(In case you missed them, you can catch up with part 1, part 2, and part 3. Because I *am* that fascinating.) :>) I plan to be back later today or tomorrow with a reading the whole internet post, but I wanted to get this up because I forgot it earlier in the week.
So when we last left off, the mission was closing and I'd found a new job not far from my hometown. I ought to back up and note that things continued to go downhill with my then-fiance. I was a bridesmaid for one of my college roommates in June, and I'd asked my then-fiance to go to the wedding with me, but I'd made it reasonably clear that things were going to be over after that.
Things really came to a head after the rehearsal dinner. He had wanted to leave so he could watch an NBA game that was one that night. Did I mention the rehearsal dinner was AT A SPORTS BAR with TVs turned to every game imaginable? So I said no to leaving, and had a fun time with college friends I hadn't seen much for a couple of years. On the way home, we had an ugly fight, and I was ready to end it right there but he apologized and I didn't want to deal with that drama. We went to the wedding and things were OK, but when I went to leave on Sunday and said "this is it" he couldn't believe I meant it.
I returned to Colorado Springs, where as I mentioned I had been making friends through the Catholic young adults group. One fellow in particular had taken a liking to me, but I'd made it clear that I wasn't available just yet. We spoke on the phone frequently, though, and the evening I returned from Nebraska was no exception. The next day, both guys sent me flowers at work, from the same flower shop, in the same delivery. Looking back now, it's HILARIOUS - back then, it made me cry. :>)
Back to the rest of my life, I packed my things and headed east. In the town where I lived, there is a hike/bike trail along the Platte River, and I loved to walk it and sort my thoughts. One time shortly after I moved (so it would have been late January or early February), I found myself just feeling *at home* and thinking how absolutely BEAUTIFUL all the shades of brown were. Yes, all the shades of brown. That's when I knew Nebraska was where I belonged.
My new job was writing grants and handling the human resources for a non-profit organization. The organization's mission was providing assistance to migrant and seasonal farm workers, and it had expanded into other services to the Hispanic population. I really, really enjoyed it - I loved the writing, and for the most part, I liked the HR aspect.
One of the best parts of this job, I thought, was that I traveled to the other offices throughout the state. One was west, in the panhandle, another was in the central tri-city area, two more in Lincoln and Omaha, and the final one in northeast Nebraska. I had a good time exploring the state and visiting all these places. That summer, I had to attend a meeting as a representative of the tri-city office. The young lady that was to be in charge of the project was a brand new employee, so the night before the meeting, I killed some time by driving past the meeting location (in a different town) to make sure I could easily find it.
Afterwards, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. While browsing the magazine aisle, a handsome fellow approached me and asked what a classy babe like me was doing in a joint like this. Yup, that was my future husband! He was so cute that I couldn't help but chat with him and we went out to dinner that night. I was head over heels from the start.
Coming up - becoming a farm wife. (You can also jump ahead and read about our wedding which was posted in celebration of our anniversary last week.)