Saturday, May 14, 2022

Happy Days of Our Lives


our bikes on Gary's car

On Wednesday Gary loaded our bicycles onto the rack of his car so we could ride a trail alongside the Withlacoochee River.

Gary had enjoyed this trail with the Outdoor Adventure Club of our 55+ community and wanted me to see it, now that my balance and endurance have improved.

It's a great trail that from the parking lot to the end is five miles, round trip, totaling ten miles. Well-built rest stops turn the ride into a leisurely venture with no reason to hurry.

The trail runs alongside the Withlacoochee River, which is wide and carries fish occasionally jumping out of the water. (however, none would perform for my camera)

At the end of the five miles is another rest stop deck and a view of the Gulf of Mexico in the distance. The river flows into the Gulf.

The 5-mile ride back to the parking lot was just as leisurely as the first half. 

We chose to do this before lunch, because the hot afternoon weather would change the impression of the adventure.

We had packed a cooler with our lunch. At the parking lot are clean rest rooms and 3 or 4 large pavilions with picnic tables.

The deli at Walmart makes a great chicken salad that we spread on croissants and served with potato chips.

It was a great bike ride, the longest I've done since picking up this hobby in late February. We both think 10 miles is about our limit for our age and in this Florida climate. 

But speaking of adventures, an even bigger one began earlier today as we drove to the jewelry store to pick up the rings we had ordered on Tuesday. At the time we were told the rings should arrive no later than June 10th.  But as we tracked the shipments we were thrilled to realize on Friday that the rings would be in the store for us today!

Because this was a very special occasion (and the weather forecast held no rain), we rode in the T-bird to get the rings and then to a beautiful nature park located next door to our neighborhood.

There, in a private ceremony, Gary got down on one knee beside the bench where I was sitting to ask me to be his. It was perfect, just like in the movies. We looked deeply into each other's eyes and I said "yes." In that most beautiful setting the next chapter of our lives began.

If you read my last post and saw the rings we had considered before making the purchases, it's ring #1 that won our hearts. They are matching bands of white gold with yellow gold on both edges. In our talks about rings some time ago, my input was that I wear both gold and silver and wanted my ring to represent both. 

a selfie with both our rings

Neither of us wanted stones in our rings, preferring to keep them simple so we can wear them at all times without concern for loose settings and losing jewels. For us, matching bands was an important feature, too.

Our celebratory lunch was at Zaxby's, a popular chicken restaurant here in the south that we especially enjoy. Today's fare was chicken fingers with fries, cole slaw and toast with sweet tea (of course!!).

To close this post on a humorous note, I share with you that my heart sort of skipped a beat a couple of months ago when we were  having dinner at Culver's. Without any warning, Gary suddenly slipped out of his chair and dropped to one knee beside me. Before it could even register with me as to what he might be doing, he quipped, "I'm not proposing. I'm just picking up a napkin that has fallen to the floor."

Oh. Uh, well, okay. Hmmm. Bummer..... 

But that little incident told me that if and when he would some day propose to exclusively commit, he would most likely be traditional in his approach -- and that's what he did today! I love this man!

This is the day
which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice 
and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. (((Grinning))) I am so very happy for you. And wow, you are my hero riding that bike for 10 miles, grin.

  2. Beautiful rings!! Congratulations and best wishes to you both!! I love all the fun you are having together! I haven't' been to Zaxby's in a long time. Need to put that on my list again! Sending a big hug, Barb! xo

  3. Oh, this sure was a sweet post! You are always full of surprises! Happy Surprises! Now, am I to understand these bands represent your engagement to each other, and the actual "marriage" is yet to come...or did we miss something? Either way, we are very happy for you and excited to see how God is blessing you both with so much joy in this stage of your lives. And I love the silver/gold bands. Very practical and yet deeply meaningful. Thank you for sharing this happiness with us!!

  4. Congrats to a loving sweet couple.

  5. Congratulations. Couldn't be happier for the two of you. Oh, and #1 was my choice. Great minds think alike. LOL! Enjoy enjoying this new adventure and the next chapter in your lives. God bless!!

  6. What a wonderful day! I love how you spent it and ending with the proposal and beautiful rings was so special. Congrats!

  7. Ten Miles...I am impressed!! Loved visiting with you today!!

  8. Wow! a 10 mile bike ride. I'm sure impressed. I love the rings and think you made a good choice. Now, we await the wedding date. :o)) It's so good to see you so happy and enjoying life. God is good!

  9. What a lovely post, Barbara. Me think's I've missed some background as I've been away from the computer for a bit, but I think this catches me up just fine. lol You two sound so very happy. We (all your readers) are so lucky to get to follow along as this love story unfolds. How good God has been to you both.

    Ten miles is about your limit?!? I am now officially a slug.

  10. Congratulations. That is the ring I guessed.

  11. Beautiful pair of rings for the two of you! What a memorable day you had! And your bike ride looked fabulous.

  12. I love the gold and silver together, such nice rings. Congratulations!

  13. I'm so happy for you both! We all deserve happiness and I love your beautiful rings. At first I thought you had gone to this park because of all the posts I've been doing about it. It's one of our new favs for hiking. It's so easy to drive out there and we never see many people. Maybe we'll see you there sometime. Riding bikes would be cooler this summer! We need to add air to our tires! lol Enjoy your week...both of you!

  14. I hope my comment with through earlier! I love reading about your happy times! Enjoy your evening! (I had a few in the Spam folder today)

  15. Barbara. I can't stop being over the top happy for the both of you! You deserve spending the years you have left celebrating each other with the love
    God has seen fit to fill your hearts. Don't let anyone tell you differently!
    May His blessings follow you on this journey.

  16. Yall look very happy and the rings ARE SO NICE!! congratulations on your engagement! I came over to meet you through Pam's blog Closed doors Open Windows . Nice to meet you and enjoy seeing your bike ride adventure-- looked fun! That is a LONG RIDE!