Mmmm…..brace yourself as ours is not the average fairy tale romance!
I first met Keith at a local bar in a group of friends mainly because a friend of mine was interested in him. I honestly was still married to my first husband although things were already headed south. Flash forward a year and my husband and I were separated and one night I watched him walk into the bar with those amazing dimples complete with starched jeans and shirt and a cowboy hat and my heart literally melted. He was just a baby at almost 24 and I was almost 29!! Our birthdays are a day apart, his mom & I shared a middle name and his stepmom’s name is Shelley and I immediately thought it was just fate! Ha!
There were probably quite a few miller lites and some dancing involved over a couple of weeks seeing each other out before we finally had our first date. I’ll never forget eating at Outback and ordering Alice Springs chicken instead of steak because I didn’t want to appear too expensive. Later he told me he didn’t understand why anyone would waste time on chicken at a steak place…noted! Then we went to see Armageddon at the movies and oh my goodness I was totally in love! I mean I’m sure it was just the movie but I was certain he was the one. How could you pass on a guy who used a line like “has anyone ever told you you are finer than frog hair”? Seriously not a joke! Lots of two stepping and I always melted when he would whisper “can I ask you a favor” and then he would follow with “can I lead?”. I’m still working on the control thing! And oh my goodness when we were in his truck and he put the console up so I could slide over…eek…my heart skips a beat just thinking about it!
At the time Keith was actually working for Texas A&M at a farm operation and so the spring and summer meant lots of late nights driving a tractor….insert a big fat smile here. I cannot tell you how much I loved taking him dinner and hopping up in that tractor and riding for hours. Ironically Kenny Chesney came out with the song She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy during the time we were dating!! Coincidence? I think not.
Our dating life was not traditional. I had my Bigs to raise and I really didn’t have Keith meet them until we had been dating for quite awhile. Most of our time was spent meeting up at a bar with friends, playing dominoes, meeting for lunch several times a week and me hanging out watching him play softball….with lots of tractor riding in between. We would date for awhile and then date other people and somehow we always just kept making our way back to each other.
After we had been dating off and on for 2 years Keith was laid off his job. It was honestly such a blessing for him in disguise as he found a new job which was going to be much better for his future but it was in Austin. I had no clue what that would mean for us. Before he left we went on a hunting trip together in West Texas. Y’all….nothing will let you know whether or not you really like someone like spending 4 days with no running water together. I have never been out in the middle of absolutely nowhere like this in my life! Both of us forgot contact solution and I kid you not we made a 4 hour drive round trip to buy some. Sitting in a deer stand at the crack of dawn watching the sunrise and seeing stars like I have never seen before coupled with only bathing with wet wipes will definitely bond you or break you! I remember listening to the Dixie Chicks song Cowboy Take Me Away over and over and over again and thinking of this time together.
So off he went to Austin to start his new life. There was some discussion about me moving to Austin but I was very nervous about leaving a job I loved and uprooting my Bigs. While my ex and I could not make a marriage work we parent well together and my kids needed their dad. We saw each other every other weekend and sometimes more if I drug my kids to Austin but at some point we split once again. I swore I was really done this time and I have a couple of friends who would have been rich if they had a dime for every time I said that!