From the monthly archives: April 2011

Frustrated with the inability to find Mr. Right, I took a giant leap of faith and started contacting people through the online dating sites.  Not everyone I “met” was someone I was compatible with, but I did find one person that I particularly enjoyed corresponding with via e-mail, so much so that Tom and I decided to speak to each other on the telephone. He was a big hit with me! Humorous, intelligent, and thoughtful and I found myself looking forward to meeting him in person. So Tom and I met for coffee one Sunday morning and, even though this sounds like a cliché, it was love at first sight.

We both found what we had been looking for in a relationship — warmth, understanding, respect, and love. We were perfect for each other and throughout the next year developed a very strong relationship. During that time, we spent quite a bit of time at the computer, which seems rather fitting considering the way we met. Tom and his best friend, Mike, own a web site design company and we often looked at sites in progress so I could give Tom my opinion. He’s very proud of his work and so am I.

One Saturday evening Tom asked me to look at his latest site design so we went over to his place to check it out. He had mentioned the site several times during the week, saying it was giving him some difficulty; he couldn’t come up with just the right graphics to make his point the way he wanted to.

As soon as we got to his place Tom started up his computer and typed in the address. Then the site came up in a burst of fireworks. The lights in the room dimmed above us and I heard a champagne cork pop. “Just keep watching that screen Janet” Tom said, so I kept my eyes glued there waiting to see what would happen next.

I watched one last burst of fireworks of every color imaginable, and then, from the screen, a hand came toward me holding a ring . . . a very spectacular diamond ring with rainbow colors glinting off of it. It was all just incredible! I laughed with delight and turned to tell Tom he is an absolute genius, and there was that very same hand holding a diamond ring toward me, only this time the hand was attached to Tom as he knelt down beside me to ask me to be his wife.

My ecstatic “yes” was followed by a champagne toast to our future together.

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When my husband and I were children we attended the same grade school in a small Iowa town. Every year at Easter our teachers would make up little baskets for each child, and every day a different child would have a basket hidden somewhere in the room. In it would always be some little treasure chosen especially for that child. It was a tradition that we all loved and looked forward to every year.

Our Easters for our own children have been made special by this tradition year after year, but as our two daughters grew older it became harder and harder to surprise them with something special. The usual candy was accepted with delight, but we wanted to make this a tradition that stuck with them with a true “treasure” to remember each year.

I had the brilliant idea of adding some tiny diamond chip earrings to each basket when the girls were 11 and 13, and my husband thought the idea was terrific. I found just the right earrings and eagerly awaited the excitement of our daughters on Easter Sunday.

Funny, though, on Easter Sunday there were half a dozen little baskets sitting on the table and I had only prepared two! What was going on?

I handed the girls their baskets and both my husband & I were pleased that they were so happy with their special gifts. They immediately put the earrings on and exclaimed they felt like princesses.

My husband turned to me and said, “Now it’s your turn to find your treasure honey!” as he handed me a basket. Beneath the malted milk eggs and jelly beans I found a perfect little sapphire, unset and waiting to join the three other matching sapphires I found in the other baskets.

“Honey, I wanted this to bring back the memories of how wonderful it was to find your own personal treasure for Easter, and I want to thank you for being my Easter treasure every year. Tomorrow we’ll go pick out a special setting to put these in.”


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My boyfriend Carl and I had been dating for several years when we decided it was time for us to get married. It was pretty cut and dried, not a lot of romance or discussion. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a ring because we were saving to buy some property where we could have a couple of horses, a dream both of us had had since childhood.

We always reserved our Saturday mornings for horseback riding at a friend’s ranch and one Saturday Carl told me to meet him extra early so we could watch the sun come up from our favorite spot.

We started our ride when it was still dark but both of us were wide awake and looking forward to the ride. I had baked fresh cinnamon rolls the night before and brought them along with a thermos of hot coffee. The plan was to ride up into the mountains as it got light and stop in time to watch the glorious sunrise over the pasture down below.

As we rode up the trail Carl reached over and touched my arm so tenderly it made me want to cry. I just love that man so much it hurts! I turned to smile at him and saw that he was holding a little box out toward me. We walked our horses off to the side of the trail and I opened the box to find a precious gold ring with little diamonds all across the top. It was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.

“Carl” I whispered, “I thought we weren’t going to do this.”

Carl reached over and slipped the ring on my finger as my eyes filled with tears.

