divorce and i had moved out of my home. He was in the Mediterranean and his sister was having some medical issues and he wrote me and asked if I would keep him informed as to her health. His mother had died and his father didn’t write him. I had never been around a man of the world. He was 11 years younger but very intelligent and having been on a ship in the Mediterranean he intrigued me. The rest is history. We are still married after 33 years.

  17. Diane I loved your romantic, fun and crazy love story! Thank you for sharing with us! I loved seeing the Naval Academy pictures!!
    I met my husband at a Divorce and Separated Catholics Conference. It was love at first sight! We knew after one month we wanted to get married! Fast forward 20 years later, we have 6 married kids ( I had 4 girls, he has a son and a daughter), 12 grandchildren and 2 more in June and December!
    We are both retired and are excited to go to our Lakehouse in Maine for the summer!! Life is good!!
    Go Navy! Beat Army!!

  18. Diane, your love story is beautiful. I have been divorced many years and am still waiting for the right man. Your story is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Blessings

  19. Can’t wait to see the movie!! LOL

    Great story. Your parents must have been terrified to let you leave and “camp” on your cross country trip!?!?

    So happy for you all. Thanks for sharing

  20. Diane, now I know why you have that beautiful smile that seems to harbor a very sunny disposition. What a wonderfully romantic love story. Even before I’d read towards the end of your post, I was thinking, “This would be a great movie” for those of us who enjoy a “perhaps unlikely, but true romance.”

  21. I loved your story. I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I have learned so much from you! So glad to have you in SC. It is a great place to live.
    I met my husband in college when his roommate invited me over for dinner! Because we were both in engineering we saw each other on campus a great deal. We always enjoyed visiting, but both were dating other people so we developed a very good friendship. This went on for about a year then both relationships came to an end and we looked at each other. That was February. We married in November. That was 33 years ago. So glad to be married to my best friend!!! We have 8 children and 2 grandchildren so far!

  22. Diane, I enjoy your blog and have to observe that you seem not to have changed that much; you still look fresh and beautiful! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  23. What a wonderful story! Remember that age old question- how do you know you’re in love? My answer to that has always been- when you think YOUR love, YOUR story is the best one, the ONLY true love story and that NO ONE else has the love that you and that other person have. Clearly your story proves that I am right! I am blessed to the that as well- 36 years this summer! We met at a dental office where I was working— he was the patient and had (and still has) the best teeth! Ain’t love grand?

  24. What a beautiful love story! I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing ?

  25. Married 37 years and still going strong. My sister and I married cousins, just like my dad and his sister. Never would have met him if it wasn’t for them. Loved your story, long marriages are the best.

  26. My husband and I will be married 53 years this June. We met in college, married, finished college and lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina where his company moved us because of his corporate job. We’ve lived through life bringing us two wonderful kids and 2 grandchildren and now also live in SC just outside Charlotte, NC. We’ve had no money, a little money and enough money to live a comfortable retirement. We’ve had fun times, great friends and church homes and been blessed with graduations, births and weddings, but also illnesses, job stress and life changes. We have loved and helped each other for all these years. We’ve been blessed.

  27. How sweet and magical!! Made me tear up. :’) What a beautiful story, you make such a lovely couple. Bless you for all of your years.

  28. What a romance! Just like in the movies!

    My ‘husband’ noticed me at a party I gave for a friend – my senior year in high school. He was an underclassman and I was NOT impressed. Several months later he called me…I was still NOT impressed. My summer after graduation we finally double dated and oh my I WAS impressed. 43 years later I am still impressed. Love that man.

