This is a series detailing how I met him and how things began. If you missed the first story you can find it here.
Pullman, Wa. 1982
A shaded silhouette just outside the apartment kept its pace and could be seen through smoke laden curtains. Finally silence was broken with a knock at the door. I had been watching the thin figure as it made its way back and forth several times and now there he stood, the man from the previous day.
Sweaty hands left an imprint on the vinyl couch and loose hair flitted back and forth, masking a full view of the kitchen and entrance to the apartment. I fidgeted with a loose piece of material and tapped my fingers nervously, giving my sister the look that meant I was thoroughly annoyed. A repeat of the initial conversation was now whispered and gained volume with each syllable and expletive. My position had been clearly stated and left nothing more to be discussed.
He was handsome with olive skin and black curly hair, dark brown eyes and a black moustache made him look mature and self-assured. His thick accent and rudimentary language skills made hand gestures necessary but it was clear he was asking me out for a drink. He had borrowed a friends’ car and was waiting, it would be quick and harmless. It seemed ridiculous to continue protesting and it would make my sister and her boyfriend happy. One simple night out and life would then return to normal.
He drove to a nearby town where we sat for hours in the local hotel lounge. A polite and respectful exchange slowly drifted into intimate glances and eventually a tender press of his lips onto mine. He had a different way about him, doors opened, gentle words were spoken and an overall sense of a grounded person was presented. A reminder still tugged at my brain cautioning me to be guarded but I would not be deterred from following my heart.
Bridal shower invitations have been addressed and mailed, a menu is taking shape and the theme continues to evolve.
Meanwhile the wedding arrangements are in full swing and the countdown has begun. Fattima worked hard on wedding favors and encouraged me to share some pictures but my lips are sealed until the wedding! Ben, as usual has been there helping, working hard and being supportive.
This past weekend they attended a Mariner’s game while visiting Yusuf and Alicia.
The happy couple still amaze and delight me each and every day! Fattima’s new family has welcomed her with open arms and her mother- to- be is excited at the prospect of having her as part of their clan!
This weekend was quiet and a nice lull in the schedule! I managed to get back out to the garden and did some jobs that were overdue. Blue skies prevailed along with warm temperatures!
We received the invitations that were designed for Fattima’s bridal shower and in general just had a nice relaxing two days.
The older kids are still fighting a virus but Heme seems better each day. An old board game was rediscovered by the younger generation kids and hours of laughter, arguing and bragging commenced! Sumaya got out her special weed wacker from Grampa and did some work, roses were pruned and general upkeep was completed.
A Teriyaki bowl was the scheduled dinner. I marinated chicken, stir fried some veggies until crisp tender and in the end we all had a good meal!
Towards evening a storm whipped up complete with lightning, high winds and rain. The sky eventually turned an ominous black and the patio cover Osama set up threatened to come loose, but in the end it stayed put.
This summer will be full of gardening, babysitting our little ones and planning a bridal shower and wedding!
These blessings are especially sweet and remind me of how far we have come. It’s been nine years since our relocation from Saudi to Idaho! Thank you for being part of our journey!
The view from my back porch tells me summer is just around the corner!
Thank you for reading and commenting, it has helped me to sort through the past. This is a little summer series detailing how it all began. I am hoping to create some awareness through this writing by letting others know how it started for me.
1982 Pullman, Wa.
Dense pine trees gave way to country fields, barns and tractors, reminding me of childhood trips taken through Palouse country. Soon enough grassland would turn a goldenrod and beige, waving along the scenic highway. A two hour drive had seemed endless and filled with childlike anticipation, knowing that once headlights appeared through thick green curtains two figures would emerge and stand waiting on the back porch. Grampa Adolph would flick the switch to start his fountain and colored lights would gently play along the path just past the old garage. The familiar smell of potatoes, carrots and cabbage from a simmering pot of boiled dinner reminded us that thick slices of bread would be stacked neatly on a large plate next to bowls of steaming broth. Grama Elva grabbed the simple metal tin as helpers cleared and washed dishes. Her frail arthritic fingers clicked the lid until the sweet and unforgettable aroma of maple and pastry wafted through her tiny Swedish kitchen.
My summer job at the track was a daily grind of waking early for Bingo and then returning at night for the races. This allowed me to save spending money for the upcoming school year as both my sister and I knew that anything other than studies during the academic calendar was strictly frowned upon. Mom and dad were able to pay for University expenses and therefore our only responsibility was to study!
I checked my speed and looked in the rear view mirror hoping that no lights were flashing. My mind had drifted back to thoughts of the previous school year and the sting of a lesson learned that still rang loudly in my head. An unspoken crush that evolved from friendship had turned serious and was just as quickly determined to be too risky. I slowly made my way into the University town, down a large hill and to a light. I lit another cigarette and focused on the upcoming few days that I would spend with my sister reaffirming my vow to never fall again! She urged me to have fun and make the most of being young and single.
I followed directions that had been scribbled on an old envelope and searched for a large sign on the left side of the street. It was a sharp turn, steak house, gas station opposite and then I would find the college apartments. I grabbed my things and stopped at number 3 where I was greeted by my sister and her friend, a young Saudi man. I dropped my bag and slumped onto the vinyl couch removing shoes and jacket. Music blared; smoke filled the room and cans of beer stacked until they toppled to the floor.
Knocking on the metal door was ignored until the face of a slender man peered through the window, tapping lightly while waving hands back and forth. Loud voices called for him to enter and he shyly stepped into the doorway. My sister walked to the kitchen urging him to follow. Cooking pots and pans clattered and lay toppled near the cupboard until she found one that would do nicely for his rice.
There was something unique and different about his demeanor, calm, polite and yet intuitive in nature. Long slender fingers pushed through black wavy hair and a quick flash of brown eyes made one last query until he disappeared from view.
Sunday morning we decided to leave the lake early and head for home. My four children who still live with me were all feeling unwell and it was decided that being in the comfort of their own rooms would be best. As we wound our way through the Palouse it occured to me that the next day Foof and I would be going back to Spokane to get THE DRESS. After a break from wedding dress shopping we looked over all of the pictures I had taken and realized one of the first dresses was The one.
Sumaya reminded me that it would be Memorial day and the bridal shop might be closed. I quickly looked on my phone and sure enough it was. I called Fattima and informed her of the news and asked if she wanted to go as soon as we returned home. She agreed. Within three hours we were at the shop eagerly waiting to try the special dress on one last time!
A helpful young lady at the counter sighed and told us that they had just sold the dress! She checked the immediate area as well as Seattle and it seemed the dress was not to be found! We decided to try our second choice and while it was beautiful it was just not the same!
Feeling a bit deflated I spoke with one of the women and asked if there was anything else. Fattima feels she looks best in a tight waist with a bit of poof and so the clerk went to work searching for another option. Minutes later she came back with a very glamorous dress that had not been put out on the floor yet and Foof would be the first to try it on! It was a match!
We both agreed that things do indeed happen for a reason and this dress was a way better fit than our original choice! She feels like the princess that she is and Ben was thrilled that there was a happy ending!
It’s official, Foof said yes to the dress!