Aging: A Story about Love
|Terra Vina Vineyard|
But, there are people out there that have such a powerful story to tell that the look on their faces tells me that they have not forgotten and never will.
Yesterday my husband and I attended a wine dinner set among the vines with the misty valley spread out below. We sat across the table from a couple about our age. His name was Peter. I have never know a Peter so the visit began.
Then he introduced his wife. Minila she said when I asked her to repeat her name. It flowed off her tongue with an accent I didn't recognize. I'm a Czech she said quickly.
Are you a Czech too Peter? I asked. No, he said. I come from Portland.
We were pen pals was his response. He asked Do you really want to hear this story?
Well yes I did...yes I did!
Pen pals? I have never know anyone to marry their pen pal. I have never know anyone named Peter. I have never know anyone that got married when one of them lived in Portland and the other in Czechoslovakia. How did that happen?
The wonder of it all was that he was not in the military He was going to Lewis and Clark when he decided that he wanted a pen pal that spoke German. He read a magazine called USSR and came up with the idea that maybe a magazine could help. How about a magazine from Poland? That was close enough. So he wrote to a magazine called simply "Poland" suggesting they add a pen pal column to their magazine.
But there was no answer, he changed colleges and gave up on the idea. It was about that time he decided to go to Vienna to study that Lewis and Clark began getting mail for him from Europe...lots of mail. It came and came...so many letters he could not keep up with them.
But he did open them and finally selected one from a girl from Czechoslovakia. She wrote beautiful English. It was Minila. The year was 1965. He began giving all the other letters away to friends until he ran out of friends.
She was barely out of high school when she decided to find a pen pal from the United States so she could practice her English because she wanted to study the language in college. She saw the pen pal column in a magazine.
Two prospects popped up...one from New York City and another from Portland, Oregon. Her father wouldn't let her answer the NYC fellow...he will be over here in a flash he told her. The guy from Portland was selected. He will never make it here from that far was her father's thinking.
When the first letter from her arrived in Portland, Peter answered right back and told her he would be in Vienna in a month. Could he come and see her? Needless to say, her father was worried.
After Peter visited her on four different occasions, one bringing along his father and mother, they became engaged.
They are still in love, share the food off their plates and finish each other's sentences. They have been married for 53 years. I am in love with their story. Wow!
Life is good!
Have you ever had a pen pal?