  29. Beautiful story, Diane. Ed is a gem and so fortunate to have received that very first letter from you. Like yours, my story is happy and a bit unusual. I met my husband in the parking lot of McDonald’s when I was 18. He was a transplant from New Jersey; I’m a Nebraska girl, and although we had attended the same high school, we weren’t acquainted. He was interested and quite persistent! We dated that summer and throughout college, but I wasn’t ready to settle down and eventually called it off. Fast forward several years . . . I was ending a bad relationship and my dad had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. One day I looked out the window and saw my former boyfriend standing on my porch holding a carton of ice cream. I think God knew I needed him! We married a couple of years later – 12 years after originally meeting! Sadly, Dad wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle but my uncle stepped in, filling his shoes as best he could. That was 27 years ago this month. We have two wonderful kids – a daughter soon to start medical school and a son studying engineering – and a home we’ve poured our hearts and souls into. Life is good!

  30. My husband and l have been married 45 yrs. We decided to keep it in the family! My older sister and his older brother have been married 52 yrs!

  31. Thanks for sharing your wonderful love story! I enjoy your blog and your many creative ideas very much!
    My son is a naval officer, out at sea on deployment right now, so I’ve learned about the navy traditions these past few years. All the best to you and your family!

  32. Diane I so enjoyed your beautiful story! I have been to a Navel Academy wedding – what a beautiful setting.

  33. I read this entire story with the biggest smile on my face. I love everything about it! God bless you many many more years with this sweet man.

  34. You were a real trouper – your future mother in law, 2 dogs and camping! Once you survived that you had to know you were right for each other! Great story and you two were so young and adorable.

  35. What a lovely story. Very lucky indeed.
    It turns out that I met my husband while I was in college, he was a TA for the class.
    I never noticed him.
    But years later we reconnected.

  36. What a fairy tale indeed! So wonderful! I met my hubby on a blind date…it was arranged by two of our good friends at the time. I am so glad I listened to my heart. And 42 years and three kids later…and we are still happily together! ;)

  37. What an amazing story, Diane. Thanks for sharing it along with the pics. Here is to happily ever after!

  38. Best story ever! I’m especially fond of stories about couples who have one or both of them in the military. Both our sons are military and the stories of how they met their wives is very precious.

    My own? Also special…we met through a mutual friend at college. Here we are 39 years later still married, still (or more even!) in love than way back when. Two handsome military sons whom we are extremely proud of; two lovely daughters in law and now one son & his wife have two delightful children (one girl, one boy).

    For us our common ground was music. We both majored in music and music to this day is something very important in our lives.

    When all the notes are in tune, the music sounds just right :-)

    Oh blessings to you Diane and Ed for your many years of happiness and many more to come!

  39. Met my husband while we were both in college in GA. I knew him only as a friend until I returned back to school for my Senior year without the boyfriend I had dated for the previous three years. We went on our first date on Halloween. We were never apart after that and got married a few months later on Valentine’s Day! He resumed his military career after we both graduated from college (he with his MA and me with a BA). The military life took us to NC, then Germany and finally to OK for one year where he retired from the Army.

    Now 40 years later I marvel at the fact that I took such a leap but so glad I did. Three children and two grandchildren have blessed our lives and we still laugh as much as ever together!

  40. Now that’s a great story! Congrats!! I was in a wedding at the Naval Academy chapel in April 1983–Anita from our class at UD. The guys wore dress whites … it was very cool. Oh, and too funny about that Macy’s in San Francisco–I was shopping in that very store this past Memorial Day (I was in town for a conference).

    I met my hubby on a blind date set up by a high school friend who worked with him. Met him in January, got engaged in September, and married the following May. That was 24 years ago :)

  41. I just love hearing about how you and your fella met! A great story, and for thirty-some years it goes on! I can tell you have a very loving relationship. Thank goodness for your matchmaker!
    I too, have a wonderful husband, for 36 years, my best friend… Here’s to another thirty years for all of us!

