Friday, April 25, 2008

The first time I met you.

I had been living in Dartmouth now for over 3 years. I spent my time going to school, going to nursing clinicals, and lots of studying. I lived alone with Mariah. I was also working at the time at Applebee’s. I was a hostess and then moved to serving tables. Dartmouth apartments are all on the same level. They are ranch style apartments. No one is ever above you or below you. I lived at 1055 and Jeff lived at 1057. The only thing that separated my apartment from his was a wall!

Jeff moved into Dartmouth in February of 1999. All I remember was that there was a man that was in that apartment prior to Jeff moving in. His name was Mike and he too lived alone. He did not attend college and I mostly said hi to him and small chat. I never knew much about him. He did however take a liking to my jeep wrangler (1995 make/ model) and there were times when he would be out washing his car and then I would notice him washing off my jeep and cleaning it also! Pretty nice guy in my book! He did buy a jeep wrangler also but his was a more current model and I was then envious of the way his jeep became a convertible compared with my older model.

One day mike was gone and then the apartment was empty for a while. I did notice that a truck was outside the apartment and lights were on so I figured someone had moved in. I must have been working or somewhere the day Jeff moved in.

I love the story of the first time I actually saw Jeff for the first time and we talked. I was outside walking Mariah and was walking back to the apartment. Mariah was on a leash and yes, I was holding the leash. When we started back towards the apartment I noticed that Jeff was outside and there was a girl with him helping him bring in groceries. Mariah started to get excited and barked a little bit. The girl that was with him (later I found out she was his girlfriend) started squealing, screeching, and carrying on. Imagine seeing a mouse and what your reaction would be. This girl had to have seen a dog before right? Her reaction to Mariah was one I had never seen before to someone seeing a dog. It is not like Mariah is a big dog or even was 2 feet from her or in her personal space. I heard Jeff tell her to go inside. He then came over and was petting Mariah and at that point we introduced ourselves.

Jeff and I still crack up to this day at this story! I remember going inside and laughing and rolling my eyes. Talk about drama!

Jeff continued to date this girl and at the time I was also dating someone that I worked with at Applebee’s. Jeff and I continued to be neighborly and make small chat throughout the months. He eventually broke up with his girlfriend and I too was no longer with the guy I was dating. Once we were both single our friendship became stronger.

Things I learned about Jeff as we talked. He was at Kent State for his Masters degree. He was in the Technology program. He taught a class to undergraduate students to help make some money. He was in the Air Force at one time. He was a nice guy. We were friends nothing more. We got along really well. He played the guitar and sometimes his friends would come over to his apartment and they would play. I could sometimes hear them playing while I was studying. My bedroom wall was his main room wall.

The New Year started off. I was no longer working at Applebee’s and was now working at as a home health Aide. This was a great job to learn skills and I figured would look much better on a nursing resume one day. Sometimes I had to stay overnight with someone and Jeff would take Mariah out for me. He and Mariah were buddies.

Feb. 25 2000
It was around dinner time and I wanted to go out, just not alone. So I went over and knocked on Jeff’s door and asked him if he had dinner yet. He had not so we went to get Chinese. We had a great time at dinner and at this point I was really now looking at him different. I think at the end when we got our fortune cookies I knew then that this was the guy. I don’t normally think that fortune cookies are anything but fun, but this time I looked at the messages a bit different.

This was mine~ “Smiling often can make you look and feel younger.”
Jeff’s~ “The best times of your life have not yet been lived.”

* Jeff’s message really struck me. If you were with us and heard all the conversations we were having it may make more sense

God works in mysterious ways. We are so thankful that God put us both at Dartmouth apartments. It goes to show that you can meet your spouse just about anywhere. I love that we were friends before anything else. We had a good friendship and sometimes before we even ended up dating I could walk over and tell Jeff anything. We had many really in depth conversations and shared so much as friends. Jeff and I have been together ever since the first time going out for Chinese dinner!

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