Love stories

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First impression wasn’t lasting


I was working at a local video store, he was a regular customer. One day he called about overdue items, and I thought he was a pompous jerk trying to cheat the system. Days later he showed up with his “new” car…a Fiero….to try and impress the body shop chick. I played along as though I was impressed. Then I quit the video store and three years passed. One day I called in to win on the radio. As we talked he remembered me, and we talked and talked and talked. We dated. Then one day he said the new restaurant, Crescendo, was going to advertise on the station and wanted him to come and try the place out so he could give an honest review. We got dressed up, and he had me meet him there. As we ate I noticed a lady sitting by herself watching us and the others at a large table seemed to hang around. I luckily decided to order dessert, it was brought out on a covered dish. Then the waiter uncovered a box with a ring. Steph took it and got down on one knee and in tears asked me to marry him. I don’t remember what he said, I just remember answering, “Yes!” and all the people applauding…..they were all in on what was going to happen and hung around to see the event, the first proposal at Crescendo. Four months later we were married, which will be 10 years ago this October.

Adale Helleksen

Couple together for 18 years

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My husband and I started dating when I was in 5th grade and he was in 6th grade. We were “hooked up” by a mutual friend and dated all through high school. When my husband graduated from high school, he got a job in the area so we could be close. The following year I graduated from high school and went off to college. We were together almost every weekend, and spoke every other day during the week for the next four years. We were engaged the spring of my sophomore year of college. Before he proposed my husband had spoken with my parents and one of my sisters to get their permission. Two years later we were married and have been happily married for six and a half years, with two young boys. All together we have been together for 18 years, without breaking up, and our love grows stronger every day.

Kristine Christensen

Wedding was pieced together

The year was 1986. We lived in San Diego close to family. We wanted to return to our Midwest roots. It was a hard decision, we had spent eight years close to two brothers and their family. My sister-in-law made a stipulation — you are not moving home without getting married in our backyard. So we did. I didn’t have a dress until a very dear friend found one hanging on a lamp post in Escondido, Calif. At 4 a.m. Joyce was driving her husband to work and at a stoplight saw a beautiful off-white, several-tiered lace wedding dress, hanging on a lamp post. They pulled over, climbed on top of their truck and rescued the dress. She brought it to work the next day and said, “Mary go into the bathroom and try on the dress I bought for you.” The dress was a size five, it fit to a T.

Bill did not own a suit, so we stopped at a consignment men’s store called, Second Hand Saks. There was only one suit that fit him and it was navy blue. They had a size 12 shoe, he wears a 13, so they threw in the shoes and a tie. We knew he could squeeze into the shoes for an hour.

We went to pick up our cake at Lemon Grove Bakery. The cake was mauve and periwinkle with luscious cream frosting. While we waited for our cake to be finished, we went next door. A pawn shop that had just about everything was located next to the bakery. We could not afford rings so we decided to postpone our ring choices. We checked out the pawn shop. As we began to walk out of the door, I made a comment to a clerk, “I really like white gold, do you happen to have any white gold rings?” She assured me they did not. Bill and I headed to the door, when a small woman came running toward us yelling, “Honey, I have just what you looking for.” We returned to the counter. She said, “Today I got in these two pieces, whites gold, women’s ring size 4, men’s size 13.” It was amazing that those were our ring sizes. Our little clerk was so excited, and we purchased the two rings for $100 a set.

Our July 19, 1986, wedding seemed to be a second hand rose connection. Our friends and family all participated in our wedding. Our minister chuckled at how we found my dress, Bill’s suit, his pinched toes and our rings. Everything happens for a reason.

We packed up and came back to the Midwest waving goodbye to sad eyes of nieces and nephews and brothers. We were planning on Mankato, when much to our dismay our truck broke down in Albert Lea. The part our truck needed would take a week to get here, so we decided to make Albert Lea our home. Two years later I bought a second hand consignment store, called the Mary Go Round Shoppe.

Bill’s parents were in the auction business all of their lives. Now all these years later we so appreciate our second hand connection. We are blessed! Everyone loves a sale, and everything happens for a reason.