“Joanne, I love you so much that I want every single person who sees you to notice that you have a ring on your finger and know that our love for each other is a special thing for us. That ring is nothing fancy, but the depth of love it carries is beyond measure. Will you be my wife?”

What a special moment in my life. That was fifteen years ago and I’m reminded of it every time we ride our horses up that trail to watch the sunrise together.


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My fiancé James is the director of our local high school band and he used that position to his advantage the day he proposed to me.

I work in a small office in which I’m by myself most of the time. The office is located in the center of a large parking lot that usually has very few cars in it and I overlook that parking lot.

It was a Friday morning during football season, and as is usually the case, I could hear the marching band practicing in the distance. That was a familiar sound every day as James led his young band members in their maneuvers to be displayed at the Friday night football games.

This morning I noticed that the sound of the band was getting closer and closer. “Terrific”, I thought, “sounds like I’ll get to see them march by this morning.” Five minutes later, sure enough, I saw the whole band rounding the corner, James in the lead.

I watched in surprise as the band turned into my parking lot and began marching into one of their formations. Only the snare drums sounded as they moved precisely into place — a giant heart formed before my eyes. They began playing “My Heart Belongs to You” and James marched smartly to the center of the heart.

James knelt down and looked up at my window where he could see me watching in amazement. First he put his hands over his heart and mouthed “I love you Karen” and then he held a box up toward me. He opened it and I could see that a ring glinted in the sun. At that moment, the entire band, in perfect synchronicity shouted, “Karen. Will you marry James?”

My answer was much quieter, but the beaming smile on James’s face told me that he had heard my “yes” quite clearly.


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Keith wasn’t much for the big days like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries, but Peggy loved special occasions and always managed to drop hints and reminders a week or two before so that Keith wouldn’t forget.

At least Keith could always be counted on to make reservations at their favorite restaurant, and this year for their anniversary was no different. As they finished dressing for their evening out, Peggy handed Keith a box and said “Honey, I think I finally found you the perfect gift.”

Keith sheepishly unwrapped the box and opened it to reveal the neatest multi-function watch he had ever seen. Not only did it tell the time but it also gave the temperature, altitude, barometric pressure, had a directional compass, and had an alarm that could be set for everything imaginable.

Putting the watch on, Keith looked at Peggy and stammered, “Peg, honey, I um . . . “

“I know honey” she said, “it’s all right. I know you love me. Let’s go to dinner.”

After enjoying a superb meal, Keith ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Just as they were being served the champagne, a wandering magician who had been working the tables throughout the restaurant appeared at their table and asked, “Would you like to see a great feat of magic?” to which they both answered “Yes”.

With that, the magician picked up the champagne bottle and holding it three feet above the glasses proceeded to fill each glass without a single drop hitting the table. Then he said, “before you drink, might I borrow that ring you have on your finger sir?” gesturing to Keith’s wedding band.

But when he tried to remove the ring, Keith found that it wouldn’t budge. With a disappointed look on his face the magician turned to Peggy and said, “Ma’am, might I have that ring on your finger?” pointing to her diamond wedding ring.

Somewhat reluctantly Peggy took the ring off and handed it to him. Withdrawing a silk scarf from his pocket, the magician placed it over the ring in his hand and asked her if she would grab two ends of the scarf and gently pull it away from the ring.

Grabbing the scarf, Peggy did as she was instructed and was amazed to see that her ring had completely disappeared. In its place was a small black box. The magician said, “Ma’am, let me ask you a question . . . would you rather have the ring that was on your finger or take a chance on whatever’s in this box?”

Peggy responded by saying, “Well, of course, I’d rather have my own ring back.” To which the magician replied, “Certainly. I believe that’s your ring in the bottom of your champagne glass.” She looked and was shocked to see that it was.

“But” the magician said, “as a token of my appreciation for your time, I’d like you to have this box, too” and handed it to her as he backed away from the table to disappear into the next room.

Opening the box Peggy found an emerald cut diamond surrounded by several smaller diamonds. Keith took both of her hands and said “Peg, ten years ago when I asked you to marry me I could only afford a very, very small diamond. I promised you that someday I would get you ‘your’ diamond . . . happy anniversary darling.”

She took the ring from the box, slid it on her finger, and with a brilliant smile thanked Keith for making this a magical anniversary memory that would last a lifetime.


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Last updated February 5, 2017