  42. MAN ALIVE! Here I am crying at work while I read this post….and I know the story well.
    Hoya-Hoya

  43. Congratulations on 32 years! Hubby and I have been married almost as long as you and Ed. Our meeting was not as extraordinary as yours, but for us it was meant to be. It seems like only yesterday…

    I started my first job out of school working for a physician. Since the doctor was just starting his own practice he rented an unused space from the psychiatrist next door. Part of the rental agreement was use of the building’s giant Xerox machine. I made copies many times every day and had to go next door to borrow their key for the machine. I became friends with the secretary, Sarah. Over and over she told me she had a really nice friend she wanted me to meet. Nope. Not interested. I don’t DO blind dates! On the fourth of July 1981 Sarah had a BBQ at her house. It was a rainy day so we partied inside. She had introduced me to her friend, Ron, but never mentioned that he was the guy she was talking about. A little while into the party I heard him mention Father Judge dances to another party-goer. I grew up in Philadelphia and my school and Father Judge were brother-sister schools. I jumped into the conversation (rude of me!). “Do you mean Father Judge in Philly?” “Yup.” We talked for hours. Later on my friend brought out a Twister game, and I can say I truthfully “fell” for him. We went on our first date a few days later and he showed up at my front door with a gift…the book “Bambi”. My school mascot was “Bambi”. I’m still amazed that our high schools brought us together, long after we had both graduated and moved out of the city. Amazingly, we had both moved into the same town and become friends with the same person. Way too many coincidences for fate not to have had a hand in our meeting. We will be married 32 years in June. He is still my best friend and if given the choice I’d marry him all over again! Some things are just meant to be.

  44. I met my hubby at the beginning of my senior year in college when I moved into an apartment across the street from his parents. His father taught at the college and had checked me out and found out we were from the same county & that my future father-in-law’s father and my father knew each other both being school principals . The match making began! We were 20 at the time. That was 1972 & the rest is history. ❤️❤️❤️ I have followed your blog for some time. We have similar tastes in decorating and we are planning to downsize into a smaller home or condo in the very near future.

  45. Thanks for sharing your story! It all started with a letter–that part was a tiny bit familiar ;) A friend of mine from church (who was fairly new to the area) asked me to send her brother a letter while he was in boot camp. That was awkward–I had only met him one time, briefly, and he was 5 years older than me, which was intimidating to me at the time because I was still in high school. But she pled with me to send him even just a card, because it was such a big deal to get something during mail call. So I did…. It was almost 2 years later, after I was out of high school, that we actually started dating, but I think the funny card I sent him might have played a part :) We spent much of our dating/courtship long distance, so we really did get to know each other through letter-writing as well. We’ve been married for 40 years, so it was a good thing!

    Love your blog, and so many of your ideas and how-to’s.

  46. Hi Diane, love your wonderful story. In some ways, our stories are similar. I met my husband of 48 yrs at a Midshipman Ball in Corpus Christi, TX, in 1967. I hadn’t want to go, but my dad insisted that I needed a break from helping him take care of my mom after a surgery. I convinced two girlfriends to go with me. The ‘middies’ were in town three weeks, and GORGEOUS in those summer formal whites; and Tom asked me to marry him before he went to his next duty station. We were engaged two years til he graduated college before we could marry. We lived in So. CA. and then in the San Francisco area, then, to VA. I wish I’d saved all our letters b/c we were apart a lot during his 8 yrs in the Navy. Life has been full of ‘bumps’ but we have weathered them all, for which I am so thankful. We’ve raised three children together, lived through unemployment, endured one child’s cancer and SURVIVAL. Recently, my own experience with cancer. And, grandparenthood!!! Our last duty station was Virginia Beach. As civilians, we then moved to Northern VA,back to CA for a short stint, and then eventually, back to VB and now to Chesapeake. Life is good, and time is precious now that Tom is retired. We love collecting ‘junk’ which Tom refinishes and sells. One thing I’ve learned – to appreciate each other has made the difference in our lives. And, you don’t know til you have to endure hard times, how God strengthens you, but Tom has been the backbone during ours. He has taken excellent loving care of me during my illness. Thanks for reading!

  47. Loved your story! My husband and I were also introduced through mutual friends when he was in the army. I had a friend along who was instantly taken with him, so I paid him no attention. That is, until he called asking me on a date! Within 3 months we were engaged, and married 8 months after that. This August we celebrate our 25th anniversary, and we are still as much in love as we were then! Thank you for sharing!

