A Love Story Not Meant to Be

So about the picture you saw yesterday.
I have to tell you the story even though it doesn’t exactly relate with the blog.  I get distracted like that sometimes. 

So last spring break, we went down to St. George and to the awesome sand dunes at Snow Canyon where my kids play for hours.  It’s even better than the beach—sun, sand, and nobody’s even drowning on you.  I had to go back to the van and as I was walking back towards dunes, this is what I saw. 

One of them is my husband.  The other one?  A complete stranger.  Can you tell which?  They were both just standing there watching their kids, not even really talking to each other, and I came up to then and said, “Wow!  Did you guys plan that?”

“Plan what?” my husband asked. 

“You match like exactly!”  They both looked down at their shirts and shorts.  Obviously, they hadn’t noticed yet. 

“Oh—I guess we kind of do,” the stranger said. 

“I have to take your picture.”  And let me just show it to you again.

We had to meet the family, and I’m not kidding you.  They had four boys and one baby girl.  They were us!  I’m not kidding.  The kids looked completely interchangeable–plaid shorts, surf T-shirts, like we could have put some of their boys in our van, and we probably wouldn’t have even figured something was off until the next morning.  (We just count, we don’t do roll call.)  The mom was prettier than me, but given how this was all going, I just felt really flattered.

We started talking to them, and it was just like high school.  I was so GIDDY—like when you meet a cute boy—ok, not exactly like that—but like when the stars have aligned and someone, not someone, an entire COOL FAMILY is now in your orbit.   

I felt kind of weird asking for their phone number, given we just had met and all, but they must have felt it too because they gave it to us.  I totally wanted to hook up with these guys, but when my husband saw me calling them the next morning, he thought I might be going overboard. 

“Seriously, hon—-we’ve got to see these guys again,” I said.  “They have somebody for everyone in our entire FAMILY!”

He just scratched his head as I made the call.  I talked to the gorgeous mom, Ashley, and wouldn’t you know it, they were going to the same place too!  ZION’s CANYON. 

But, somehow—despite oodles of texts and phone calls, we kept missing each other.  Now I know why mom always insisted we caravan with all the cousins, even if that means you stop at every gas station along I-15. 


A picture of the Professor and Shirley on the hike WITHOUT our friends
The next day, I got this text. 
Ash:  I’m am so sorry!  I tried sending you a text—here is the best part . . . I dropped my phone in the water at emerald pools!  We tried looking for you the rest of the day on every shuttle and stop we made.  I hope you don’t think we flaked out on you . . .
Same hike, without our friends
Me:  Talk about comedy of errors.  When I caught up with my husband at weeping rock—given that there was a huge rock shedding lots of tears, I asked my husband if we were at weeping rock.  He said no.  Why did I believe him? They must have changed their minds I thought.  Maybe we scared them off as we are prone to do with people

Still me:  Then to my surprise, when we got on the shuttle, one of my boys told me that he saw you on the trail.  I can’t believe I missed you–possibly happened when I was being led on detour by some very nice people from Wisconsin.  Since they were from Wisconsin, we obviously thought they knew where they were going. Still it would have been nice to have another anchor woman with me, bringing up the rear at a three year old’s pace. 

And still me: I don’t do long distance too well, but there is a house in our neighborhood for sale that we think you should take a look at.  Obviously you should.  Because we live here.  And we have a sandbox. 

Yes, that’s the end of my text—and I even edited it for you!  I know, I know.  I was um, a little long winded and maybe coming on a little too strong.  And inviting them to move in our neighborhood?  Well that was really over the top.  But it just felt like the right thing to do.

Still, Ashley texted me back.

Ash:  Speaking of homes, we are actually in the market.


Ash:  Just casually for right now.

Oh.  I didn’t want to come on too high pressure, but I did let her know about this awesome house in the neighborhood.

Anyway, the long story is—we texted all summer.  We texted about meeting for Women’s conference, the Shakespearean festival (that’s when I knew this thing was for reals–the whole family does  Shakespeare!) barbecues, but nothing materialized.  We even had something on the calendar at one point, but we cancelled on them due to a stomach flu virus making the rounds. 

I’m still so sad about it all.  Ashley and fam, where are you?!!? 



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