Providence Man, Divine Providence

Today I am participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop with the topic of “What would it take for you to pick up and move?”

What would it take for me to pick up and move? One word – LOVE!

I have, in fact, done this not once but twice! (Same person both times)

Most of you know that I have recently picked up and moved with my family to Tennessee? Why? Because the Ranger’s job brought us here; and I LOVE him so I decided to go with him (and the kids).

But do you know how I ended up picking up my life and moving to Pennsylvania in the first place? No? Well you will if you keep reading!

I am a firm believer in Divine Providence. Things happen for a reason. When a door closes a window opens – the whole SHEBANG!

So, there I am getting ready to graduate from college, fresh out of a long term relationship and just needing to get the HE-double hockey sticks out of Dodge and there it was – a flyer for an internship program in Pennsylvania. What the heck! I applied! The next week I took a friend into the department to show her the flyer and it was gone. Huh? Providence man, Divine Providence.

So, certain things needed to happen for this internship to work for me –

 1. I needed to come up with airfare to Pennsylvania and

2. I needed somewhere to live – FREE!

I was interviewed for one or two positions, then on the final day of interviews I got lucky and got a call that offered not only the internship but this particular location had a person who volunteered free room and board. This wonderful woman not only provided me with a place to live for the summer, but she also provided me with meals and drove me to and from work every day! Providence man, Divine Providence.

My parents provided me with the plane ticket as a graduation gift on the condition that I didn’t fall in love, get married and move to Pennsylvania. I figure I was a bit of a goody, two-shoes as a teenager and my parents got off easy, so I was bound to rebel eventually and my mid-20’s seemed as good a time as any!

The first weekend I was in Pennsylvania I ended up doing visitor surveys at the top of the Johnstown Inclined Plane. This duty was not in the original job description I had been given; I found out that it was a part of the overall internship program. Providence man, Divine Providence.

It was at the top of this local attraction that I noticed a cutie pie in a Smokey hat. He was cruisin’ with a bus. He was giving National Park Service tours of the Grandview Cemetery. His pick-up line was, “Hey, Baby, wanna go on a tour of a graveyard?” (Not really, but pretty close). He was cute. I was tempted. But, ever the goody, two-shoes I stayed to finish my surveys. I really regretted that.

The next weekend my roommate was doing similar surveys at a local national park and sees him! Providence man, Divine Providence. She gave MY phone number to the bookstore clerk to pass on to this guy! I was MORTIFIED! I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. I was only there for 3 months. I’m just not a fling kind of girl! (Please see definition of goody, two-shoes).

He called! ACK! I thought he was awful cute in that uniform. He brought me lunch at work and looked awful cute in his street clothes. He was awful smart. He had wire rimmed glasses. He had the most beautiful eyes. He had a killer sense of humor. He brought me flowers. I was hooked. We dated all summer.

In September I went home to Washington to start graduate school. My parents knew trouble was in the air when I stepped on the airplane holding a bridal magazine I had picked up on a layover in Pittsburgh.

The Ranger called me every night at 8 p.m. I was living at home and my parents had to get call waiting. My brother called every night at 8:03 ’cause he knew I would get in trouble if I skipped a call waiting beep. The poor Ranger had a horrific phone bill!

We planned for him to visit at Christmas. The world plotted against us. His dad had a heart attack just before the holidays and Western Washington had “Snowmageddon 1996”. He barely made it to the airport to take off and we barely made it to the airport to pick him up. But, Providence man, Divine Providence!

We were engaged on New Year’ Eve 1996 (somewhere around midnight while watching Shag). We were married Easter Saturday 1998. A long-ish engagement I know, but my Daddy had requested at least a 1 year engagement and since he was the one with the checkbook I said, “Okay!” After the wedding I packed up my cat, my hope chest and my knickknacks and moved to Pennsylvania. It’s been nearly 15 years since we met, and I don’t regret anything! I would do it again in a heartbeat! I would follow this man to the ends of the earth.

I sure LOVE my Ranger Man!

I spent the entire summer of 1996 cataloging 26,486 shards of glass, broken pottery pieces and rusty nails that had been dug out of a garden in Cambria City for the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, and all I got for it was $300 and a husband!

*Not a lot of pictures I know, but, hey, the Ranger is kinda shy.

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