Mary Packer-Umstead

Proposal in Colorado mountains

My hubby had planned to propose to me while four-wheeling in the mountains of Colorado with his sister and brother-in-law…but I wouldn’t get on the four-wheeler with him no matter how much he coaxed me. I wanted to drive my own four-wheeler and stay in control! Later, he finally got me to go up the side of Monarch Mountain in one of those cable cars. I am afraid of heights but after much more coaxing and begging I did it anyway. Once I got my bearings at the top, he took me outside the look out tower and proposed on the freezing cold mountain top. I joke that I said yes because I was freezing and wanted to get back inside quickly!

Shelley Thompson

Hole 15 has special meaning


I met the love of my life in August 2006. My now wife, Julie, and I were avid golfers at Green Lea for many years but had never met each other until one night mutual friends of ours, Pete and Janet Schumaker, introduced us. Shortly after we started dating and playing golf together. It didn’t take long to realize how magical we were together. After dating only a month Julie and I were golfing one Sunday afternoon and I scored my first ever hole in one on Hole 15! She still beat me for the day even with a one on my card. The 15th hole would come into play again the following spring (April 2007). It was evening, and Julie and I were at her house near Green Lea Golf Course when I asked her to go for a walk. We walked on the Richway Drive sidewalk when suddenly I detoured us onto Green Lea Golf Course. I walked us over to the Hole 15 green, got down on my knee and presented Julie a golf ball. She opened up the golf ball I had cored out and found a beautiful ring inside. I then asked her to marry me. The best part is she said yes. We were married Sept. 15, 2007, and are so grateful to have found each other. That’s how I met the love of my life.

Tony Johnson

Woman feels blessed


This story couldn’t show anyone a better love then what I have! I’m a 32-year-old female who became divorced about six years ago. I went through some heart-wrenching medical problems leaving me unable to have children. I met the man of my dreams April 2007 while working together at Diamond Jo Casino. We both worked in the same department. He was this tall, nicely built guy and every time he would walk by me or I would hear his voice over the two-way radio, it would give me butterflies and I felt like a giddy high school girl! Not really knowing how to approach a guy, since I had just gotten out of an 11-year relationship, I played the “bashful/flirty” card. We ran into each other at Hayward Days, and the rest has been pure bliss! He came into the relationship knowing that he had a daughter, but the mother kept the two apart. Well some very bad things happened, and his daughter was taken away from her mother and then she turned up being on the run. So here we are, looking for a beautiful 2-year-old little girl! Well with the help of Iowa law enforcement and court systems, she was located. So I have now been given the blessing of a lifetime and have become someone’s mommy!! Talk about the greatest feeling! I feel that I have been blessed by finding this man and him allowing me to become a mother!

Korean Widmer

Couple met at gas station

My husband and I met eight years ago while he was working in a gas station in Prior Lake. My best friend, Mary, and I went into the store to pay for our gas and a few other items we needed to pick up. Jason was cashiering at the time and as a joke she told him that he should take me out on a date sometime. She completed her transaction and it was my turn to be next in line. While Jason was ringing up my transaction I gave him my phone number and he gave me his. Later that night he called me and asked me to dinner the next day. We had a great time at dinner and decided to go steady. About a year and a half into our relationship I became pregnant with our first child. Jason and I were excited and nervous all at the same time. Since I found out on my birthday he went out shopping looking for my birthday present. He went to every jewelry store that he could think of trying to get a line of credit to get an engagement ring. After spending all day looking, he didn’t have any luck getting credit. I found out two weeks later that he was trying to get store credit for the perfect ring and wasn’t having any luck. Later that night I went to my parents house for dinner, and I asked my parents for my grandmother’s wedding ring and explained to them that he was trying to get a ring and he couldn’t afford it. I figured my grandmother’s ring wasn’t being used why not use that temporarily till he could afford one. After dinner I went back to home and typed a letter up that was from my dad saying that it was my grandmother’s and if he wanted to use it someday to propose it would mean a lot to me. Before Jason got home from work I called my dad to tell him about the letter that was from him, this way if Jason called he was aware of my plan. Jason proposed on Christmas eve in 2003 and used my grandmother’s ring. He told me the story about my dad giving him the ring, and I pretended like I knew nothing. I finally told Jason about the ring after we were married in 2009 when I was pregnant with our twin daughters. We have had a few bumps in the road, but I wouldn’t trade anything in the world, I am truly blessed to have him and our three girls in my life.

