That day began so beautifully. I rose early in nervous anticipation of what sweetheart had up his sleeve. He’d phoned the day before, asking me to clear my schedule for the entire day.
“What for?” I asked.
“It’s a surprise, honey. I’ll have someone pick you up. Be ready by seven?”
“In the morning?” After a year, I thought he knew I didn’t rise with the sun.
Morning came too early. I poured coffee into my veins, and was able to stand in the shower and wait for the caffeine to percolate my energy.
On schedule, I sat on the front porch and waited. I spent the time gazing at the bright oranges and reds as they overtook the greens on the tree in our yard. The sky, a cloudless azure perfection, stretched out as though teasing the trees' inability to reach high enough to touch it. My sleepy fog began to finally lift, and I considered the implications of sweetheart’s mysterious surprise. Maybe he’ll propose today…
My heart skipped a beat when a ’57 Chevy Be lair convertible, as blue as the sky, turned into my driveway. As car illiterate as I am, I’d know that one anywhere, it’s sweetheart’s baby. His brother, garbed in chauffeur attire, stepped out, bowed, clicked his heels and tipped his cap, “Your ride awaits,” he said with a goofy grin.
He assisted me into the back seat. I reclined my head against the soft leather, soaked in the warmth of late October’s sun. We turned down a street where trees lined both sides crossing their branches as the Marine Corps extending their swords in honor of the one passing through.
Soon, sweetheart’s brother rolled to a stop, “We’re here,” he said, hopping out and offering his arm as I climbed from the car.
With a bow, he stepped aside and sweetheart appeared wearing an aviator suit . His face bore the same quirky grin as his brother. My belly fluttered up around my throat. What were these guys up to?
His arms wound around my waist, “I’m glad to see you made it all right.”
I couldn’t resist a giggle. His boyish charm was shining through. “Oh, it was a lovely ride. The colors are beautiful this morning.”
“But that was just the beginning.” His face was beaming.
“What do you mean?” I barely finished the question when I noticed a bright yellow bi-plane off in the distance, “What’s going on?”
“Remember saying you’d like to go flying one day?”
“Well, I thought I could give you the grand autumn tour…from the sky.”
My heart plummeted.
I must not have a very good poker face, for he moaned, “You don’t like the idea.”
“Oh no, really, I love it!” I just thought today would be THE day is all.
He led me to the hangar where I was fitted with a pair of coveralls and goggles for the flight. I changed, plastered a smile on my face and instructed myself, Listen, he’ll never ask you if you pout, now will he?
It was a theory anyway.
We climbed into the plane; I took the front seat this time. The plane sputtered to life, humming like a giant bee on steroids. We taxied—within seconds the nose tilted upward.
As the plane leveled off, I glanced around each side of the plane and stared in wonder at the festive patchwork laid before me. He tilted to the right, revealing a pasture speckled with cows then to the left where harvesting machines worked the fields. Ah, the wonder of God’s creation!
“Honey, I have something for you.” He hollered.
At that moment, the sound of his voice harmonizing with the hum of the engines, the autumn morning sun, the festive colors of harvest, and the never ending sky fit together in a breathtaking symphony.
“What is it?” I yelled back.
“There’s a little cubby in front of you…see it?” I gave him the “thumbs up” sign. Wedged deep inside was a small box. I pulled it out, opened it and—
“What’s this?” As if I didn’t know.
“I was wondering … would you marry me?”
In answer, I slid the ring on my finger and waved it for him to see.
“Woo-hoo!” he shouted and turned the plane into a barrel roll.
Suddenly all the colors of autumn melded together in one glorious kaleidoscope.
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