Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meeting Sheri, my Wife of Almost 30 Years and Our First Date

When I was attending graduate school, I did a field placement in  Roosevelt, Utah.  I was 25 at the time.  I lived in a community with no friends.  The first week I attended church, Roosevelt First Ward, Bishop Gale invited to his home for dinner.  He had two children, his son Brad, who was about my age and also unmarried, and also a daughter.  His daughter had a bandage on her leg due to a bad knee, which if my memory is good was a skiing accident. The Gales owned an office supply store.
I decided to pursue a friendship with Brad, and visited him at their store.  There was a woman their behind the counter.  I assumed it was Brad's younger sister, so I asked her, "How is your leg?"  As it was not Brad's sister, but Sheri, who worked there, she had no idea what I was talking about.  I survived my embarrassment and got her name.  I also discovered that she lived in Roosevelt, where my placement supervisor lived.  That next week, I discovered what I could about her family, and Monte Bolton, my supervisor thought she was waiting for a missionary.  I mustered up my courage, and when I called her again asked an awkward question, "Do you date?"  I was lucky enough that she accepted my invitation for a date, a picnic.
I prepared lunch for the picnic.  Sheri says one of the items I had was government cheese.  I also made sandwiches.  Sheri, who is good with dates says it was April 9, 1983.  I didn't know the area very well, but was confident there would be a place for a good picnic.  We drove from her house to Altamont.  We couldn't find any picnic tables.  I had brought a blanket which we spread on a patch of grass by the rodeo grounds.  The air was nippy, and there was a pretty good breeze blowing.  We got through our lunch, but couldn't really get comfortable with the wind so didn't stay long.
We went back to Sheri's house, and she tried to recapture the dignity of our date by inviting me to go horse riding with her.  She caught the horse and we rode double on it, me behind her as I was not a horseman.  I had  an irrational fear of horses, based on a man we met in Argentina, whose hand and arm were deformed.  We were told it was because he had been bitten by a horse.  Sheri's horse wasn't big enough to do such damage, but it was a bit nippy and a bit feisty.  Sheri could tell I was incompetent around a horse. 

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