Rachel Guenther

Couple met on classmates site

Since graduation day in 1957 we had not seen or heard from each other. He remembered me as his first kiss the night he walked me home in high school. His wife had passed away and his grandson signed him up on a classmates Internet site. The first name that came up was mine as a result of my registering on the same site a couple of years ago. We began e-mailing and found we had similar interests. We both enjoyed foreign films and both had professions in the agriculture industry. He lives in Oregon and arranged to stop in Albert Lea a year ago on his way to an agriculture conference in Minnesota. After meeting for dinner, nonstop conversation with e-mails and phone conversations continued. We announced our engagement July 3, 2010, and plan a wedding on Medicine Hill (a sacred Indian site in North Dakota) this summer. Also, our grandfathers were in business together providing meat for the railworkers when the railroads were being built through southwestern North Dakota.

Rachelle Fleihman

18 years have flown by


This takes me back to my teen years. I was 15 years old, and my brother was always trying to set me up with guys he thought were my type. My brother and I have always been close, but I was getting frustrated with his choice of who is right for his sister. One night he had a friend stay over night with him. The next morning my brother called me upstairs from the basement. He stated that he had someone for me to meet. I sighed and said, “I am not coming down.” “Fine, We’ll come up.” he stated. A thought crossed my mind and I smiled, “I’ll be down in five minutes.” I took out my contacts and found a coke bottle broken pair of glasses I had around. I ratted my hair as high as it would go and put on my old “farm” clothes. I laughed all the way down the stairs to the basement. As I walked in the room, there sat my future husband!! As you can see it was not love at first sight. I was horrified, but we ended up talking and before I knew it 18 years have flown by, and we have one beautiful daughter. Our life has had more blessings than struggles, and through it all we have remained best friends. For that I am truly thankful.

Farrah Olson

ATVs are biggest hobby for couple


We were covered in dust from head to toe after a long morning of riding on a hot, dry August day in 2007 when my now husband, Scott, stopped at a scenic overlook on the Moosewalk/Mooserun ATV trail just north of Silver Bay to propose. He totally surprised me, I had no idea the big question was coming that day. We were lucky enough to be with a friend who was able to capture the moment for us with his camera otherwise I don’t think most people would believe it.

I figured Scott must really love me to ask me to marry him when I was so dusty and dirty so of course I had to say yes. Besides if I would have said no he probably would have jumped off the edge of the cliff!

Since ATVing is one of our biggest hobbies we, of course, had to include it in our wedding day. After our wedding ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church on October 11, 2008, we went out to the Freebom County Fairgrounds and took a ride around the grounds with our guests who had brought their ATVs. This was followed by our dance in the Fairlane Building.

I’d definitely have to say it was a unique proposal! And hopefully it was just the start of many unique years together.

Analynn Peterson

Whole family was in on proposal

It all started when my mother got call from my sister Jaimi’s boyfriend. As the call went on my mother’s smile got bigger. When she finished the phone call I asked her, “What did he say, and what made you smile so much?” My mom tried to hide her smile and said “It’s a secret.” “I can keep a secret,” I said. “I am not going to tell you Kailey,” my mom said. “Fine,” I said glumly.

My mother told me later that we were going to Green Mill on June 2. I was so curious ­— I had to know what was going on! I asked why, and she said it was for her birthday, which is on June 3. But I didn’t buy that. I knew it was something else. I felt so excited about something I didn’t even know about.

On June 2, the whole family came into the restaurant, and to my surprise Jered was sitting right there at the table. He looked so nervous, and he looked like he looked like he was sweating. He kept rubbing his hands together. Then seeing him sitting there, and the whole family here, and the white rose on the table got me thinking. At that very moment I knew exactly what was going to happen.

After about 10 to 15 minutes, Jaimi walked in the door. She looked at Jered, and then at the rest of us very confused, but still smiling. Then Jered stood up, got down on one knee handed Jaimi a white rose then, pulled out a dazzling ring. “Jaimi, will you marry me?” Jered said, in a scared-out-of-his-mind way, but nice and kind. Their eyes met, and sparkled. “Yes,” Jaimi said in an angel-like way.

A couple of weeks earlier Jaimi had received a yellow rose from Jered, with a tag on it that said the yellow rose is for friendship. Later she received a red one, with another tag on it that said the red rose stands for I love you. Then at the proposal, again he handed her a white rose, with a tag that said the white rose stands for true love.

Kailey Christensen