"You aren't wearing THAT out hunting with me, are you?"
I looked at my dressed to the nines fiancée, Laci Sweet. Head to toe brown.
"It's new and really warm, see? Feel it Hank, cashmere."
I take my Earnhardt Forever camouflage baseball cap off and scratch my head.
"Sweetheart, you'll blend in with the woods and be mistaken for a deer. With my buddy Petey in the woods, well, he's a bit nearsighted. This little outing of ours could end pretty badly."
Only the good Lord knew Laci and I had any chance at all when my sister set Laci and me up on a blind date. I think she set it up as a joke. I mean any couple with last names of Sweet and Sowers is an oddity. I wish the differences stopped there, but no, we're night and day.
I work night shift for the same company in town that Laci does, but I work in the hangar, maintaining planes all the big wigs for the company ride on. Laci is a legal secretary and gets to ride on the planes I take care of. My wardrobe consists of Wrangler jeans and flannel. My hobbies are few. Deer and turkey hunting. My favorite meal is anything that consists of meat and potatoes. If I get a work out it's when I walk extra far in the woods and forgot something in my pick up. Golf? Who wants to go whacking a little white ball in goofy plaid pants?
Well, Laci's dad does actually. Laci Sweet is a petite blond with doe like brown eyes. After we started dating she told me the only significant man in her life beyond her daddy was Neiman Marcus. Her clothes always match and her shoes have heels. She has more purses than I have turkey call. You'd think her a brat, but the Lord showed me different. She cries during Campbell soup commercials. How can you not love a woman like that?
I loved Laci long before she asked to go hunting with me. We go to both Wednesday and Sunday church services. Watching her with the kids, she just has a knack. Once we started dating my sister tried to fix me. She had the nerve to set me up with some nail technician. When sis informed me this was not taking place in the Sears tool aisle but a beauty salon, I threw a fit. Laci heard the commotion. She laid her perfectly manicured hand on my shoulder and smiled wide.
"Hank Sowers don't you dare get your nails done! I love when you reach for my hand there's grease under your nails. You're a hard worker. Those men at work with polished hands, they don't work as hard as you do."
No fireworks, nothing sappy, but that was when I knew Miss Laci Sweet was going be a Sowers. When I proposed she asked if we could marry Valentine's Day. I said sure, long as it didn't interfere with Daytona 500. I asked about Christmas. She said if it didn't delay my building the background sets for the church Christmas play or her directing the play. So December 27 it is.
Laci decided despite the wedding plans to take a break and go hunting with me. Maybe it was for the nature walk; perhaps she needed to get my shoe size for the tux man. Whatever, I knew this was a sacrifice and I wanted to do things right.
I encouraged Laci to put on some orange to outrank the brown. I didn't pack shells for the gun.
"Is that an AK47 Hank?"
I bit my lip. Can you imagine?
I picked up a basket. Sis suggested I pack a good lunch for us.
"Is that where you keep your binoculars?"
I replied no. I announced we'd stay at the tree stand. I knew she had no idea, so to make it a comfortable experience; I led her to my little sister's tree house, complete with pink curtains and fluffy pillows. Thank God Petey is so nearsighted. The thought of finding me in a girlie tree house on a hunting day would just be the talk of the gun club.
"Hank this is great! No wonder you come out here so often! To be outside and have this comfort, well it all makes sense. Now what time will the deer come by so I can take his picture?"
Lord, thank you. I truly love that woman.
Julie Arduini, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/, is devoted to writing for Christ in ways that encourage and inspire. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, her writing resume is on her blog's sidebar. Happily married to Tom, they have two children.
@2009 by Julie Arduini
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