  48. Diane, I LOVE your story and how you trusted your heart. :) You and Ed both did. Thank you for all the photos (love the “whack” at the wedding) and, clearly, your love is deep and enduring.

  49. So THAT’S why you’re so happy all the time!
    What an awesome story, and I’m so glad I got to read it, even if if was difficult to get through it…..for some reason my eyes kept filling with water and I got so blurry-eyed that I’d have to stop and take a little break, just so I could read on….seriously!
    Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  50. This is so incredibly romantic! I walk past that chapel every day. I’m headed to a Navy wedding of a former student this weekend (I don’t think they’ll welcome her to the Navy though, she’s already a Lieutenant!).

  51. Diane, I loved reading your story, and have been following you for a long time. I’ve been able to get so many ideas from you. I think you know when you’ve found the right person right away. I met my husband at a friend’s baby christening (on a Sunday). He asked me to go out that night to celebrate the baby’s birth (he was the godfather to his brother’s baby). We went out the following Thursday for dinner with his brother and his wife. The next day, on Friday afternoon, he asked me to go out for pizza that night. On the way home he asked me to marry him, and I said yes. There was a betting table at our wedding on how long our marriage would last. We’ll be married 49 years in October. I wonder who won the bet! Thank you for a lovely story.

  52. All the letters and the phone call, not meeting and dating are how you love someone forever. You knew Him and he knew You. This should be a book.

  53. A real true love story! Thank you for sharing. Truly enjoyed reading your story. Wishing you another 32 years of love and happiness.

  54. I loved reading/hearing your story of meeting your husband . . .
    Writing to one another for those months . . .
    certainly seemed to have created the magic that
    laid the foundation for your future.
    Wonderful post . . .
    Happy 32 years together . . . wishing you many more!

  55. What a beautiful story! I especially like the part where you stayed together ;) I am reminded of a Dilbert comic strip I read once about how women like to marry engineers (they are organized, dependable, and can fix things), but they don’t want to date them because they aren’t romantic. Ed sure broke that stereotype!

    I come from a family filled with engineers, though I married a Russian financial analyst. My 26yo self would never have predicted it, but love seems to find us at odd times and places. I took a chance on an internet dating site and here we are.

  56. Even though my heart was broken into a million pieces when my husband ended our marriage, (14 years ago), stories like yours still make me feel that there is true love and hope out there, and just maybe, one day, I will find love again. Thank you for sharing your story.

  57. Oh Dianne, what a wonderful story! Really brought a tear. Lucky you!

    I met my husband in 1994. I had been divorced for a few years. My family never went to doctors, but my Mum’s friend knew her own Dr very well, and was constantly telling Mum about the poor man’s struggle with his marriage, and then divorce. Mum would tell me, and I would wonder why on earth anyone took such interest in their doctor!

    In ’94 I was at the stage where I thought maybe I could test the water and go for a date, etc, but I wasn’t one to socialise very much, and had been married a long time, so really had no idea how to go about it. Then Mum became gravely ill, and I needed to take her to the Dr (yes, her friend’s GP), every couple of days, for treatment. Many weeks passed, and he was such a caring man, who looked after Mum very well. One day I wondered where I might meet a man like him. Then the penny dropped! I HAD met one – here he was!

    I mentioned, casually, to Mum’s friend, that if the Dr ever needed a date or anything, I might like to go with him. (I was very proactive, but tried to sound only slightly interested). She said she’d mention it if ever he needed a date. I drove home, about 4 miles, and, as I pulled into the driveway, my daughter said there was a ‘Rob’ on the ‘phone. It turned out to be him! Mum’s friend had phoned him immediately! Aaaagh!

    And that was how we met. We were married a few years later and had two more daughters to add to the 4 children we had (2 his, 2 mine). Our 20th anniversary is in January.

    I guess some things are just meant to happen. Oddly our paths had crossed many times in the preceding years, but I guess the timing wasn’t right then. I always say my Mum had a ‘near death experience’ just to palm me off on someone! Ha ha. (Incidentally Mum lived a very happy 6 years after this).