Christmas in July – New Glarus pt. 5

This story started out as complete truth. However, as I’ve continued, I’ve changed small details. For instance, some of these events happened within a 30 miles radius of New Glarus…and I don’t remember exactly how I was proposed to…anywho…just wanted to be honest…If you are interested in the first four installments start here.

A year after we had moved to Wisconsin, I received a phone call from T.  He was crying.

“I’m calling because my pastor said that I should let you go and let God do what He is going to do in your life.”

There was a stunned and awkward silence. I hadn’t heard from him in a year.  I had already “let go”.  However, I was more than a little flattered that he was still pining over me, “Oh.  Okay.  You’re going to a new church?”

As he told me all about his new church and friends, my interest was peaked.  In the past, T. and I were the entire youth group of our church and now he was part of a congregation with loads of young people.  T. sounded like a different person.  He knew so many Scriptures and had so much Christian fellowship.  He seemed to be having the time of his life, and now was inviting me to have the time of my life with him…if God willed it.

After a few more phone calls, T. made arrangements for me to stay with a friend of his so that I could meet this new family of believers. So much for letting me go.

Sue was ten years older than I was and worked in the corporate world.  She had her own apartment.   She was ultra organized, and prided herself on “speaking her mind.”  In other words, she was everything I was not.  She was tall, I was short.  She was independent, I was dependent.  She was full of color with bright red hair, I was pale and pasty.  To say that I admired her would be an understatement.  We became fast friends.

She was dating a man a few years her junior.  His name was Steve.  He was the craziest, funniest, most on-fire-for-God young man I’d ever met.  A real preaching machine.  He couldn’t go an hour without pulling out a small New Testament and reading for a few minutes.  He shared his faith with anyone and everyone.  His zeal was contagious.

Every other weekend, I made a trek from Janesville, Wisconsin to downtown Chicago, where I’d meet T.  He would take me out to dinner with friends, Steve and Sue usually included, and then I’d spend the night with Sue at her apartment.  After about six months of this routine, I couldn’t imagine my life without this changed T. and his wonderful ever-growing group of God fearing friends.

One weekend, I asked my parents if we could host two couples from T.’s church at our house.  The girls would take one side of the house and the boys, the other.  Of course I planned a trip to New Glarus.

Sue and Steve were one of the other couples, and D. and J. were the names of the second.  Sue, J. and I were browsing through “I Love New Glarus” tee-shirts, while the guys were eating ice cream in front of the store.  T. finished before the others, and came sauntering in, kissing the top of my head.

“What are you looking for, Suavecita?”  Suavecita was his nickname for me.

“I thought it would be nice to get a tee shirt as a momento of this weekend,”   I answered.

“You’re too classy to wear one of these.  Someday, I’m going to help you choose all of your clothes.”

I blushed at the permanence of his statement.  “I think I do a pretty good job!”  I grinned and playfully pushed him.

He didn’t seem amused.  Sue was already at the counter purchasing matching tee shirts for she and Steve and J. was still browsing.

“Let’s walk over to the Christmas store together, while they finish up.” T. nodded towards the girls and led me toward the front door.

Christmas Shop in New Glarus

“Okay,” I felt a little rushed and annoyed, but didn’t want to miss an opportunity to be alone with him.

Strolling toward the Christmas store, conscious of his arm around my waist, I was once again thrilled that I belonged to someone!  Threatening clouds darkened the once brassy sky, as we crossed the street to the store.  Sleigh bells jingled as we went in to browse. Cinnamon and cloves hung heavy in the air, and a train set chugged through a tiny winter wonderland, all to the tune of Silver Bells.  It was Christmas in July!  Thunder clapped.

On the wall opposite the Christmas village, were shelves of tiny faux Faberge eggs.

“Let’s look at these,” T. walked over nonchalantly.

I followed.  “Can you imagine how expensive the real ones are?  Especially the ones with the real jewels?”

“None of them would be more expensive than you deserve, babe.” A sneaky snake of pleasure crawled up my spine.

T. picked one up, “I like this one, don’t you?”

T. popped it open.  Inside, was a modest little engagement ring.  T. was on one knee.

“Kim, would you spend this and every Christmas with me as my wife?”

To read the next installment go here.