My very own love story, it may never be a made for TV movie but to me it felt like my very own Hallmark movie. (I am a real sucker for Hallmark movies.)
On September 8th, 2017, newscasters, were urging all Floridans to flee the state with the incoming Category 5 hurricane, given the name of Irma that was expected to blow through town. I had never experienced a hurricane first hand until now and was not looking forward to experiencing it alone. So I quickly packed up my car and began fleeing Hollywood, FL, with my sights set on arriving into Destin, FL within 8 hours and 625 miles, to be with family and spend the last hours I could with my dying grandfather. However I had barely been an hour into the drive when I sat in stand still traffic. Over the next 6 hours my car drove a little, stopped a lot and I was approaching Kissimmee, FL which is about 180 miles north of Hollywood, FL. As I was about to run out of gas, I stopped off the turnpike at one of the service stations and as soon as I reached a pump I quickly filled up. But while I was waiting for my gas tank to be filled up I was watching the craziness around me, cops guiding traffic, constant commotion from all the crazed hurricane escapers. As I watched everyone coming unraveled and acting out. I felt unsafe and uneasy, so I did the only thing I could do and quickly called my mom to inform her of how little distance I had gained in my trip and my concerns with continuing my drive as the further north I travelled the less gas stations there would be, especially when I would hop on highway I-10. I told her I would just turn around an head back to my apartment and stick it out there. My mom quickly suggested that I standby while she contacted an old family friend who lived only 20 miles away from my current location. Within minutes I had an address and a short drive to finish my trip in Kissimmee, FL. I arrived at my mom’s friend, Jeri, home where I only thought I would be waiting out the storm, but there was a lot more planned than expected.
As I was now sheltered from the storm, I was among friends, relaxing and enjoying a hurricane party. On September 10, 2017 as I is hanging out with Jeri’s grandson, Thomas watching tv, having cocktails and snacking. I was not expecting the tornado like crazy that would come through the garage door. In the late afternoon, the tornado of Taz Mania the dog, came blazing through the door. Now if you learn anything about me through this blog, it will be my obsession for dogs. As soon as Taz entered, I jumped up off the couch with excitement and quickly approached the Taz, and as I knelt down he jumped up and in that quick motion, we ended up in a head butt. I quickly stood up because I knew I was no match for Taz’s excitement, then I introduced myself to now husband Keith. We all spent the remainder of the day and night eating, drinking and pure relaxed hanging out. As the night sky turned black, the power in the house went out. So Keith and I decided to use my fully charged laptop and begin a Sharknado movie marathon. We were able to make it through the first two movies before the computer died, and then agreed we would watch the remaining five movies together, which meant we would have to see each other again, but didn’t make immediate plans to see each other.
The following day, there were no signs of Hurricane Irma except loss of power and a few tree branches we on the ground, it was time for me to hit the road and head home and prepare for my return to work. Keith and I kept in touch via text and social media. Until November only a couple months later, I was working (as a flight attendent) on a trip and had a scheduled overnight in Orlando. I had a girl friend of mine, Karlee, come pick me up from my hotel and we went out, exploring Orlando. I had reached out to Keith and told him to come meet us and we could reconnect. While my friend and I were walking through Lake Eola Park and feeding the swans, Keith joined us. We continued our walk and we all decided to paddle a Swan Boat around the lake. After each of us got tired of pumping legs with the swan paddle boat, we discussed the plan for the rest of the day and decided to go have dinner and drinks at Disney Springs, but before heading over there, I made a point to ride with Keith back to his apartment so we could invite Thomas to join us and I could see my favorite little buddy, Taz! As I left the next day, and the days continued to pass we kept up with each other a little, until I reached out once more a few months later, and told Keith I would be returning to Orlando again in January to see Karlee and have a girls day at Disney World. Keith and I agreed to reconnect during my visit for another outing. However, once I arrived, Keith called me to let me know he and Thomas wouldn’t be able to come hang out because Keith’s cousin and best friend, Thomas, had passed away. Keith asked me if I would be interested in coming to spend time with him instead. I extended my trip by another day and my wonderful friend, Karlee dropped me off so I could spend time with Keith and the rest of his family that was in all traveling into town. During this night together, we spent time talking and connecting, and as the night progressed and the more time we spent together, the quicker we noticed that there was much more to us than just friends. The next afternoon as Keith dropped me off at the airport for my return flight home, he asked me to come back as soon as possible for an official first date, which we planned for my next days off.
Exactly, one week later, I flew back up to Orlando for only one night and to have our first dinner date. He picked me up from the airport and we went to dinner at Benihana. Following our first date, time flew by and their budding friendship quickly turned into a whirlwind romance. We have a few dates January and February, followed by us moving in together in March. Then by Summer of 2018, we make a big committment of buying and building our very first home together. (If you are interested in building a house, check out my blog post on it.) Now press fast forward to 9 months later and upon closing on the house and preparing to move in, Keith dropped to one knee in our brand new driveway and proposed. And while he was saying sweet things to me, I was dancing around and just waiting to yell, YES!!! No two love stories are ever the same, I am just grateful for my continuing love story. (If you are planning a wedding, be sure to check out my wedding post to read all about the planning struggles and read the reminders and tips for you.)
If you haven’t experienced your own personal love story just yet, be patient. It wasn’t until I quit trying to make every bad relationship work and trying to force others to love me and be with me, that I found my true love. Keith and I had a whirlwind romance that moved quickly because I was knew it was right. We connected through heart break of losing loved ones and through a relaxed hurricane induced quarantine but it was us together that really created and continue to foster a loving relationship. Therefore, don’t give up, your love story will come to be, and just remember when it does, always work at it.